Badiou's spectator-subject and fireworks politics

2019-04-16T11:07:03Z (GMT) by Frederic Dalmasso
This article focuses on the political nature of reworks as a paradigm for the relation between theatre and politics. It does not address the relationship between reworks and the State in terms of a demonstration of power, but instead follows the rework trope that is present in French symbolist poet Stéphane Mallarmé and French philosopher Alain Badiou’s writings on theatre as an allegory for a movement against or away from State, class, party or any categorization. Following the ephemeral May 1871 or May 1968 events, both thinkers deplore the absence of emancipatory movements turn to theatre to think the collective. Theatre provides them with an allegory similar to that of the reworks to suggest that the political potential of the crowd resides in its ability to disperse and resist being labelled. Building upon these two allegories, this article analyses how within Theatre’s restricted action (with Theatre capital T standing for performing arts in general), spectators become points of reference to map out a present of politics and how Badiou’s notion of ‘body’ and ‘trace’ developed in Logics of Worlds can be used to reactivate the political nature of Badiou’s theory of theatre. (2009b: 79)