File(s) not publicly available

Poses plastiques: The art and style of 'statuary' in Victorian visual theatre

journal contribution
posted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Nicole AnaeNicole Anae
Sometimes dismissed as practitioners of a humble variant of pornography, specialists of a Victorian performance style known as "poses plastiques" mastered the art of manipulating the body into highly stylised and apparently motionless "attitudes" to resemble so-called "living statues". Most favoured adopting Classical stances in the garb of Greek and Roman deities, and a number of its female technicians titillated audiences with costumes giving the appearance of almost complete nudity. Poses plastiques were, for a time, a remarkably popular 'sensation' in Australia, as elsewhere, and this article argues two main points: firstly, that the appeal of poses plastiques during the Victorian era characterised a broader social 'blurring' of the boundaries between titillating visual theatre and pornographic displays and secondly, that this genre of visual theatre later developed to eroticise and personify a burgeoning sense of early twentieth-century Australian nationalism.

History

Volume

52

Start Page

112

End Page

130

Number of Pages

19

ISSN

0810-4123

Location

Melbourne

Publisher

Australasian Drama Studies

Language

en-aus

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

Era Eligible

No

Journal

Australasian Drama Studies