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25 Years

The right hand knows what the left hand just did: The Handspring Puppet Company's Paper Archive

Fri, 03/01/2019 - 12:00pm
Event Location: 
537 Heller Hall

Emma Minkley, University of the Western Cape 

This talk draws from a broader doctoral research project which explores, in both practical and theoretical terms, the often ambiguous relation between puppetry and the hand. The talk will focus specifically on this relation as it exists in the paper archive of the South African Handspring Puppet Company, which amasses an extensive collection of working drawings, plans, templates and photographs from the preparatory stages of over twenty puppet plays produced and performed by Handspring since 1981. Here I want to further develop the notion of the “blurred” or “broken” drawing, taking seriously the marks and alterations made by the hand, including folds, tears and residues, as they are evident in this collection of archival paper material.


Emma Minkley is a South African artist and scholar, and currently holds a Doctoral Fellowship at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape, Cape Town. Her current project, a theoretical and practical inquiry encompassing archive, art and text, explores the puppetry practice of the Handspring Puppet Company. Minkley’s broader research interests include art, play, gesture and subject/object relations.