upsettin’ N-set: towards a genealogy of exile, N-exile

It’s completely random and a WASTE of time. And that’s what makes it so fashionable.

– from here

– “A Letter to Queen Victoria: The Sundance Kid is Beautiful” by Robert Wilson and Christopher Knowles

Why butoh in New Zealand? because it was getting… it was getting upsetting… it was upsetting… it was upsetting… is it still upsetting? … is it still? … is it? … upsetting? … what upset? … upset what? … Stop screaming! … we are now happy.

What sort of connections are these: Antonin Artaud to Tatsumi Hijikata and Ankoku Butoh; Hijikata to Kuniichi Uno and Min Tanaka;

1) Uno to Deleuze and back again via the former’s translations of his and Guattari’s work (Guattari visits Japan, 1985; Uno visits Deleuze in France, early 1980s; Deleuze supervises Uno’s doctoral thesis: “Artaud et l’éspace des forces” and together Uno and Deleuze write: “Exposé d’une poétique rhizomatique,” 1982);

2)Min Tanaka to Michael Parmenter and Douglas Wright and Lemi Ponifasio (Mau – link); these three make the best theatre in New Zealand at the end of the century, influencing and leading practitioners who have assimilated the diachronic links and, to varying degrees, normalised the relationship back to butoh. Butoh workshops become de rigueur however sans rigueur. Our ecstasy is made on the image of eating chocolate. So, we are now happy.

Does Artaud suffocate under a long white cloud? At Mau at least the theatre retains a sense of activism and the radicalism of a community making work, without boundaries between living and working; however Mau resembles a despotism, having fallen into a profound enchantment under the spell of international high art. Lemi says, Why make work here? meaning New Zealand. We must be the best and to be the best we hold our work up against the best in the world. Being the best also appears to mean invoking the patriarchal rule, le nom du père; and sequestering oneself in a non-specified enemy territory (N-SET), an island on these islands, where one’s alterity can radicalise: the bush can get greener, denser, thicker; the activism can become guerrilla style. A Robinsonade can begin: which to the outside is nothing so much as Marlon Brando mumbling in a cave in the jungle, I am the king, while the perimeter is patrolled, and no longer by dance or movement and delimited by the edges of the stage or the discourse of theatre, but by men, and women, with uzis, or who would have guns if guns could be had.