The Immediate Experience: Analyzing Contemporary Exhibition Spaces through Modern Theatre Theory

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


This thesis analyses how contemporary exhibition spaces have evolved to meet external pressures of technological and sociocultural changes by exploring the rich potential found in the parallels between theatrical performance and the act of display, with the purpose of understanding the ways in which exhibitions spaces are being designed to interact with the spectator in our present time. By examining four different case studies from contemporary exhibitions, this research demonstrates the performative nature of objects within them, proving that both the object and the environment in which it is situated are not neutral. By drawing clear parallels between the elements at play in exhibitions with concepts in theatrical performance, a more flexible classification of exhibition spaces is proposed, providing a different perspective to probe the meanings these spaces create and the importance of their role in society.



Performing Arts, Theatre, Exhibition Spaces, Museum, Fine Arts, Interdisciplinary Research