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Badiou's Spectator-Subject and Fireworks Politics

Dalmasso, Frederic (2013) Badiou's Spectator-Subject and Fireworks Politics. Performance Research, 18 (1). pp. 77-83. ISSN 1352-8165

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Abstract

This article examines the political nature of fireworks as a paradigm for the relation between theatre and politics. It follows the firework trope from the work of Stéphane Mallarmé to that of Alain Badiou and suggests the symbolist poet’s quest for a mysterious collective leads to the philosopher’s attempt to materially account for the necessary inexistance of emancipatory movements against or away from State, party, class or label. While for Mallarmé, the collective is the vanishing term for art, for Badiou, it is the vanishing term for politics. This article examines how, following the ephemeral May 1871 or May 1968 events, both thinkers deplore the absence of emancipatory movements and turn to theatre to think the collective as theatre provides them with an allegory similar to that of the fireworks 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 investigates how spectators can 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.

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Uncontrolled Keywords: theatre, politics, fireworks, Stéphene Mallarme, Alain Badiou
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
Divisions: Academic Departments > Institute of Humanities and Creative Arts
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Depositing User: Frederic Dalmasso
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2013 12:11
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2013 12:11
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/2380

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