Workshop # 7 Directed by the Object

The workshop took place from Monday August 16th till Friday August 27th 2021 at Oslo National Academy of the Arts (KHIO), Oslo, Norway

Workshop # 7 Directed by the Object, was a workshop in which four costume designers were provided with conditions to create performances starting from their garments or other materials. The designers were Thale Kvam Olsen, Sally Elizabeth Dean, Linnea Bågander with Vidmina Stasiulyte and Tormod Lindgren.

LINK TO VIDEO DOCUMENTATION (26 minutes):  Please double-click at the video to enter full screen


Designers: Thale Kvam Olsen with Kristine Roald Sandøy, Sally Elizabeth Dean, Linnea Bågander with Vidmina Stasiulyte and Tormod Lindgren.

Performers/ creative collaborators: Cecilie Solberg, Frida Odden Brinkmann, Daniel Frikstad, Lydia Hann, Oda Holmvik Bredvold, Victor Pedersen, Ingrid Pettersson, Matilda Gustavsson Drobina and Olivia Hansson

Audience/ performers in Give Them Wings & We Shall See Their Faces (Research Process): Simon Asencio, Jitka Pospisilova, Natalie Rajnisova, Debora Stysova, Jenny Hilmo Teig, Berit Haltvik With

Light design: Ingeborg Straxsrud Olerud and Kaja Glenne Lund

Interviewer: Sodja Lotker and Christina Lindgren 

Research supervisors: Knut Ove Arntzen, Rachel Hann, Sodja Lotker and Christina Lindgren

Research assistance: Arnt Robert Ledanger and Debora Styvsova

Production management: Camilla Svingen/ Syv Mil AS

Film recording and editing: Vibeke Heide/ Sentimeter Film

Film recording Göteborg: Camilla Topuntoli

Recorded at Oslo National Academy of the Arts and Skogen, Göteborg, Sweden

Photo of projects: Espen Tollefsen or Camilla Topuntoli



Wearable Sculpture

Our project is called Wearable Sculpture. The starting point for our exploration was common ideas about technical solutions and materials we would like to work with and try out. We had developed 8 wearable sculptures, or objects, by putting together different shapes and materials that could be worn in different ways. We worked with readymades and developed a design language at the intersection of our artistic practices as a costume designer and sculptor.

We wanted to discover everything the sculptures could do. Testing the same task on all sculptures, we discovered that they had quite different qualities. We focused on what each sculpture wanted to do, and what was each sculpture´s best skill, varying with the materials, shape or sound.

Photo Espen Tollefsen



Give Them Wings & We Shall See Their Faces (Research Process)

Photo Espen Tollefsen



Choreographic sound

This exploration aims to explore the sonic agencies of costume design and the way they both inform and add a level of expression to the movement and choreography of a performance. The work is a collaboration between Vidmina Stasiulyte and Linnea Bågander who aim to intersect their expertise in a sonic and performative conversation with a dancer.

Photo Camilla Topuntoli



Berg & Høeg

How was the costume a starting point for me? I am preparing a puppet theatre show about two lesbian photographers in the 1890´s. The photos showing them and friends cross-gender dressing in the studio is a start. I have a collection of clothes/costumes with a cut from the periode between 1880 and 1930´s which the actors can use to develop characters and situations. I often create my puppets of old clothes. I often develop the play based on the puppets.

How were the costumes “agentic” ? Period costumes is an important mean to help the audience to imagine a different time/space. It reinforces the fiction. A wardrobe of clothes/costumes is a tool to creativity. What could the costumes do? Expose feminine/masculine identities. Be tools for the actors in creating roles. Help the actors and puppets to be in the same world.

How did I unpack that vision that was embedded in the garment? First of all by wearing them, in conventional and unconventional ways.  I had two actors that love to dress up/out and create characters by using the clothes. None of the clothes were created to be costumes. They were all normal, though historically pretty correct designed. These “readymade” objects were transformed in a theatrical context.

How did I direct/show the costumes in relationship to the other elements on stage? I started the rehearsal periode with an exercise where the actors explored the clothes, and created characters. The dressing up/out and undressing became a part of the performance. Dressing and undressing of the puppets also was included in the show.

Photo Espen Tollefsen


About the method in this research workshop 

Four designers were selected through an open call with deadline January 6th 2020 (with joined call for Critical Costume 2020 Conference and Exhibition).  Each participant brought garments and ideas that they wanted to try out in the workshop. Each designer was provided with:

  • Individually 7 sessions x 3 hours daily, totally 21 hours with two dancers
  • All workshop participants met for feedback and brainstorming sessions to help each other think and create 2 x 6 hours, totally 12 hours
  • Individual tutorials with the research team
  • Light design by a light designer
  • Access to a performance space, in addition to access to light, sound and stage equipment
  • Photo and video recording of the performance on the final day
December 31, 2021
Written by christinasodja

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