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Measures Series 4: Ian White
6 or more kinds of Theatre

8 sessions: Every Tuesday starting 7th September
7-9pm 100 contact james.holcombe[at]no-w-here.org.uk
8 sessions: Every Tuesday starting 7th September
7-9pm 100 contact james.holcombe[at]no-w-here.org.uk

Session 2 References for course participants:

1. Aristotle, Poetics, Parts I-XI
Section 1 of:

2. Racine, Roland Barthes, On Racine, pp.3-24

3. Racine, Phedre

4. Michael Fried, Art and Objecthood
Download pdf from:

Session 3 References for course participants:

2. Brecht On Theatre

Theory and Definition of Structural/ Materialist Film

Session 4 References for course participants:

Brakhage Links


Session 5 References for course participants:



Dan Graham, Theatre-Cinema, in Two-Way Mirror Power, pp.137-140

Session 6 References for course participants:

Yvonne Rainer films:

Merce Cunningham documentary:

Rainer Essay
Rainer Essay

Wood on Rainer
Wood on Rainer

Trio A
Trio A


Session 7 References for course participants:

notes on camp:

supervalent thought:


Measures is a series of seminars run over 8 weeks that use screening, reading, discussion and analysis to look at critical assumptions about the image and its meaning.


It is not by painting that photography touches art, but by theatre....

Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

Artists film and video is an unstable category. Almost by definition, as a form, it presents a challenge equally to the exhibition space as to cinema. Often, each of these spaces is reconfigured (by the artist, the curator, the institution) as the other - as if these might be the only options, or as if the challenge of this form might (or should) be resolved, driven by cultural, economic or political interests.

Rather, we could consider such categorical instability as a situation precisely without resolution and as such to consider it as an invitation. Hence this exploratory series of 8 seminars proposes an experimental way of reading and thinking about artists film and video: through theatre.

I do not mean theatre-in-general. Such a generalisation would be as misleading as using the word cinema to define a form which is actually an industrially established model of an economy. What we think of when we read the word cinema is actually just one way of negotiating the architecture, economy and exhibition facilitated by one particular use of the auditorium. There are others and theatre, like cinema can be differentiated into a set of different models with different, specific functions.

What if these two processes of differentiation occur at the same time? And by doing so doing provide the means by which a new set of readings might be produced?

Artists film and video is an unstable category. As such it contains multiple histories that shift dependent on the teller. 6 or more kinds of theatre maps some points on just one of these multiple histories. We can accept it or reject it. It is not the presentation of a thesis, but an invitation to speculate, equally questioning the implications and contexts of its material. It is informed by the still uncharted relationship between artists film and video and the live in art, a consideration of the period before cinema became an established label, artists own invocation and engagement with different models of theatre and my own interests as an artist working predominantly in performance.

Each seminar will assume an experimental form that relates to the topic being discussed, focusing on a single film or a body work and a specific model of theatre through which the work is read. The series includes work by Peter Gidal, Michael Snow, Kurt Kren, Yvonne Rainer, Sharon Lockhart, Emily Wardill, Ursula Mayer and the models of theatres proposed by Brecht, Racine, Artaud, Judson Church, Russian Constructvism and the museum-garden-theatre that Dan Graham writes about.

Ian White


Ian White is an artist, curator and writer. He is Adjunct Film Curator for the Whitechapel Gallery, London and also works on independent projects including the screening series Kinomuseum for the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. He is curating a solo show of work by Emily Wardill for De Appel, Amsterdam and presents a series of his own performances at the daadgalerie, Berlin in July.


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