Deep Space or the Re-invention of Scenography: Jozef Wouters on Infini 1-15

  • Karel VanhaesebrouckEmail author
  • Jozef Wouters
Part of the Avant-Gardes in Performance book series (AGP)


Between 1738 and 1757, Giovanni Niccolo Servandoni, a French architect, painter and set designer with Italian roots, obtained the concession for the Salle des Machines in Paris. Servandoni used the infrastructure to conduct elaborate research on the theatricality of scenography, considering space itself as an autonomous theatrical sign. The work and ideas of Servandoni were a direct source of inspiration for Infini (2015), a theatre project conducted and supervised by Jozef Wouters. The title of the project directly refers to the tradition of the painted backcloths. In collaboration with a number of other artists, Wouters investigated how old techniques can inspire but also question theatre today. In this interview, introduced and contextualized by Karel Vanhaesebrouck, Wouters addresses the potential of historical techniques for present-day performing arts.


  1. Brockett, Oscar, et al. 2010. Making the Scene: A History of Stage Design and Technology in Europe and the United States. San Antonio: University of Texas Press.Google Scholar
  2. Coussens, Evelyne. 2016. Schijngevecht met de schouwburg. Etcetera 146: 37–41.Google Scholar
  3. Crary, Jonathan. 1992. Techniques of the Observer. On Vision and Modernity in the 19th Century. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  4. Peeters, Jeroen, and Jozef Wouters, eds. 2017. Infini 1-15. Amsterdam: De Nieuwe Toneelbibliotheek.Google Scholar
  5. Surgers, Anne. 2009. Scénographie du théâtre occidental. Paris: Armand Colin.Google Scholar
  6. Verschaffel, Bart. 1990. Rome/Over Theatraliteit. Mechelen: Vlees & Beton.Google Scholar
  7. Wouters, Jozef. 2014. “Ruimte heeft de neiging zich meer in het hoofd af te spelen dan in de realiteit. Jozef Wouters over scenografie.” Etcetera. Tijdschrift voor podiumkunsten 138: 34–37.Google Scholar
  8. Wouters, Jozef, and Pol Matthé. 2014. All Problems Can Never Be Solved. Dijon: Les presses du reel.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Free University of Brussels (ULB)BrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Damaged Goods, the Brussels-based company of choreographer Meg StuartBrusselsBelgium

Personalised recommendations