Sunday readings: Jacques Rancière

Reformers of theatre have reformulated Plato’s opposition between choros and theatre as one between the truth of the theatre and the simulacrum of the spectacle. … Since German Romanticism, thinking about theatre has been associated with this idea of the living community. … the community as a way of occupying a place and a time, as the body in action as opposed to a mere apparatus of laws; a set of perceptions, gestures and attitudes that precede and pre-form laws and political institutions. … Hence reform of theatre meant the restoration of its character as assembly or ceremony of the community. Theatre is an assembly in which ordinary people become aware of their situation and discuss their interests, says Brecht following Piscator. It is, claims Artaud, the purifying ritual in which a community is put in possession of its own energies. If theatre thus embodies the living community, as opposed to the illusion of mimesis, it is not surprising that the desire to restore theatre to its essence can draw on the critique of the spectacle.
—Jacques Rancière, The Emancipated Spectator

The Storming of the Winter Palace, Uritsky Square, Petrograd, November 7, 1920, directed by Nikolai Evreinov, set designs by Yuri Annenkov

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