BLINK Margate: urban renewal, place and performance

Price, Jason (2013) BLINK Margate: urban renewal, place and performance. Contemporary Theatre Review, 23 (3). pp. 411-420. ISSN 1048-6801

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Over the last thirty years arts activities have increasingly become a key component of urban regeneration and tourist redevelopment schemes. The ubiquity of arts programmes in this context suggests that they can play a meaningful role in the redevelopment of an area, and yet a methodology for studying the impacts these events have on the individual and their community remains undeveloped. This paper seeks to add to the discussion of the value of public arts practices by examining BLINK Margate, a site-specific public performance produced by Brighton-based production company McMcArts and Canterbury Festival, in partnership with close to a dozen arts, education and government agencies. The performance was a collaboration between Wayne McGregor and Random Dance, German spectacle ensemble Pan.Optikum, digital sound artist Scanner, and approximately 60 local people from the seaside town of Margate in Kent. BLINK was designed to complement an ongoing regeneration scheme by providing creative and professional development opportunities for local people that might catalyse future arts projects, thereby establishing a creative legacy. In this paper, the author considers the process for making BLINK and theorises the impact that site-specific public art projects like it can have on communities undergoing urban regeneration. Informed by Michele de Certeau’s and Marc Augé’s concepts of space, place and non-place, it is argued that, by inviting spectators to practice spaces differently, public artworks, including performances, may result is ‘perceptual shifts’ that can contribute to a redefinition of the underlying meanings given to a place. In this way, arts practices are shown to be a useful companion to urban regeneration and place re-making.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0045 Theory. Philosophy. Esthetics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The Theater
Depositing User: Jason Price
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2013 12:18
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2013 11:36

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