Antonin Artaud, "No More Masterpieces", in The Theater and Its Double, 1938-1945:
“Snakes do not react to music because of the mental ideas it produces in them, but because they are long, they lie coiled on the ground and their bodies are in contact with ground along almost their entire length. And the musical vibrations communicated to the ground affect them as a very subtle, very long massage.
Well I propose to treat the audience just like those charmed snakes and to bring them back to the subtlest ideas through their bodies. In such show there is continual amplification; the sounds, noises and cries are first sought for their vibratory qualities, secondly for what they represent.
We are overloaded with ineffectual, decorative feelings, aimless activity devoted solely to entertainment and the pituresque. We probably live in a unique period of history where a riddled world sees its old values crumbling away. If the foundations of burnt-up life dissolve, on an ethical and social level this is expressed in a monstrous unleashing of lust unbridling the basest instincts, and the crackling of burnt-out lives prematurely exposed to the flame.
The interesting thing about present-day events is not the events themselves, but this state of intellectual turmoil into wich minds are plunged, this extreme tension, for they unendingly plunge us into a state of conscious confusion. That all this disturbs the mind without making it lose its balance is a moving way of expressing the innate pulse of life"
released 12 December 2012
Cover image by Ricardo Pardal.
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