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Staging the Symbol: the Nabis, theatre decoration, and the total work of art

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Defense Thèse de doctorat : Univ. Genève, 2013 - L. 778 - 2013/03/09
Abstract Staging the Symbol is a study of the project of the total work of art in Symbolist theatre and Nabi art. As with Wagner’s notion of the Gesamtkunstwerk, this project was always conceived as a dream to be realised, an "artwork of the future". During the first half of the 1890s, the members of the Nabi group dreamed of the future realisation a more complete artwork paralleling "nature" or "life". They thus continued the project formulated by René Ghil for Symbolist poetry in 1886: "chercher, induisant de Symbole en Symbole, la raison de la Nature et de la Vie." Similarly, the first Symbolist performances at the Théâtre d’Art were considered as try-outs or essays in view of the creation of a full-fledged Symbolist theatre - which remained, essentially, a series of experiments. In six chapters, Staging the Symbol discusses the cross-fertilisation between Nabi painting and Symbolist theatre in Paris between 1891 and 1895, which focused on the mise en scène of the symbol as a synthetic sign, in a Wagnerian project of a synthesis of the arts.
Keywords NabisGesamtkunstwerkSymbolist theatrestage design
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URN: urn:nbn:ch:unige-274434
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VAN TILBURG, Merel. Staging the Symbol: the Nabis, theatre decoration, and the total work of art. Université de Genève. Thèse, 2013. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:27443

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Deposited on : 2013-04-10

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