Cosmopoiesis, or: making worlds. Notes on the radical model worlds of Anna Viebrock

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Theatre and Performance Design, 2018, 4 (1-2), pp. 7 - 22
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© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This article discusses the cosmopoietic or world-making capacity of scenographic models in relation to German scenographer Anna Viebrock’s selected stage set exhibitions (Avignon, 2010; Basel, 2011) and her recent collaborative installation project at Venice’s Prada Foundation (2017). It is argued that Viebrock’s architectural stage sets fulfil the central characteristics of models, namely a reduction in complexity and a selective omission or rendering of detail, as well as presenting the material realization of a concept or idea. This article posits that in her exhibitions, Viebrock uses scale to immerse the viewer into two very different model worlds: the controlled and seemingly controllable world of the small-scale and the enterable architecture of the 1:1 scale. The authors conclude that Viebrock’s models and stage sets present ‘weak scenographies’ (see Solà-Morales’ notion of a ‘weak architecture’) in their anti-monumental approach and aesthetics and the subsequent radical exposure of the postmodern subject as unhoused in architecture.
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