“In the Louvre there is a work by a primitive painter, known or unknown I cannot say, but whose name will never be representative of an important period of art. This painter is Lucas van den Leyden and in my opinion he makes the four or five centuries of panting that come after him inane and useless. The canvas I speak of is entitled “The Daughters of Lot,” [image above in public domain from Wikipedia] a biblical subject in the style of the period … I say in any case that this painting is what the theater should be, if it knew how to speak the language that belongs to it.”
p. 33, 37, Antonin Artaud, The Theater and its Double
I think The Theater and its Double is an excellent book for church clergy. The liturgy for some is theater of the divine. I can see why Quakers eschew preaching in favor of silence. I enjoy high Anglican liturgy, but only when balanced with an hour of contemplation at meeting. Too much theater in church can debase one from worship of God and send him or her into idolatry. Objects intended to be icons, if one is not careful, may be transmuted into idols.
“To make metaphysics out of a spoken language is to make the language express what it does not ordinarily express: to make use of it in a new, exceptional, and unaccustomed fashion; to reveal its possibilities for producing physical shock; to divide and distribute it actively in space; to deal with intonations in an absolutely concrete manner, restoring their power to shatter as well as really to manifest something; to turn against language and its basely utilitarian, one could say alimentary, sources, against its trapped-beast origins; and finally, to consider language as the form of Incantation.”
p. 46, Antonin Artaud, The Theater and its Double
I reflect on the manifold of meanings that can be contained in even the most inane piece of abstract art such as this photograph.
Equilibrium of the theater and its double with double text on the left of the image and singular text on the right. Symbolism corresponds to ideas the theater that understood nothing changes as they are:
▶ noun (pl. simulacra /-krə/ or simulacrums) an image or representation of someone or something.
▪ an unsatisfactory imitation or substitute.
late 16th cent.: from Latin, from simulare (see simulate).
A Dizzying and Slippery Perspective …
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