The Department of Theatre Studies at the LMU Munich, in conjunction with the Academy of Fine Arts Munich and the Residenztheater, is currently organizing an international conference in the field of ›stage design and scenography‹. The conference, funded by the German Research Foundation, will be held on 17th and 18th November at the Academy of Fine Arts.

As a production and mise-en-scene of space, contemporary scenography appears in many guises: Its spectrum ranges from stage sets and theatre scenography, performance design and ›environmental scenography‹ through exhibition scenography, film and media sceno-graphy to urban environments, spatial design and staged commercial events. Starting from this observation, the conference seeks to explore scenography as an interdisciplinary arts phenomenon.

In its diversity of forms, scenography emerges primarily not as a visual art but rather as a spatial art, in which media, objects and scenographic constellations do not figure as a mere backdrop or décor, rather they are actors and ›non-human agents‹ (Latour) within perfor-mative processes. It is in this way that scenographic practices shape our spatial experience and perception.

This conference – in addition to discussing questions of aesthetics of reception – aims to reflect on artistic aesthetics of production by looking at draft and rehearsal processes, spatial and visual concepts, scenographic tools (models, visual storyboards, computer-aided directing etc.), various forms of notation and the question of ›scenographic knowledge‹. How do stage design, scenographic design as well as the related artwork come about, and what kinds of knowledge are expressed on both process and final outcome?

Internationally renowned artists and scholars have confirmed their participation, amongst these are Arnold Aronson (USA), Joslin McKinney (UK), Thea Brejzek (AU) and Dieter Mersch (CH), as well as the Serbian stage designer and scenographer Aleksandar Denić (SRB), Uwe R. Brueckner from Atelier Brueckner (D/CH) and Benjamin Foerster-Baldenius, ›performing architect‹ and member of the artistic/architectural collective raumlaborberlin.

  • Organizers are: The Dept. of Theatre Studies of the LMU | Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich (PD Dr. Birgit Wiens), in conjunction with the Academy of Fine Arts Munich (Prof. Katrin Brack) and the Residenztheater. The Conference is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
  • Conference Fee: 10 €/students 6 € (per day), 16 €/students 9 € (both days).
  • RSVP until November 1st via email: scenography[at]

Conference Program

Wednesday, 16.11.2016

  • RESIDENZTHEATER  MUNICH, Max-­‐Joseph-­‐Platz 1,  D-­‐80539 Munich

07:00 p.m. On the eve of the conference: »Faust« at the Residenztheater

  • »We’ll see the small world first, and then the great one too«. Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, directed by Martin Kušej. The stage design was created by Aleksandar Denić.[please purchase tickets individually via tickets[at]]

Thursday, 17.11.2016

9:30 a.m. Welcome and introduction to the conference theme

  • BIRGIT WIENS [Conference Organizer, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich/TWM, D], and KATRIN BRACK [Professor. of Stage Design, Academy of Fine Arts Munich, D]

9:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Section 1: Scenography – Epistemes and Aesthetics: State of Research and Research Perspectives

  • ARNOLD ARONSON [Theatre Historian and Professor of Theatre at the Columbia University, New York, USA] »This Must Be the Place« [Opening Speech/Keynote 1]
  • JOSLIN MCKINNEY [Associate Professor of Scenograph at the School of Performance and Cultural Industries, University of Leeds, UK] »Scenographic Materiality«
  • Coffee Break
  • KLAUS GRUENBERG [Stage Designer, Hamburg, D] and DAVID ROESNER [Professor for Theatre and Music-Theatre at the LMU Munich, D] »Composing Scenography. Reflexion on the Theories, Practices and Processes of Klaus Gruenberg’s Collaborations with Heiner Goebbels and others« (joint presentation)

Lunch Break

2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Section 2: Scenography as a Co-Actor and ›Orchestrated Environment‹. Visibility, Performativity, Accessibility

  • THOMAS IRMER [Theatre Theorist and Critic, Author of TV documentaries/ German and International, Berlin, D] »Theatre Space after the ›Spatial Turn‹: Moving Dynamics of the Active Spectator« 
  • WOLF-DIETER ERNST [Professor of Theatre at the University of Bayreuth, D] »Narrating an unsettled Past. Intermedial Scenography, Dramaturgy, and musical Persona in Berlin’s Jerusalem [Holocene # 1.2]«
  • Coffee Break
  • UWE R. BRUECKNER [Creative Director and Co-Founder of Atelier Brueckner, Stuttgart, D; Professor for Scenography and Exhibition Design, at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland, Basel, CH] »You cannot not stage. Scenography – beyond Theatre« 

6:00 p.m. Evening Lecture

  • THEA BREJZEK [Professor for Spatial Theory at the University of Technology Sydney, AU] »Cosmopoiesis, or: Making Worlds through the Model« [Keynote 2]

Friday, 18.11.2016

09:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Section 3: Scenographic Knowledge. Design Processes: Theory and Practice

  • DIETER MERSCH [Professor for Philosophical Aesthetic at the Zurich University of the Arts, CH] »The Ungovernability of the Scene« [Keynote 3]
  • SUSANNE HAUSER [Professor for Art History and Cultural Studies, Director of the Institute of History and Theory of Design at the University of the Arts Berlin, D] »Spaces in Process. Designs«
  • Coffee Break
  • ALEKSANDAR DENIĆ [Stage Designer and Scenic Designer for Theatre and Film, Professor of Film, TV and Set Design at the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University in Belgrade, SRB] - Artist Talk and Presentation (Moderation: Birgit Wiens) -

Lunch Break

02:00 – 04:30 p.m. Section 4: Re-thinking Scenography and its (institutional) Frames

  • ULF OTTO [Dilthey-Fellow at Hildesheim University and Interim Professor for Theatre Studies and Intermediality at LMU Munich, D] »Scenes of Control: Making Stages work«
  • BENJAMIN FOERSTER-BALDENIUS [Performing Architect, Co-Founder and Member of raumlabor Berlin, D].»don’t be afraid of ... the art of parCITYpation«
  • Coffee Break
  • LAURA GROENDAHL [Adjuct Professor in Theatre Studies at Helsinki University, FIN] »How to be a Scenographer? Design Education as a Site for researching the Scenographic Practices and Discourses in Motion«

Preliminary Resumée/Panel Discussion: 5:00 p.m.

  • Keynote and Moderation: SERGE VON ARX [Architect, Professor of Scenography and Artistic director of the Scenography Dept. at the Norwegian Theatre Academy/Østfold University College, NO].
  • With: Christopher Balme, Uwe R. Brueckner, Laura Groendahl, et al. (tbc)

End of Conference approx. 6:30 p.m.