Sensorial in Theatre: On the Scent Trail In And Beyond the Everyday

International scientific and artistic symposium


15.10.2020, Thursday / 14:00 / Vetrinjski dvor /
16.10.2020, Friday / 11:00 / Vetrinjski dvor /
16.10.2020, Friday / 15:00 / Vetrinjski dvor /
Sensorial in Theatre: On the Scent Trail In And Beyond the Everyday <em>Photo: Francisco Javier Garcia</em>
Photo: Francisco Javier Garcia
Sensorial in Theatre: On the Scent Trail In And Beyond the Everyday <em>Photo: Francisco Javier Garcia</em>
Photo: Francisco Javier Garcia

The working language of the symposium is English.

Symposium leaders Tomaž Toporišič, Rajko Muršič
Organizing committee David Howes, Barbara Pia Jenič, Mojca Jan Zoran, Rajko Muršič, Aleš Novak, Tomaž Toporišič
Coordinator of the organizing committee Barbara Pia Jenič
Organizers Festival Borštnikovo srečanje, Slovenski gledališki inštitut SLOGI, Senzorium, Oddelek za dramaturgijo in uprizoritvene študije ter raziskovalna skupina UL AGRFT UL, Oddelek za etnologijo in kulturno antropologijo FF UL

An international scientific and artistic conference will take place in October 2020 as a part of the Professional Programme of the 55th Maribor Theatre Festival. The symposium will join forces of Academy of Theatre and Faculty of Arts, both part of University of Ljubljana, Slovene Theatre Institute and Sensorium Theatre, specialised in sensorial language. The basic aim of the symposium is to map this largely unexplored but important field of performing and visual arts with the performance studies, anthropology, cultural studies and other fields studying art and culture. 
Sensorial theatre is today linked to a highly popular branch of immersive theatres that emerged since the turn of the millennium as a popular form of performance. It interweaves playfulness into the relationship between performer, audience, and performance space. While the discussion of immersive theatres has largely focussed on a selection of urban theatre companies who have acquired reputations as the forerunners in the field, it neglected the practitioners of the sensorial or sensory theatre developing immersive methodologies within theatre that are, as yet, largely undocumented. The conference’s aim is to contribute to the field of sensory within the theatre culture, and to extend its discussion by considering the work and the ‘poetics of the senses’ of the Columbian theatre director Enrique Vargas as well as his followers. In doing so it will try to expand the current conceptualisation of immersive sensorial theatres and examine the possible transformative potential of its specific performative practice. 
The conference will also try to link sensorial theatre to Victor Turner and his "crossing of a threshold which separates two distinct areas, one associated with the subject’s pre-ritual or pre liminal status, and the other with his post-ritual or post liminal status". 
Sensorial theatre started in Slovenia in 1996, with a premiere of Oracles by Enrique Vargas, the world-renowned director of Teatro de los sentidos (Theatre of the senses), whose creative work introduced this specific system to a group of participating Slovenian artists. One of the most prominent researchers in sensory, i.e. multisensory studies, David Howes, points out that the time of the sensorial revolution is coming, not just a turnaround or a turn (in terms of performative, linguistic, spatial, ontological and other turns). 
The conference will focus on the following issues and topics: studies of specific performances and performing models, as well as examples from the field of sensorial in theatre, performing practices and culture in general. Its aim will be to outline specificities of the sensorial languages within the immersive and devising contemporary art; mapping, defining and foreseeing, which new tools bring sensory theatre to the stage, to galleries and museums and to the spaces of the everyday. It will try to define how does a sensorial method activate the process of self-examination by unlocking images, memories and associations and builds up a specific self-reflection and self-awareness; how do performing and visual arts use specifically the scents; what sensorial revolution brings to the future of art and culture scholarship, locally and globally? 
At the conference we expect proposals from the invited artist and introductory speaker Enrique Vargas from Barcelona;an international anthropological research group, David Howes from Montreal, Helma Järviluoma-Mäkelä from Finland, Rajko Muršič (Faculty of Arts University of Ljubljana), Mojca Terčelj (Faculty of Humanities Koper), researchers and performance practitioners from Slovenia – Jana Pavlič, Barbara Pio Jenič, Barbara Orel, Tomaž Toporišič, Simon Hajdini, Igor Areh – and curators, researchers of art of scents, Caro Verbeek from the Netherlands and Peter de Cupere from Belgium.
Contributions on research of specific performances and performance models, performing practices and sensory culture, sensory as a possible tool for social mediation and association of different social groups, will be accompanied by a sensorial trip around Maribor.

Thursday, 15 October 2020

14.00 - 14.45 OPENING LECTURE: Enrique Vargas: Teatro de los sentidos
14.45 - 15.00 Coffee break 
15.00 David Howes, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec
Nose-wise: Scenting anthropological knowledge production and communication
15.30 Discussion
16.00 Rajko Muršič, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts 
Between aisthēsis and colere: performing the everyday and improvising culture
16.20 Discussion
16.40 Tomaž Toporišič, University of Ljubljana, Academy of Theatre …
Performing sensorial liminality
17.00 Discussion

18.00 Sensorial walk through Maribor (Rajko Muršič) 

Friday, 16 October 2020
11.00 - 12.15 2nd panel: THE METONYMY OF SMELL
11.00 Caro Verbeek, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands 
"The scent, the scent alone is enough for us beasts!" – the (Political) Role of Smell during the Avant-garde"
11.20 Discussion
11.30 Simon Hajdini, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts 
The Name of the Rose
11.50 Discussion
12.00 - 12.15 Coffee break

12.15 - 13.00 3rd panel: IMMERSIVE AESTHETICS
12.15 Peter de Cupere, PXL–MAD School of Arts, Belgium
‘The Olfactory Context, Concept and the Olfactory Transfers’
12.35 Discussion
12.45 Barbara Pia Jenič, Senzorium
Igor Areh, University of Maribor, Faculty of Criminal Justice and Security
The art of the immersion with smell and sensorial theatre language
13.10 Discussion
13.30 - 15.00 Lunch break

15.00 Helmi Järviluoma-Mäkelä, University of Eastern Finland
Talking sensory life into being while moving: sensobiographic walks with artists in Ljubljana and Turku 
15.20 Discusssion
15.30 Barbara Orel, University of Ljubljana, Academy of Theatre …
The World of Odour in the Slovenian Performing Arts
15.50 - 16.00 Discussion
16.00 – 16.15 Coffee break
16.15 - 17.00 Final Discussion

17.00 Sensorial walk through Maribor (Rajko Muršič) 

The symposium is organized in cooperation with the University of Ljubljana, Academy of Theatre, Radio, Film and Television, within the framework of the Theatre and Interart Research programme (project No. P6-0376), co-financed by the Slovenian Research Agency from the state budget.