86529 : A Dolls House

First performed in 1879, A Dolls House is one of Henrik Ibsens most celebrated plays and is significant for its critical attitude toward 19th-century marriage norms. Premiered at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, the play caused great controversy at the time, in relation to the protagonist, Nora, who defies societal convention, and leaves her husband and children, in search of self discovery. Considered one of the great feminist plays of all time, this studio seeks contemporary understandings of societal conventions through an interpretation of A Dolls House in relation to gender and spatial politics in Sydney today.
Reflected in the studio site of Kellyville, and made explicit in the title, A Dolls House is set entirely within domestic environments. Drawing inspiration from Sydneys suburban periphery, you will undertake a critical appraisal of Kellyville Homeworld; a display home village located in one of Sydneys newest and fasted growing suburbs. In revisiting A Dolls House within the context of suburbia, this studio will draw on Australian Architect Robin Boyds The Australian Ugliness. Written in 1960, this book will inform a mode of cultural analysis that celebrates and critiques Australian featurism, aesthetics and the suburban kitsch.

Extending from the suburban realm, you are asked to identify and explore a range of sites where gender politics play out in contemporary society from which you will develop a theatre set design that reflects a critical understanding of societal expectations, feminism and suburbia. Framed by a questioning of how can we make gender politics visible through set design practice, you are asked to position a scenographic outcome that is founded upon an understanding of gender and the city in relation to marriage norms and the Australian Dream.


Image : Howard Arkley