S:PAM books

(#10) Unfolding Spectatorship. Shifting Political, Ethical and Intermedial Positions

Unfolding SpectatorshipChristel Stalpaert, Katharina Pewny, Jeroen Coppens & Pieter Vermeulen (eds.)

There is no performance without the spectator. This holds true not only for traditional drama, but also for contemporary interactive – and even virtual – forms of theatre. Concepts of spectatorship are now continually being redefined, as spectatorial practices have until recently been neglected in academic discourses. The spectator is no longer a passive and immobile subject.

Promoting an ever-shifting notion of spectatorship, this collection of essays explores the field of contemporary performing arts by revealing the interplay between audience and community, gaze and passivity, image and living reality, self-ownership and alienation. Incorporating recent developments in philosophy, theatre studies and performance studies, the authors offer insight into the practices of a wide array of Flemish and international theatre and performance artists, such as Blast Theory, Ariane Loze, Margareth Obexer, Sarah Vanagt, Charlotte Vanden Eynde and Kurt Vandendriessche.

ISBN: 9789038225982
Published: December 2016

(#9) Tickle Your Catastrophe! Imagining Catastrophe in Art, Architecture and PhilosophyTickle Your Catastrophe

Frederik Le Roy, Nele Wynants, Dominiek Hoens & Robrecht Vanderbeeken (eds.)

Whereas at the end of the twentieth century societies had to work through the traumatic effects of a century of political extremism and found the drive to rebuild society in the prospect of a better future, it is now, at the beginning of this new century, the fear of an inevitable and complete catastrophe that reigns. Worst-case scenarios have always played a role in the way our culture has imagined the future. The impending depletion of the world’s oil resources, the devastating effects of climate change, steep population growth, the breakdown of the economic system, pandemics and the threat of international terrorism have made catastrophe into a crucial notion to understand our relation with our time today. More than ever before, the expectation of catastrophe shapes our notion and experience of temporality and influences our ability to act in the present. This book wants to question the present future of calamity by focusing on the imagining of catastrophe, in art, architecture and philosophy. It collects some of the most inspiring contributions of the conference and reflects the interdisciplinary approach of this meeting.

The first part entitled “Ruin Value” addresses the motif of the ruin in visual art and urban planning. The second section “State of Emergency” gathers texts on catastrophism in philosophy and literature. The contributions of “Media Disaster” focus on how images of catastrophe are mediated and mediatised in film, painting, the news and the performing arts. Subsequently, the final section “Worst-Case Scenarios” considers the method of scenario thinking as a common strategy in the political discourse on global warming, the military, artistic interventions and urban planning.

With contributions by Lieven De Cauter, Dirk De Meyer, Nicolas de Oliveira & Nicola Oxley, Pedro Gadanho, Vlad Ionescu, Thijs Lijster, Naeem Mohaiemen, Dany Nobus, Eli Noé, Johan Pas, Patrick Primavesi, Christian Salewski and Susan Schuppli.

ISBN: 9789038217222
Published: 2011
215 pages

(#8) Het spel voorbij de waanzin. Een theatrale praktijk?

Spel van de WaanzinEvelien Jonckheere, Christel Stalpaert & Katrien Vuylsteke Vanfleteren (red.)

Het spel voorbij de waanzin: een theatrale praktijk is a collection of essays in Dutch (and French) examining the common ground between theatrical imagination and psychiatry. It is the result of a conference on 'Theatre and madness' which was organised by the research unit to coincide with an exhibition in the Museum Dr. Guislain. The aspects and faces of madness are plenty; megalomaniacs, fools, freaks, melancholy loners and other unsung heroes...

Contributing authors include both researchers and artists: Evelien Jonckheere, Christel Stalpaert and Katrien Vuylsteke Vanfleteren (editors), Patrick Allegaert, Christian Biet, Marijs Boulogne, Thomas Crombez, Marc De Kesel, Viviane De Muynck, Violaine Heyraud, Luc Joosten, Hanneke Paauwe, Frank Peeters, Dirk Roofthooft, Dominique Van Malder, Benjamin Van Tourhout, Karel Vanhaesebrouck and Staf Vos.

ISBN: 9789038216911
Published: 2010
280 pages

(#7) Filmsporen. Opstellen over film, verleden en geheugen

FilmsporenDaniël Biltereyst & Christel Stalpaert (eds.)

Daniël Biltereyst and Christel Stalpaert collected original essays on film and memory, most of them written by young scholars. In line with the emerging ‘memory studies’ paradigm, this Dutch-language reader pays attention to the ways in which films and film directors explore and integrate traces of the (cinematic) past into their work. Besides essays on film directors such as Godard, Marker or Wilder, the reader also focuses upon art house cinemas and the tradition of cinéclubs; audiences’ film memories; the concept of cult cinema and memory; history and cinema.

ISBN: 9789038211312
Published: 2007
230 pages


(#6) No beauty for me there where human life is rare. On Jan Lauwers' theatre work with Needcompany

No beautyChristel Stalpaert, Frederik Le Roy & Sigrid Bousset (eds.)

Since its first performances now 20 years ago Jan Lauwers’ theatre work with Needcompany has challenged the contemporary performing arts and provoked some of the best pieces of theatre criticism. No beauty for me there where human life is rare. On Jan Lauwers’ theatre work with Needcompany is the first collection of critical essays to appear about this prominent, Brussels-based but international company. It gathers texts by a variety of eminent writers working in different disciplines (theatre and performance studies, comparative literature, philosophy, cultural sociology) who take up the artistic, aesthetic and philosophical questions raised by Needcompany’s post-dramatic theatre. With contributions by such authorities as Hans-Thies Lehmann, Marvin Carlson, Martin Harries, Jürgen Pieters, Rudi Laermans, George Banu and many others this attractively illustrated collection should prove invaluable to everyone interested in Needcompany, its artistic context and the performing arts in general

ISBN: 9789038210575
Published: 2007
389 pages
€ 22,00

(#5) Meester in vele kunsten: Liber Amicorum Prof. Dr. Jaak Van Schoor

Liber AmicorumStijn Bussels, Mark Hermans, Roger Rennenberg, Christel Stalpaert & Bram Van Oostveldt (eds.)


Published in 2003 by Ghent University (Theatre, Performance & Media Studies) and the Flemish Centre of the ITI in a limited run of 250.
ISBN: 90 7664 504 3
344 pages

(#4) Ballets Suédois

Ballets SuédoisPascale De Groote

In their short time of existence the Ballets Suédois tried to involve all the new trends of their time. The experiments with and the combination of different genres was typical for that period. The need for innovation made artists explore new ideas. They discovered a range of new possibilities. Borders were often crossed and artists explored each other’s territory looking for new impulses. The Ballets Suédois participated very actively in all this. Let their existence be of rather short duration, their story draws an interesting picture of an exciting chapter in our history.


ISBN: 9789038204086
Published: 2002
122 pages
€ 18,00

(#3) Peter Greenaway’s Prospero’s Books. Critical Essays

Christel Stalpaert (ed.)

Peter GreenawayDiscourse is ambiguous and plurivocal. Post-structuralists describe the discursive event as a site of conflict, thus offering us a way-out of so-called univocal, totalising discourse by offering a more optimistic view of the relationship between language and power. Peter Greenaway's Prospero's Books seems to be the example par excellence of their theoretical investigations. As far as my sensory experience of the film is concerned, Prospero's Books was an invitation for seeking another relationship with the discourses we employ. In the line of this invitation, all the authors have been less preoccupied in being 'true' to Greenaway, and have presented their personal 'sensory experience' of Prospero's Books. Thus, the critical essays collected here reflect and are in a way evidence of Greenaway's relocation of The Tempest along the fundamentally unstable limits between different discursive formations. It is a pity that these critical essays - contained within a linguistic code and provided but with the tools of language - cannot fully retrieve the same sensory experience of Prospero's Books. Actually, these critical essays should be offered in an interactive hypermedia environment, consisting of moving images, text, sound, music, … much in the same way Prospero's Books is considered in its allusiveness and omnipresent referentiality: a hypertext, as it were, demanding that we point our mental mouse not only at words, but at a multitude of sign systems. This will be possible perhaps in the near future. In the meantime, though, we offer you these "words, words, words …"

ISBN: 9789076645032
Published: 2000
223 pages
€ 24,80

(#2) The Théâtre de la Monnaie and theatre life in the 18th Century Austrian Netherlands

Bram Van Oostveldt

The Théâtre de la MonnaieTheatre belongs to the city as the city belongs to the theatre. Theatre is the crystallisation of what lives in a community and the community mirrors itself in the theatre, finding its own dynamism and dialogue, and by giving an impetus to insight and action. The city culture determined the collective social life in the Austrian Netherlands: the feeling of independence gained from the autonomous urban cultures, stimulated the realisation of an interdependence and consolidation towards a new conception of society and the focal point within that society. The court attempted to unite and appease at the same time. Theatre supplied the symbols and the rituals which shaped and corroborated this recognition. It contributed in the building of a new identity. Bram Van Oostveldt's book describes this social progress from the point of view the theatre and herewith delivers the first extensive report into the influence of the Brussels' Monnaie Theatre on the theatre life in the Dutch speaking part of the Southern Netherlands. His account is also a reflection of a similar research project carried out at the Ghent University from 1996 to 1999. This project, supported by the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research and attracting eminent scholars from Austria, France, Germany, the United States and Belgium (see Studies in Performing Arts and Film 1), strengthened him in his perception of the subject matter.

ISBN: 9789076645025
Published: 2000
163 pages
€ 24,80

(#1) Performing arts in the Austrian 18th Century: new directions in historical and methodological research

Performing Arts in the Austrian 18th CenturyJaak Van Schoor, Christel Stalpaert & Bram Van Oostveldt

 The 18th century is in more than one respect a fascinating era for the performing arts: for the first time people are reflecting on the craft of acting and points of view are taken. As an inevitable consequence the art of the theatre is officially recognised, i.e. as the mirror of a perfect society. Theatre became a 'métier' for the use of political systems, the absolutism and enlightenment. Another striking fact is the international attitude of the theatre: language is not prominent, but the artistic aspects of scenography (painting), music, dance and play score high. The overwhelming force is in the worlds of reflexion and moral. In this way the ideal and imaginary world of the theatre inevitably undoes the culture until then dominated by an international aristocracy. When composing the standard work Een theatergeschiedenis der Nederlanden (‘A History of Theatre in the Netherlands’, Amsterdam, 1996, ed. Rob Erenstein) it became clear that a lot of research was still to be done about 18th century performing arts. This book tries to give a new and stimulating filling in for further research here and abroad.

ISBN: 9789076645018
Published: 2000
202 pages
€ 24,80