The Panopticon

(after Joan Jonas)


The Panopticon (After Joan Jonas)

This performance piece provides a reflection on the work of famed performance artist Joan Jonas, as seen through the lens of Jeremy Bentham’s Panopticon. The Panopticon was a prison design conceived in the 18th century. It involves one central guard tower with a direct line of sigh into all rooms and cells of the prison as a means of eliminating the privacy of the inmates. Borrowing from this design, The Panopticon (after Joan Jonas) provides a representation of Joan Jonas’s work by taking elements of her work and isolating them into different “cells.” The lamp at the center of the stage represents the penetrating gaze of the central guard tower from Bentham’s prison design. The lamp was designed and built by Blake with the help of Anna Gregor. The piece involves dance choreography, dramatic readings, live charcoal drawings, and music played on spontaneously created percussion instruments. (Run time is approximately 8 minutes.)