Etymologically, the term ‘scenography’ means scene-painting. In this respect it actively contributes to any theatre project. The objective of scenography is not to produce beautiful images but to offer a principle of active space in which the action of the mise-en-scène can be inscribed. ‘Creating the space of dramatic expression’: such is the challenge which scenography must rise to. It is no longer a matter of producing a bidimensional set but of working on the real and concrete space of the stage, using it for what it is: a tool and a site of experimentations. While considering the theatre – and its corollary, dramaturgy – as the central articulation of the curriculum, the students are asked to carry out the design of spaces of representations for a range of situations: the performing arts (theatre, dance, music, fashion), museography, urban scenography, installation, cinema, photography, etc. Scenography is transdisciplinary and involves a variety of collaborations with which it will be necessary to know how to compromise and communicate, while ensuring that the artistic integrity of the project is not jeopardized. The scenographer uses the scene as a tool to express a singular vision. It is in this frame of mind that the studio’s pedagogical team passes onto the fledgling scenographers the tools, a method and a critical mind which will enable them to develop the conviction and commitment required by their future artistic pathways.
Besides scenography in the strict sense of the term; costume, lighting and video are also domains pertaining to scenography. It is important that the scenographer be the thinker of the all the visual elements of a representation. While the creation of these specialities may become a task distinct from the concept of scenography, they can only be thought through in close relationship with it. The specificity of each domain requires an ensemble of knowledge which is addressed throughout the course and which completes the skills the students already possess. Through a pedagogy which alternates long projects and short exercises/workshops, the students go over these different domains during the first three years of their training, accompanied by professors and professional external contributors. During the first year of the bachelor’s, the training privileges the learning and the understanding of the different codes of representation by leaning essentially on literary materials, enabling the development of an in-depth dramaturgical reflection. Over the course of this period the student explores and tests out the various tools of visual expression and the techniques specific to the professions of the stage. Specific training in film set design is provided in partnership with INSAS. The master’s offers the student numerous choices in the construction of an individual programme. The second year of the master’s, devoted to the diploma, gives the student the possibility of developing a personal and singular project in freely interrogating the question of space and narration in its broadest sense. The different application fields of scenography are broached from the bachelor’s to the master’s. Each new project implements a specific work methodology and is accompanied by specific technical training related to it. The different tools studied are: lighting, couture, developing models, drawing, plan outlining, materials, the learning of software such as Vector Works (flat and 3D) and Sketchup. Sound and image as narrative actors of the representation are broached practically in specific projects. In partnership with different theatre schools and institutions, the students are led to take part in external productions and thus to put to the test their abilities to bring a project to fruition and work in a team.
Pedagogical coordination :
Simon siegmann, set designer