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Costume as an active component of performance

Musgrove, Paula (2019) Costume as an active component of performance. Masters thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

I examine the role of costume in performance and explore the notion of keeping the physical body present yet absent from the viewer. I analyse the practice of two pioneers of modern dance, Löie Fuller and Martha Graham, to demonstrate that costume can become a performance in its own right. I undertake a comprehensive study of one particular work by Graham, Lamentation, and describe its impact upon my own practice. Drawing on both practical and theoretical research and in particular using Jung’s theory of the active imagination and Freud’s model of the psyche, I investigate the ways in which costume may be said to articulate our unconscious thoughts. I give an account of the development of my practical, exhibition work and put this into the context of the themes above but also in relation to practices involving stillness and slow, meditative movement and related use of space, derived from the characteristics of Japanese Noh theatre and Butoh dance. Bringing together all the key areas, theoretical and practical, of my research, I reflect on my exhibition piece and draw conclusions about the psychological and physical power of costume, surmising that the emotions expressed in the linked video installation, painting and performance feed off one another, mediated by costume and inexorably linked by the unconscious.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Depositing User: Paula Musgrove
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2019 12:53
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2019 12:56
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/24972

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