Quote – John Berger on place and performance

It has always struck me as odd when people talk about the value of their home and then quote the price of their property without realising this tacitly tells me something about their own values.

Berger gets to the heart of the difference between place, a located set of values, and space, a location without values. We fill space with values and make it place, but the actual space does not matter. We acquire space and perform place. A theatre is an empty space until it is filled with people acting together, including the audience. Then the empty space becomes a place full of people just being together. But an audience is never passive.

Whilst this does not apply to just to the underprivileged, the street, like the web, is an easily accessible and very public space to enact theatre. Theatre and performance help us rehearse making place out of space. This process of theatre as making place has always taken place on the street, like BLM, but now includes the web, social media, TV, Netflix, Facebook, TikTok, Animal Crossing etc and as such new places will be made.

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