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Restaging Place: Performativity and the camera. Parliament Square recast through social media photography

Brocklehurst, Judith; (2018) Restaging Place: Performativity and the camera. Parliament Square recast through social media photography. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This practice-related study of a politically charged public place, Parliament Square, London is led by an examination of social media photographs that have been taken there and posted online. The photographs have been removed from the fast flow of social media, transposed to analogue film, slowed and analyzed. During this physical process four social activities emerge: tourism, protest, state occasion and the everyday. An investigation into each of these areas is instigated by a close examination of one related photograph. This investigation occurs theoretically and in the realm of performative sculptural, photographic and film practice. As well as being a study of the actual place, the Square offers a public location from which to reflexively examine its virtual equivalents online. Through performative practice, my study highlights commonalities between the role of photographs, monuments and public places as methods of representing historical understandings and their democratic potential: the ‘everyday’ of the Square and photography. The study investigates the role of photography in the construction of place – deconstructing how tourists pose and gaze into the camera to return to the singularity of the individual experience. The enquiry continues to look at Parliament Square as a place of political protest counter to the dominant state narrative of the past and the present. It is a place where particular narratives are embodied and celebrated, often misrepresenting the complexity of the past. The four photographs are restaged in the studio. Here they become a distorting mirror of both actual and virtual places revealing an absence that arguably occurs within all photographs. This absence might allow the viewer to relate to the subject depicted, find common ground, as well as develop a critical self-awareness and openness to the views of others.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Restaging Place: Performativity and the camera. Parliament Square recast through social media photography
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Third party copyright material has been removed from ethesis.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Culture, Communication and Media
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10056329
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