Visualising process: Hofman's 1926 Hamlet reconstructive practice

Author: Fergusson, Cat
Source document: Theatralia. 2018, vol. 21, iss. 2, pp. 15-28
  • ISSN
    1803-845X (print)
    2336-4548 (online)
License: Not specified license
This article explores the extant artefacts of Vlastislav Hofman's design process for Karel Hillar's 1926 production of Hamlet. Virtual reconstructive practice has been used to explore Hofman's intentions and process in the development of his visual ideas. This exploration, supported by an analysis of Hofman's critical texts, provides insights into Hofman's developing visual ideas, both in respect of this production and in respect of his wider approach and attitudes to stage space, which might be broadly termed 'Cubist' or 'Expressionist'. A comparison of two distinct scenic styles in this production suggests that Hofman was developing a functional (or in Bourriard's terms, relational) approach to aesthetics which acknowledged the productive role of the audience and invited modes of viewing in which the choice of aesthetic constituted an invitation to dialogue. In this way, we see Hofman developing a scenography that not only 'means' but also invites a discussion of that meaning.
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