Harry Wilson

Theatre Studies, Gilmorehill Centre


Research title

Practising with Barthes: encounters between performance and photography.

Research summary

My current PhD project uses a practice-as-research methodology to explore the relationships between performance and photography. Specifically, I am using Roland Barthes’s reflections on photography in Camera Lucida (1980) to explore ideas of temporality, corporeality and affect in contemporary performance dramaturgies. The project seeks to read and compose performance through and in response to Camera Lucida. In undertaking this research I hope to further explore the usefulness of Barthes’s work in theorising and practising performance, as well as exploring what performance practice might offer to Barthes scholarship.


  • Alasdair Cameron Fund, 2010, £500, Funding towards the development of
  • Helium a devised theatre piece for Arches Live 2010.
  • Arts Trust Scotland, 2010, £1,000, Funding towards the development of Helium.
  • McGlashan Charitable Trust, 2010, £750, Funding towards MPhil costs.
  • Creative Scotland, 2014, £3,837, Professional Development Funding to attend a performance summer school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
  • AHRC, 2014-17, £17,859 per year, DTP Studentship, Full-time maintenance and fees scholarship for PhD study.


Conference Papers/Talks:

“The voice as it sings, the hand as it writes, the limb as it performs: Re-turning to Roland Barthes and the live body” IFTR, Stockholm, June 2016.

“Staging the punctum: reflections on performance and photography” Performance lecture, Performance Philosophy Conference, SAIC Chicago, April 2015.

“Performance as Tame or Mad?” Talk at the Into the New Festival Symposium, Arches theatre, January 2015.

“The Death Jump Series: Three Performances about Falling” Artist Talk, University of Glasgow, November 2014.

“How is devised theatre ‘written’? The problems of authorship, intellectual property and the director as author”, TFTS Postgraduate Symposium, University of Glasgow, March 2011.

Selected Previous Performances:

KAIROS Performance, Buzzcut Festival, The Pearce Institute; Outskirts Festival, Platform, Glasgow; Live Art Bistro, Leeds, 2016

AN INCONSOLABLE MEMORY Performance, Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, Chicago, 2015.

BUZZCUT COMMONPLACE BOOK Live Documentation project, Buzzcut Festival, The Pearce Institute, Glasgow, 2015.

THE PUNCTUM Lecture Performance. Southside Studios, Glasgow; The University of Glasgow; Generator Projects, Dundee; DCA, Dundee, 2013-14

THE BLUE OF DISTANCE Durational Performance, Forest Fringe, Edinburgh, 2013

DEATH JUMP Devised Performance, Buzzcut Festival, The Glue Factory, Glasgow; Hunt and Darton Café, Edinburgh, 2013

CINEMATIC CITY Site-Responsive Performances. IETM Glasgow, 2010

HELIUM Devised Performance, ArchesLIVE Festival, The Arches, Glasgow, 2010



  • Theatre Studies, Level 1: Reading the Stage
  • Theatre Studies, Level 1: Theatre and Society