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Transcript of Participants, June 2001
This workshop was the first one in the ongoing series of the M/SOS project. The focus is on notions of scripting a dialog-based process through the agency of the play Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss. This process is structured as a performative scenario within a precise framework. The material discussed over the course of the workshop day is - as a specific point within the process - transcribed directly to the computer.
This transcript serves as a reflection of a process undertaken in two days of the first M/SOS workshop. The workshop was initiated as a shape-shifting process that desires to be a form-finding one. The participants are set in a dialog as “actors / producers”, who work on generating a speculative source code by speaking through another script: Marat/Sade
From this workshop as a dialog-driven search pattern, M/SOS considers how to draw principles for an institutional “operating system” as a process, both as a form of scripting and at the same time the script’s environment.
Each day cultivates a lengthy, dense roundtable discussion that would end after a set time period, and start the next stage, a process of transcription. This stage recollects and speaks further on the basic points of the discussions. The recollecting as discussion was being transcribed whenever possible directly. The resulting transcription is a condensation of the day’s discussion which allows to discern the development of the workshop characters.
Since I was initiating the workshop within the institutional framework, my role in this generating process-performance scenario was more “director / producer”, but operating on the shared border to the area of the “actors/producers”.. I am present in the work of moderating, my position is to draw out the comments, set them in consideration and bring these out within a speculative construction that is being developed as it goes. Thus as my role also included the transcription of our spoken discourse, it leaves me almost absented from dialog within the transcript.
I am interested in the antinomies of the play that dissolve into each other. I see an Apollonian as well as a Dionysian structure at work, the society as opposed to the artist. The play is a system working by itself. The structure of the play goes back to forms of the Baroque theater already starting in the 15th century, when stories where told through puppets, comicstrip-like. There is a mirroring structure within the mirroring already at work. The play is dealing with a historical moment and adding a fictional element that enhances the play, which thus becomes a matrix for a number of ideologies or even ideologems, ideological terms of the avantgarde.
An important factor is the moment in time, in a time of anti-psychiatric movements, of revolutionary movements and so on.
The body, the pain, the personal trauma, the obsession with the body, the Foucauldian aspect - there is an underlying identification process more with the author Peter Weiss, not so much with the characters that seem to be quite exaggerated anyway, like cartoon characters… The role of the author in a way equals the role of Sade. One could say that there are multiple identities of Peter Weiss. “What we do is just a shadow of what we want to do.” There is an interesting connection with the East, the theatrical background. The play was staged in 1965 in Novi Sad, after that in Belgrade.
The American reception was different from the German reception. It was more connected with a fast food subculture revolution.. There was a kind of perverse reading in America. The architectural notion, the physical layout of the play. The mapping which allows to get lost to find something. The bathhouse - an architectural epistemology. Marat is the revolutionary impulse, Charlotte Corday the instrumental figure. She is a somnambulist, thus she can be said to be an instrument of nature. There is an obsession with surveillance, the fact that there are two Germanys echoes through the play. What would equal The Wall? It also demarcates the beginning of a reaction to a Freudian model. Foucault was obsessed with Sade.
The description of the torture of Damien is taken directly from Foucault, from Discipline and Punishment [Damien was attempting the assassination of Louis XV].
The crisis of Freudian models in theater. How can a play of that nature be so well received in the US? It became part of the New Left, part of it had to do with a fascination for agitprop theater. The difference between America and Germany lies in the fact that Americans saw the play as a kind of psychotropic structure. It was the golden age of early structuralism. The play became an object, a desiring machine, when desire passes into a theatrical form. It is also about the corruption of dialectics
Every staging is a kind of masochistic staging. There is a dim distinction between sadist and masochist. The physical pain of Marat is the identification point for Sade. The concept of a ”desiring machine” offers a connection with individualism. There are no borders between bodies. Desiring machines are composites. Sade propagates a different kind of libidinal structure of the society. He is staging orgies but stopping people always when they identify too much with their roles. Each individual body involved has to be extremely disciplined.
There are different notions of revolutions. Weiss’ notion is almost a quasi-scientific description. Hegel’s terminology of master and slave, and his dialectics of consciousness come into play here – Marx drew everything from it. It never happens that power relations change. Subordination remains subordination.
(reference..) There is a film about women who were imprisoned twenty years earlier as terrorists, what has happened during all this time? What happens twenty years later after they were imprisoned? The roles performed are in fact directed by the system itself.
Weiss is an author who recognizes what the historical moment requires – the medium is the institution, the critique is part of the medium. The avantgarde was making use of people who act outside of the limits of “normalcy”.. The self-reflective structure of the play is defining these very borders - a therapy in a sense of repression. The frame play underlies the same dialectical structure as the center play.
The dramatic lie of the play is that the inherent truth fails the truth of the play. In the ending of the play we find shifting signifiers..
Corday is stepping out of her circle, she transgresses the borders of fictions, oscillates between fiction and reality, dream and awakening. By whipping Sade she takes action, leaves her passive fictitious stature and becomes an active agent.
The diegesis is the world surrounding the frame, that which is not seen but defines the space, as opposed to the plot. The diegesis is the space, the plot the narrative. As opposed to theater which is one shot / one frame / one point of view. Marat/Sade displays refined strategies of diegesis. The theater is always a simultaneous world. There are three fields. Reality, fiction and the public. The family of Coulmier is a metaphor of the nation, it functions like the nation.
Corday is the classical model of the hysteric, a psychological model, she equals sub-consciousness. There is a relationship Antigone / Corday, a symbolical crossover. Corday functions like a weird combination of Antigone, as a model and the modern. Both models deal with the notion of the sublime and the sublimity of the victim. They can be said to be projective systems. There is a z- and a y-axis, two conflicting desires. Corday represents the phallic woman, the instrument of castration, the object of fear. Her desires are mixed: her desire is to kill, but also has a sexual connotation.
What is the function of a play of which the ending is already denoted in the title? There is a sense of redemption and a sense of truth, which is displayed by redemption. The circular structure of the play is also mirrored in the stage set of Brooks version of Marat/Sade.
There are two different endings of the story. The two endings are literally taken from painting. As such, there are two types of performative dimensions of a painting / artwork, setting / action: what is then the final conclusion? After the image, the death of Marat comes the epilogue. It ends with the image.
The long title deliberately points to a scientific reading, to a description of exact observations while the play will not deliver that.
(Weiss / Marat / author) doesn't want to see Marat dead before showing what happens afterward (the reign of Napoleon). The murder -explanation or description of Marat's death in the text is in fact, the description of David's painting.
The number 33 plays a role in the construction; in the epilogue itself, the
idea of the constructed-ness of revolutions, of the play itself, of the Characters, and historical time in general is laid out.
The question is, how to use elements - culture, history, language, traditions which are all constructed.
One end of construction would be institutional forms (theater, book)
Another end shows language as the institution.
There is no hierarchy of perspectives to be seen in the play.
The film version (of Marat/Sade) works differently perhaps because of added perspectives from montage and camera - as a film it further shows the unfolding on different levels which pertain to cinema, not to theatre.
The film is drawing together, paralleling and equalizing a whole set of focus points.
It is important to remember the social background, in order to trace points in theory, using cognitive mapping, to trace what was the contextual strata that created such a play at the time it was written
What could be the performative role of artistic task is inherent to the work itself.
Drama always comes from an unstable balance. To be truthful to the piece is to introduce antinomies, perspectives or positions which cannot be integrated into each other.
One point, structurally crucial, is that it is a play within a play. There is a mixing of two very different approaches to drama taking place - Aristotelian and Brechtian theatre; it re-creates Artaud’s ideal to reduce theater into ritual again, in order to let it dissolve into life. Each level intertwines and works out of strength not to dissolve. The principles at work here are based on truth – they are defined not as moral, but in unfinished dialogs of revolution.
The overlapping power structures are not firm nor stable. Circles are not delimited so that people's places are clearly fixed. Viewpoints are complex, not simply passive and active.
There are points in the play where you see structures overlap, such as
when Corday steps out of her circle of fiction and whips Sade.
In Peter Brook’s film version, she whips him with her hair – converts the female having power over the male through punishing him by not punishing him. It would be interesting to see the points of where “Stepping out” occurs in the overall play – in terms of actions, roles, characters.
”Stepping out”: there are two systems of reference.
Once, there is a staging within staging, two systems have to be broken into each other for them to work.
Basic “step out” is the dramatic lie: we as public know it doesn’t work from beginning on, but we know it is valid.
This allows for the “stepping out” of Corday who still continues to be in it.
The lessons of the play are educational ones. It depicts a dramatic tableau of the French Revolution moving into resolution, at a point in time where one is able to stage a piece about the recent past, which was not "nice".
The tableau includes a choir, and three singers reciting lyrics as "the truth". As traditionally, clowns are meant and allowed to tell the "truth" without being harmed - but here? The songs present the lyrics versus the Chorus. The Chorus itself represents society - pointing to the idiomatic features of the characters and their fate.
Song functions as the rational leading of the play. The Chorus changes from truth to truth, and acts as a multiple personality / characters One position here is given many positions.
I can’t really contribute here.
I like the idea of people from Europe doing this as a potential in a “misreading” of a specific work. But then, I like being thrown in a strange place – it is probably healthier.
Here, the synthesis is important - a pinball version of Hegelian non-recovery. Theory is good to get lost or to find something.
In the play's bouncing characters relationships, a lot of dynamics are offered. I agree it seems somehow closer to a form of Greek theater, with a Chorus, and philosophical relationships between characters.
There appears something fundamental in the gaps between these characters who are absences as well as presences. They are inmates, as characters, and actors who don’t know where they are going.
It can be said to represent an allegory for the 60s.
Why does Baudrillard translate this play recently?
The play has a strange emblematic meaning.
I’m interested in its modernity, it belongs to its moment, spanning a bridge between 1793 / 1808 / 1964. -
FA - sum 1
What interested me about introducing this work as a play in this moment of time for starting the workshop process - and with the selection of participants - is that it offers a complex modernity that can be reflected now in 2001, which is important to see in the play as sited within its own “present” and now, both of transforming societies with an ambivalent sense of place in historical time as past or future – in terms of nations, geopolitical definitions etc.
I agree with the comments that Weiss is not writing Marat/Sade as a strictly literary work, but working with the medium defined in institutional terms. He develops Marat/Sade as a navigational entity in some way, not moving towards the “good” play, but in this case, the theater as institution.
His earlier avantgarde films will seem more dated than this script for the theater work. Chronologically and conceptually, the work resides between earlier avantgarde film, and later productions.
The workshop introduces that the work incorporates issues linked to the role of art in society, and the institutions which develop out of that, and the sense of identity these can create together as culture... We are using this sense of a set of principles operating or at work - "scripts running", a "navigator" comprised of relations. I also raised in our discussion the point of what is 'off ' of the dialog script. For example, also the relation in terms of today's entertainment industrialisation, of the chorus as public versus the lyric, and their role in the play. I think this is an important figuration - why does de Sade require song/chorus, accented further in the Broadway/film versions, when he can be made to simply put on a drama. Weiss finds it necessary, but not only as historical correctness.
So in a way, this device, the entertainment of lyric/chorus survives today, detached from the main play or relations going on into a complex play, derived from source codes as well - older historical works, real historical material, dialogical… And that is related to my bringing together this first mix from Belgrade, from Germany, Austria, from the US, in terms of approaches to this navigator. Thus the case here is to develop the perspectives of the different participants and to link it to particular conditions in their frameworks. The navigator requires a sense of source code beginning, and I planned that it is derived by starting doing workshop discussions and drawing out relevant scripts.
The point of the gaps between the characters who are absences as well as presences can significantly apply to the geopolitical historical backgrounds of workshop participants here (in other ways, i.e. gender as well). I see the workshop role as also able to reflect in its method, some of these developmental angles, as process itself.
There is a sense of utopianism built into the play, in the end a critique.
A memory of the 60s as dialectical illusion appears – and compared to 2001, another movie made at the same time period as the film Marat/Sade, it is a hopeful document.
There are two dark objects [the monolith of 2001, and the moment of history at the center of Marat/Sade,] and some need to find moral regeneration in it.
Inmates to directors=? Today the directors could equal media giants, in a more diffuse world that is yet highly centralized.
The current generation does not have that sense of impassioned utopian belief, can’t compare… .
Does that have a nostalgia? Where is history versus nostalgia..again, considering the varied participants backgrounds.
Could it be called one of the last Freudian plays? As it is a structural dichotomy, it gives a strange sense of inside / outside, there is a superego, a latent memory…
Day 2 Recollection
Diegesis is described as the cosmos surrounding the visible frame of the film, all that which you don't see in the very moment; the fact that in every narration you have a world which is told and a strategy through which this world is told. Cybernetic = Compare to theater - one situation, one frame or point of view. If you compare that to theatre, there is a difference; one situation, one frame or point of view. The narrative strategy is the comments on what is happening, or what is going to happen in the future. The diegetic world is simultaneous, narrative strategies allow temporal vistas. Here we deal with a refined strategy, with a play in a play,
There exist three fields of reality: reality, fiction, public. These can be equalled to the real, symbolic, imaginary.
The real is the traumatic missing center represented by the character placement of Charlotte Corday. The imaginary constitutes the whole space within.. The symbolic is represented by sets of rules which have to be accepted in order to communicate the play, to be read by the audience outside of the set
If it was only about lives of prisoners / inmates, then it would be just an exotic example. The person running the asylum would be satisfied as long as the inmates are calm. But because of the audience coming they have to stick to the rules.
Corday is a classical model of the hysteric. She equals the drives of the subconscious, a shell
The play would be a symbolic structure between an antique and a modern model; an antique and modern sublimity of victim, as well as persecutor. Thus, we find projective systems within the play. The x / y / z-axis are arrows of the notions of conflicts depicted, and mixed desires. If there was no other element involved, there would be no tension, since Marat is announced to be killed. The analytical structure is based on the fact that we know the outcome and try to recall the events which led to it. Marat is being shown what happens after his death
What happens to the figure of the author? To Weiss in relation to Sade? Sade is more than a tool of Weiss - he empowers the play to render visible the ability of art to change society. Art is shown as unfinished process in relation to his goals, it can never reach the closure of the dialogs at stake or the issues. There is an Apollonian versus a Dionysian model at work. The Dionysian is understood to never having a finished goal, it is event based; a gate to the unconscious. The Apollonian represents the principles to dominate the unconscious. Marat is wishing to establish an order versus Coulmier's static order. The Dionysian part is always connected to the ritual, there is an affinity to the political - large public events, etc. Chorus is understood to render the Dionysian aspect.
Outer circle 1 is Apollonian
Inner circle 1 is Dionysian
Inner circle 2 is Apollonian
The center is Dionysian
Enlightenment = art as therapy within the play as idea socializing = reintegrated into the society
Does society protect itself from the inmates, or the other way around? Sade legitimizes the director of the asylum, as the liberal one who is allowed to do these things. But also is he making possible for the inmates to be a certain kind of subjects
Charlotte functions as the de-structuring element, but also as the force at the same time. She is the only character who is able to cross the circle, from A to D, or fiction… At least this becomes the most spectacular leap, also through the notion of her being powerless
Where are the moments where characters transgress their diegetic roles, in order to reveal their true features?
In acts of pleasure and punishment.
Her drive is to take it seriously to kill that character.
The Chorus is breaking down at the third scene, allusion to social chaos, "lunatic" being as a metaphor, "satanistic priest", "the patient".
Corday is able to cross borders between fiction and meta-fiction, exactly through her notion of being a powerless empty vessel or shell. She can disguise as if being powerless. She has the power because she doesn't have anything to lose. i.e. "What can happen?".
In version 2 of the diagram
The Real is in the center
The Symbolic is structured around
The Imaginary is structured around the Symbolic and Real
The Imaginary is only filling the gaps between the symbolic. It always has to be interpreted, to have the whole meaning, through the notion of its construction as a tool to be used. The Psychodrama here becomes a socializing machine. There is a notion of audience that cannot identify with any of those characters, as there are Brechtian devices employed; epic theater in both the cases of Sade and Weiss. Social entity to fulfil certain elements of the story…
The dramatic lie equals the official intention, that everything is fine in society now and we show you through our recovering inmates how everything is to be in a recovering society. By performing this, Sade will of course show the contrary.. The threat is: if they can play these roles in this play, they can play other roles if someone is there to organize them. Does this belong to Sade's intention, or is this whole performance something like the predicted accident? Is Sade the director, and is his intention, what he thinks is the outcome of the play? Is the monolog of Marat belonging to the narrative strategy, or is it already the invasion of the imaginary? In the paradigm of the dramatic lie, where Sade is in charge of staging a play, the first level of meaning is that the play will work. Already the discourse between Marat and Sade is according to the original intention. He is doing his own play.
"Protect Inmates" ("Schutzhäftlinge") equals what was used as the Nazis for the term of concentration camps -i.e. "to help", "to protect" them. There are two poles: society does not protect itself, but the inmates from itself, as the term Schutzhäftling shows. (We have to protect the Jews from the hatred of the population). Thus it protects the inmates from societies' destructive forces. The Ego Psychology is about reintegration, but the Lacanian psychological approach was more like saying: "You are fucked up because society is fucked up." He is doing his own play.
In the 60s in Belgrade there were strata of classes, although the ideology was supposed to convince everyone that there were none. The economic program of that time was a procapitalist transitional type of program, living within the program of this climate, two different regimes existed - capitalist and communist. Marcuse / Reich, such as the film by Makavejev on Wilhelm Reich. In that context there was an internationally accepted discourse of the Left to the background of '68 events, Leftist movements, beyond systematic Marx. Local Belgrade reception was getting developed from the early 60s, the revolution traditions melting into a new type of quasi-bourgeois society, although official ideology is not recognizing it. It was a common opinion of people that perhaps revolution is failing, into the previous regime..
Perhaps this play could have been read from this standpoint of the revolution failing, as equal to the character of Corday.
Marat characters did change something but not the important issues. In the local context it could be seen as this: there was no scandal nor reaction, because art was considered nothing threatening.
There were dissidents who were working, a mass-oriented "heimat" writing, localisms, a Bilderroman, telling the story about certain individuals representing the collective. Conservative, building a parallel history to the official history. Very readable. Critique of society in a national, conservative, royalist manner.
The problem with foreign perception as to what is going on, is that no one asked which way are they being opposed.
Yugoslavia produced dissidents that could not change anything.. Milosevic was a bureaucrat who rose to power and completed the dissident discourse of this direction. In 1990 he managed with his people in the legal system to abolish the law of collaborators with Nazis to not be able to come back into the land.
These were practical moves, not temporary alliances, solid ground.
A dissident equals one who has the power to describe the antinomy. It is never about the solution but the problem.
The play's elements and tropes register because they are universal, though filtered through '68. They are established as universal notions, as unfinished dialogs Characters represent symbols, metaphors as placeholders for the relations in the dialogs
Belgrade / YU in the Sixties was pro-capitalist, a transitional type of program. One had to live with a combination of two different types of regimes. In the 60s Belgrade had one of the most famous theater festivals which was not blocked, in fact favored, supported..
The last revolution that occurred was 15th of October 2000. How does revolution come to be through different kinds of social discourses that are condensed?
After this process is finished, the threads separate again and backgrounds with alliances clash.
Yugoslavia produced dissidents who could not change anything. Dissidents were mass oriented. The critiqued society in a nationalist, royalist, conservative manner. The avantgarde was not restricted because it could not do any harm anyway, since the audience was so small. Milosevic basically was a bureaucrat who took over the dissident discourse and completed it in fact.
If the play was turned into a magazine... the analogy would be to an editorial board: Sade / Weiss, Coulmier would be the editor - always in dialectic.
These are not personalities as characters, but functions in a play as the body of society.
We were moving on and discussing issues of theater as culture in general. If Leviathan - assume the body is sick. Incompleteness Does the play or we look for completeness?
There exist two stages in the process of recognition: aesthetical - perception, index ethical - realization of the reason that there is something wrong
Who has the power to define the antinomies in a society?
The early revolution wanted to go back to socialist traditions.
The elements and tropes of the play register because they are universal, and filtered through 1968. The play is established as a universal notion of '68. The characters can be understood as the unfinished dialogues at work.
Society is being considered as a social body. One assumes that the body is sick. How to translate this sick body into a form? Leviathan.
Sickness onto death, manage to live with your sickness, no solution, only strategies to deal with them. Kierkegaard: 1st stage is the aesthetical, second stage is the ethical realisation that one is sick.
Or - model of completing and establishing new order, to subsume everything into completeness.
The third way is Deleuze, not considering the body as body, complete, but as a set of different kinds of elements connected with other elements, not in one isolated thing
Model of society is depicted as Russian Babuschka dolls, one inside the other. Each has a completed shape.
James Joyce defines himself as citizen of this town; his description grows like the Russian dolls. There is the individual, the family, a local community, and a larger community, finally it is universal.
The other way is to just disentangle the whole thing, more complex model, no heirarchy.
As we know, the mission here, is to have a structure that is a source code, a navigator, as bomb implosion and explosion.
Weiss play and de Sade play at work
Weiss is interested in institutionalzied programs - ART and issues
Needed this scale to match the scale of institutional issues.
1848 based on diverse movements, no cultural response
1968 first worldwide standardized, reflected in its integration into the consumer world
Belgrade, the late 70s, high living standards, not many restrictions
Filtering cultural movements that in other cultures would have been indicative of changes (punk, etc).
Would we go on focusing on the characters or where characters meet.
characters personalities, not functions.
There is the level of characters, the level of characters meeting and transgressing and a level of during those meetings, what results in the meeting? How does a revolution come into being? Through different kinds of discourses which are condensed and then pushed through. Only afterwards one can again separate the threads which do not match.
Sade is a transition between a clear political position shifting towards madness. M/SOS should not be character-based, but principle based. One approach would be to allegorize the system, to turn each character into a contemporary principle at work in different fields of cultural production, social issues etc
We have not yet unearthed what the whole system shows. What is the original crime? The plot is about a system reassuring itself that it is OK, that what it is based on is OK. The master of the game (Sade) actualizes the tragedy of construction of the play, that the origin of the system is not congruent to itself.
Regarding the workshop here - the character of the play is the contradiction, which can be interpreted as the source code for that instance in time as an artwork, or a practice, verges on becoming an institution / institutionalized. Regarding principles, yes, the issue at stake is an instrumentality of forces, not of characters at work, as Marat / Corday are clearly actors, avatars / projections / disguises ...
The play is about passionate nature, using the language of enlightenment as a strange perversion of... theatricality of passion: a strange contradiction in itself.
The heart of the crisis is that we feel evacuated, by the industrialisation of desire.
The Inmates seem to be agents, of an experiment that investigates what are the failures of the nature of society. Freud, Lacan, Foucault: models of psychoanalytic disciplines based in army, church, prison
Sade has empowered the inmates to become subjects, like Weiss empowered Sade to become director, agent, subject.
The trauma is the unresolved conflict. There is no guilt in the play, because the system itself contains the guilt.. Guilt is also always a factor of negative identification. Sade knows that the whole play is a proof of its own instability.
I would be interested to compare with Weiss’ Aesthetics of Resistance
Who does he identify with – the 1960s: artists as inmates?
Robert Smithson refused to take part in documenta – the artists were confined with and institutionalized by power structures of institutions, onto curators as institutions etc…
After `68 - there is the return to institutions.
Marat/Sade uses a privileged form of entertainment
Philosophy as salon, theater, eating drinking
Art as entertainment
Divisions are also crossed
Art avoiding the institution belongs to the institutional claim.
So, contradiction is the format
Does a play about society equal being a mimic?
It should not go beyond. Replace characters by others, or have characters removed. Use the structure of the play, the relations between the roles, as an abstraction.
Ask some people who are writing scripts for computer games which choices can be made or not, which things are essential.
The play is based on facts that actors are not professional.
The play equals having different agencies at work in the play
Forget content for that. Each is overwriting what is said beforehand.
The conflict is: how should the plot develop at all?
Marat, as being one level under Sade, is complaining about the role: Let’s change the plot
What remained as a skeleton is the structure of overlapping realities and chronologies in the play, not content.
Perhaps one thing can be the point that revolution is not a program, but you leave the center of power empty, here this equals Charlotte, and everything is about that and not Marat, who will die anyway.
Empty center + hierarchies that are shifting levels
For example - Coulmier can say it is finished.
Levels are shifting at certain moments:
Marat can intervene at certain moments
Sade, who has Corday whip him - can choose this and have pleasure
The Herald can also speak directly to the director Coulmier
If so, what is the tension of the piece?
If it is only overlaying statements, then there is no tension. What is that we “feel”?
A desire and need that is never fulfilled…
The desire of the revolution to heal society never happens
In one monologue, a character says that “one doesn’t like his wife anymore, etc.” … this is all projected onto Marat. Everyone knows this is never fulfilled.
There will always be a lack..
The structure of testing is performed throughout
1 -Institutional level – can a play like this be performed? The enlightened experiment of which Coulmier doesn’t know the outcome
2 – the testing of the “fool” – are they able to fulfil the level of the characters they are given, as roles?
Sade does his social vision work within.
The drama has to have a question where the answer and the interaction are uncertain.
The director therefore has an important role in this sense of uncertainty This element is enlarged in the frame plot.
What is the future of Charenton? The director Coulmier would not take the risk again
Testing gives the social material – Sade as director
Testing of legitimation of the setting in general
There is a double reassurement: a testing of the material itself, and a reassurement of the operation of the whole.
As desire is never fulfilled, you can convince yourself something was fulfilled, and then was taken away.
There is no right social system that will come that will fulfil all desires,
no artwork like that.
Psychoanalytical attempts linked to political theory.
Compare to the notion of democracy as only always “to come” i.e. Derrida. .
Marat/Sade equals that it is not about personal motives.
How do you articulate their will to act – the revolution is being performed in the movie by talking about the revolution. Dissatisfaction is being made evident. Talking about revolution is only bringing back desire to act in whatever way.
Non-articulating idea of acting.
revolution always happens by mediation, agitprop has a sense.
Marat mentions, “We did perform the revolution but we had no idea what to do with it.”
One goal equals to condense society to that: Revolution.
Then... what to do afterwards.
Were you saying there are certain individuals who are able to channel their mental instabilities through politics of desire? That it’s not about revolution per se –
The basis of every basic social change is dissatisfaction. It does not need to be concrete, nor a social group. You go to revolution for example, because you want to run away, like people who join the army. There are a lot of pathological cases – in the Kantian sense, not sick – it can be loss of an apartment, whatever.
Perform a revolution if revolution is being defined as people coming out of the streets, taking over media, etc.
With the Romanian Revolution, nothing changed afterwards, although Ceaucescu was burned, killed. Nothing changed because they had no idea why - the reason wasn't pushing towards any particular goal. You are pushed from the back.
They did not have enough time to do what the prisoners did in the movie - and afterwards, they were satisfied. Then a new power structure emerges, and gives a new set of rules, principles, and introduces everything from the old regime
“We let you do this once in a while”, consider Los Angeles – “let them riot a bit”. What can happen afterwards in the film? Other guards come, replace them in the cells…
The characters are not characters – because they stand as figurative allegories not to be identified.
Not identifying – if one looks at films and novels, where one has “the other”, different than “us” the spectators - in these movies you have someone who is outsider, who happened to come there, and they are the “insider”.
A prisoner is in prison by mistake – we identify with them, not with the real subjects of the prison. Safe.
In the film, it doesn’t work that we have this.
This link is missing and that makes it important.
It isn’t clear who will win – which is important as well.
In discussion of the institution it is a testing of the “outmates”, not of the inmates.
The two directors roles: How much do they invest in certain character?
The characters that they both invest are Corday – the “lack”.
But you can play with those issues –
Peter Weiss is in the center here.
Goes to Marat = social action, by setting up directors
Who won - as they say in the play "when will you learn to take sides"
We know that the institution won, in the plot
Marat/Sade is the central discourse...
Two side figures as providing conditions, would be the director Coulmier as authority, and Corday as executor / medium.
Plot is not being defined by them, but by the surrounding elements – family, other inmates, Chorus, four singers.
In the movie, percentage of time spoken by these 4 characters is less than the others.
Coulmier doesn't care if there is riot or not.
He will stay alive, or become a hero. His position is not different.
Sade is working on Coulmier.
Whatever comes out is ok for this experiment.
Sade wants to involve a certain kind of enjoyment - your experiment does not function because we don't identify with the roles playing a psychodrama. It is a matter of reflecting their own position.
Enjoyment as something more or something less than what it is.
It is not about having the right educational method to enlighten people, but bringing people back. The mirror would be Marat to Sade - Marat to Coulmier... as Law / Socializing