Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Happy 2015

And so, onwards. Let's have a prophecy for the theatre in 2015!

What in fact is the essence of the spectacle for Guy Debord? It is exteriority. 

Sorry. Looks like I have cut and pasted a bit more of that book I got from Verso for a quid. Still, it is more interesting than the spurious repetition of other critic's predictions for 2015. Well, Monsieur Ranciere, take it away.

The spectacle is the reign of vision, and vision is exteriority – that is, self-dispossession. The malady of spectating man can be summed up in a brief formula: ‘the more he contemplates, the less he lives’.

And that is my life! Nice work, Guy D.

 The formula seems to be anti-Platonic. In fact, the theoretical foundations of the critique of the spectacle are borrowed, via Marx, from Feuerbach’s critique of religion. The basis of both critiques consists in the Romantic vision of truth as non-separation. 

But that idea is itself dependent on Plato’s conception of mimesis. The ‘contemplation’ denounced by Debord is contemplation of the appearance separated from its truth; it is the spectacle of the suffering produced by that separation: ‘Separation is the alpha and omega of the spectacle.’

Separation is a bit like alienation? That thing the Marxists posit as the basis of capitalism: alienation from the value of our work.

 What human beings contemplate in the spectacle is the activity they have been robbed of; it is their own essence become alien, turned against them, organizing a collective world whose reality is that dispossession.

In 2015, I shall continue to experience alienation because theatre. 

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