INCANDESCENT – Saturday 22.07.17

incandescent image adj

A collaborative open-air live event organised by Bernice Donszelmann, Lucy Gunning and Helen Robertson.

An ambulatory reading of A Room of One’s Own will be orchestrated within the quadrangle of the Grand Square at Royal Naval College site, University of Greenwich.

Please come along to read with us as we walk in multiple groups of three around the quadrangle. It is strange how a scrap of poetry works on the mind and makes the legs move in time to it along the road: for Woolf “a view of the open sky” has the potential to liberate experience and thought – for us the act of reading her text outside opens onto a similar sense of possibility….

In A Room of One’s Own Woolf both looks back in time and (optimistically) imagines a time 100 years in the future. There she imagines that woman’s writing will become untethered from the empirical and psychological impediments of her world to date and that she will have scope to realise the ‘incandescence’ of a Shakespeare: brilliant, androgynous and unobstructed. Woolf’s is a feminist text but the questions it raises around artistic horizons and obstructions resonate well beyond the specific object of her reflections.

In 2017 we are moving toward the projected date of Woolf’s dreamed of future. The 1928 text begins with the image of the female writer intercepted and excluded from walking on the Oxford grass reserved for the (male) Scholars and Fellows by a uniformed and indignant Oxfordian beadle.  In 2017, thinking about that Oxfordian quad and that beadle, we began to walk around together, to read Woolf’s text to each other and to think about the conditions of an artist now.

Through a rhythmic and participatory reading the text will become live, inflected by and inflecting the site and its contemporary use as well as the wider contemporary politics of power, gender, class and race – which in this moment of political instability are coming ever more into focus…. what have we given rise to and where are we heading a hundred years hence?

The entire text will be read aloud across the space of the day. Please join us as readers or bystanders for all or some of the text. See schedule for estimated timings below.

Saturday 22nd July

Chapter 1  – 10.00am

Chapter 2   – 11.00am

Chapter 3  –  12.noon


Chapter 4  –   2.00pm

Chapter 5   –  3.00pm


Chapter 6  –   4.30pm

Grand Square, Royal Naval College, Greenwich University, SE10 9JF

Incandescent is taking place in conjunction with the Plan Un-plan exhibition at the Stephen Lawrence Gallery, Greenwich from 14.07.17 – 09.09.17

In case any last minute changes to the schedule are required, please check this webpage on the day

     Grand Square Map