“Scenography” could be understood as the art of staging in space. For his exhibition “White Elephant”, Christian Haake uses scenographic means from film and theatre when he sets light and dark against each other in the GAK, adds models to room backdrops and underlines atmosphere by means of sound tracks. On the occasion of this artistic approach, Ralf Bohn poses the question of the interweaving of illusion, reality and simulation as a means of scenic narration:
“In Christian Haake’s “White Elephant”, perception and recognition of perspectives are irritated. The thematic installation of a “White Elephant” as an empty business passage confuses the spheres of production and consumption. However, the stability of body exit and body flow is a guarantee for a stabilisation of perspectives and assurances of reality. If the gaze inside penetrates the outside world without any media support, how can one control the flow of fantasy production on the one hand, and the flow of real production on the other? This question leads to speculation about the security of what is called illusion, reality, simulation, and whether the reception of artworks must be enjoyable consumption or rather active production. The lecture will use scenographic examples and narrative strategies for stimulating reassurance to show how disturbances of balance can be remedied in the face of the increasing simulation of reality.”
Ralf Bohn is Professor of Media Studies at the Design Department of Dortmund University of Applied Sciences and co-editor of the series Szenografie & Szenologie at Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld. Bohn studied design, literature and philosophy. He has worked as a communication designer and creative director for advertising agencies, teaches in the fields of media studies, design theory and cultural studies and has published numerous articles on media philosophy.
A lecture to the exhibition “Christian Haake. White Elephant”.