Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Festival d’Automne: Postscript - Two weeks.
|Memorial at Vel D'Hiv|
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Festival d’Automne: Ionesco's Les Chaises, Théâtre de Nanterre-Amandiers
An escape from the life of ideas well past their sell-by date!
The battle in the streets was literally just a few blocks away. I wanted reassurance that something was going intelligently right. There was plenty of proof in Luc Bondy's innovative production of Ionesco's 1952 “The Chairs.” … It felt so good!
- There is never any sense that the guests are expected to really be there, after all, there is no other-of-the-Other;
- La Vieille incongruously bursts forth with an amazingly adroit balletic eruption of jouissance, that is astonishing, lovely, enamoring: Lacanians call it“ravissement”;
- There isn't any need for all that hackneyed Goodbye, God is dead stuff;
- Now, the orateur resembles a tawdry Johnny Hallyday: vague, disconnected, disinterested. When he finally reemerges amidst the wreckage, you know he's a mute but you don't anticipate his wrenching violent desperate rage;
- And the sovereign majesty? The rear wall finally becomes a transparent scrim revealing a proscenium stage and a large empty leather TV lounge chair. [So who's the Daddy now? to paraphrase Freud. Cf., Lacan.]
There is no jaw-dropping double suicide: When the chaos dissipates, a spotlight finally locates the old couples' dead bodies, together in the middle of the floor, like in the Le Vieux's final verse:
“And yet I would/ Have found it good/ That you and I/ As one might lie/ Each bone to bone/ Beneath one stone/ Our old flesh breeding/ The same worms feeding/ Mouldering together …"
La Vieille responds: "... mouldering together.”
The théâtre de Nanterre-Amandiers is near Paris VIII, an enduring legacy of '68, where Antonio Negri found a home in exile, J.-A.Miller founded a department of psychoanalysis for Lacan, where Badiou continues to confuse youth for the benefit of the Nue World Ordure. This place now lies in the creepy shadows of La Defense. When I emerged disoriented from the efficient-even-during-a-strike, very fast RER suburban commuter trains, with their massive wide crowded platforms and enormous cavernous modern stations. I felt I was in Godard's Alphaville with all the necessary ultra modern improvements: in the dark it felt like Disney World. The enormous theatre complex, its bar, restaurant and bookstore were brilliant!