Friday, May 20, 2011
Things Artaud tries to Teach
Antonin Artaud by MELMOTH
Imagination, to Artaud, was reality; he considered dreams, thoughts and delusions as no less real than the "outside" world. To him, reality appeared to be a consensus, the same consensus the audience accepts when they enter a theatre to see a play and, for a time, pretend that what they are seeing is real.
Artaud saw suffering as essential to existence and thus rejected all utopias as inevitable dystopia. He denounced the degradation of civilization, yearned for cosmic purification, and called for an ecstatic loss of the self. Hence Jane Goodall considers Artaud to be a modern Gnostic while Ulli Seegers stresses the Hermetic elements in his works.
"Artaud sought to remove aesthetic distance, bringing the audience into direct contact with the dangers of life. By turning theatre into a place where the spectator is exposed rather than protected, Artaud was committing an act of cruelty upon them." – Lee Jamieson, Antonin Artaud: From Theory to Practice, Greenwich Exchange, 2007, p.23
Artaud was the surgeon of the real.