This article focuses on British plays featuring photography and photographers from 1854 to the end of the nineteenth century. What happens when a medium conceived out of the desire to freeze time in the form of a tangible object is not only performed on stage, but also rendered fundamentally performative? Rather than associating photography with a non-theatrical objectivity, Victorian plays make the case that theater is a superior technology of seeing and knowing. Moreover, by representing photography as a performative process rather than a material image, these plays ask us to rethink the relationship between ephemeral experience and the visual archive. In doing so, they explore and renegotiate the representational limits and possibilities of both photography and theater.


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pp. 35-64
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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