contrary, how can it reorder the world for the sake of what Genet called ‘a breathtaking liberation’? (2003: 104).
That Genet was interested in developing an alternative notion of aestheticpolitics is evident by taking into account the historical events upon which his late theatre is based, and which everywhere pervade it. Without contradicting his investment in autonomy, Genet was able to claim that the catalyst for The Balcony was the Spanish Civil War (White, 1993 : 446–7); that The Blacks was an attempt ‘to give voice to something
This book is dedicated to a conceptual exploration of the thinking of Regie: of how to think about theatre direction, and how Regietheater thinks itself. The focus is on what directing does, and what directing can do, tapping into and realising the potential of what theatre does and may do. Part I of the book outlines the social, ideological, political, cultural and aesthetic contexts of Regie, and some of its core intellectual and conceptual roots, by circumventing some standard reference points. Philosophical ideas and concepts of situating Regie within the Rancièrian 'aesthetic regime of art' and its specific 'partition of the sensible' are explained. The book specifically links Regie to Georg Hegel's influential thought, maintaining that Regie expresses a cultural dynamic of making sense and making sensible. The book presents the respective positions of Friedrich Schiller and Leopold Jessner, symptomatically capturing central trajectories of thinking the conceptual space of Regie, both mobilising the speculative dynamics of theatral thinking. Part II of the book explores the contested notion of 'the truth of the text', and the dialectic sublation of the play-text in play-performance. It looks at the mediation which the double-edged act of thea affords, with its emphasis on both performing and spectating, marked by the Žižekian notion of the 'parallax perspective'. The overarching political potential inherent in Regie and the very formal structure of theatre offer a playfully excessive resistance to the dominant logic of economy, efficiency, sustainability and austerity which defines present-day global neoliberal semiocapitalism.
Jean Genet has long been regarded as one of the most influential artists of the
twentieth century. Since the publication of Jean-Paul Sartre's existential
biography Saint Genet: Actor and Martyr in 1952, his writing has attracted the
attention of leading French thinkers and philosophers. In the UK and US, his
work has played a major role in the development of queer and feminist studies,
where his representation of sexuality and gender continues to provoke
controversy. This book aims to argue for Genet's influence once again, but
it does so by focusing uniquely on the politics of his late theatre. The first
part of the book explores the relationship between politics and aesthetics in
Genet's theatre and political writing in the period 1955 to 1986. The
second part focuses on the spatial politics of The Balcony, The Blacks and The
Screens by historicising them within the processes of modernisation and
decolonisation in France of the 1950s and 1960s. The third part of the book
analyses how Genet's radical spatiality works in practice by interviewing
key contemporary practitioners, Lluís Pasqual, JoAnne Akalaitis, and Ultz and
Excalibah. The rationale behind these interviews is to find a way of merging
past and present. The rationale so explores why Genet's late theatre,
although firmly rooted within its own political and historical landscape,
retains its relevance for practitioners working within different geographical
and historical contexts today.
terms of their activist politics, Portillo’s films and videos are
part of the Latin American film movement dedicated to an insurgent,
aesthetic/political project that Fernando Birri once called the
‘poetics of transformation of reality’.
During the final years of the military dictatorship in
Argentina, Portillo and Susana Muñoz started working on Las
Madres: The Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo and, later
, especially under the guidance and tutelage of Uncle Hilaal.
Indeed, memory and history have been among the principal
concerns of African writers since the advent of independences across the
continent after colonialism. Yet the relations between memory and
history are complex, and especially their import for aesthetic,
political and ethical issues. The subtle complexities of these issues
can be tackled in a
political stasis, even if it does compel us to acknowledge, always, the melancholic presence of an infinite wound.
Genet’s simultaneous investment in both ecstasy and loss is precisely why his theatre remains so intensely relevant; his commitment to an always impossible sense of becoming compels us to gamble on non-being and to act upon the artwork’s promesse du bonheur . In the language of Rancière, he encourages us to supplement aestheticpolitics with political aesthetics and so force a new world into being through a poeticisation of sensible experience. In this
confines of this study to trace
in sufficient detail the ways in which the grotesque takes on different
aesthetic, political and social resonances within different cultural
contexts. Evident in the famous example of the totem pole, the oftenpuzzling grotesqueness of which to European eyes belies its narrative
capacity for indigenous people in North America, the grotesque (like
cuisine) soon alerts us to the temporal and geographical localism of
many of our aesthetic norms.
Looking away from the grotesque for a
identical and the pure: – ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer. Logocentrism is the
elementary foundation of fascism and other authoritarian totalitarian
discourses. Neoliberal market fundamentalism is the current idiom of logocentrism.
Day into night: from Ulysses to the Wake
Against a backdrop of chaos and anomie Joyce’s aestheticpolitical project was
to restore order and coherence by constructing a new, ‘reasonable’ myth, the
Modern Ulysses. But no sooner had Ulysses appeared, in 1922, the year
Mussolini came to power, than Joyce
the IPTA turned on progressive
performances, realist drama, and social critique aimed toward a
“cultural awakening” among the people of the subcontinent.
At the same time, rather than being subsumed by a limited
aesthetic-politics of agitation and propaganda, here were to be found
innovations that drew upon the resources of realism in order to reveal
rather other glimmers of modernist theater. Thus
, Kechiche’s aesthetic-political project of cultural reclamation and
renewal points to a larger emerging project within French cinema
to reinvest and reinvent its own historical spaces and topographies,
in particular the academically guarded, high-modernist precincts
of the auteur. Irma Vep (1996) by Olivier Assayas, for example, has
replayed the formal dynamism of the New Wave by tracking the erratic
flows and rhythms of everyday Paris. Starring the Hong Kong actress
Maggie Cheung, it opens up brilliantly the silent film legacy of Louis
Feuillade, experimental avant