Friday, 24 June 2016, 24:00 | midnight

#76: Lynne Marsh

Lynne Marsh’s practice is situated on the threshold between documentary and staged events, and recently concentrates on the interrogations around sites of cultural spectacle such as the studio and the concert hall. Using location-based filming, often focused upon the spaces, people and activities that exist behind-the-scenes during a live production, Marsh re-frames the mechanics that create an experience, as a type of theatre or performance in its own right. Marsh is interested in how the camera’s performance reconfigures social spaces and their ideological orientation.

Lynne Marsh presents:

Tragedy, 2015-2016, 110:00 min
Tragedy, co-produced with the Opera North in Leeds, brings forth an altered experience of the infamous opera La Traviata, presenting it in its entirety. Mimicking the framing device of a play within a play, the piece produces a production of production. The music guides the camera as it explores the fragility of the ‘live’ event. Throughout the work, we observe stage managers, technicians, costume dressers, props personnel and performers, bringing an operatic tradition into context with present-day realities and pronouncing the mechanics that create an experience. A new mise-en-scene for La Traviata is presented, composed of its processes of routine labour around the stage while revealing a choreography of support situated between the culture of the workplace and the ‘grand narratives’ of the opera.

Keeping true to the ‘real-time’ of performance and in reference to live screen-based broadcasts, the screen’s attention is turned to the theatre that exists aside the stage. The live-ness relays moments of anticipation, cues and readiness that hold the tension and parallel the stakes of stage performance. Moments of pause and waiting – personal time – where discrete scenarios play out are the dramatic counterpoints. Reconceptualising the gestures of labour-in-time, of too early, too late, of stepping on and off stage as the imperative choreography, the work makes visible a peripheral space of performance whose actors/agents are a community of producers.


Lynne Marsh (b. 1969 in Vancouver, Canada) lives and works in London and Berlin. Her video works have been exhibited and screened extensively including: The Montreal Biennale; Toronto International Film Festival; Kunsthalle Memmingen, Germany; Aurora, Dallas; The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal; PROGRAM, Berlin; European Media Art Festival, Osnabrueck, Germany; ICA, London; Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Spain; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; 10th Istanbul Biennial and Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels.

See also fig-2 45/50 Lynne Marsh at the ICA Institute for Contemporary Art, London 9-15 Nov 2015

Lynne Marsh’s web site: