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From Screen City to Scene City

From Screen City to Scene City



Stayros Stauridis
series editor: Dimitris Tsatsoylis

Ellinika Grammata, 2002
417 p.
ISBN 960-393-983-8, ISBN-13 978-960-393-983-2, [Out of Print]
Price € 25,43

In the contemporary screen city the experience of space is actually trapped in the assumption of its image. Social life is being projected like a series of incoherent and fragmented snapshots, a sequence of takes’ displaced in space and time. Thus, contemporary images frame human activity, making life its setting. They have the power to freeze time and make the present prevail over the past, taking the future for granted with their standardized effect. Does the possibility of examining the case of liberation from the magical influence of contemporary images and their time processing experience exist? Perhaps yes, if we were to observe more closely a form of social behavior that transcends the assimilating stillness of an image: At the core of a theatrical behavior lies the experience of space, based on the managing of its time. Theatricality then unfolds; it might move toward “alterity”, might approach it and return. Theatricality can experiment, can influence and be influenced. In this way, it can create a field of negotiation. And if the theatricality of the powerful attempts to entrap social life in a state of identity, role and therefore boundary confirmation, then the theatricality of the plebeians, drawing from its parodist and iconoclastic traditions, can be demythologizing and distancing. Therefore, it can indicate to the very bowels of that which exists, the emergence of the “other”, the emergence of the utopic. Instead of limits, the theatricality of negotiation elaborates on transitional places and times, residing at doorsteps. This kind of theatricality stirs in the heart of the screen city the fragments of a scene city, a city of doorsteps. That is the home of modern “alterity” and collective experiences of urban dwelling, indicative in their inconsistency of the problems, but also of the liberated vision’s power. A vision that moulds solidarity, rather than assimilation.

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