fifty-first part, called “subject matter LI,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

subject matter

Suppression, repression: theatre suffered these for politics. It led to a reversal of roles, but we can only speak of a role reversal in view of theatre, and of the surface with limitlessness in its potentiality, because this is where it occurs. However, there also looks to be a restriction in powers: the potential limitlessness of reach is paired with impotence when it comes to consequence. Added to this, we have asserted of such powers that what lies in reach, which is movement, is both indivisible and of indeterminate duration: there’s no going back. What happens comes to us by report of the actions, events, subjects on the stage, who are not altogether human, and when they are mobilise forces which are not. So there is also a notional completion, a closure of the circle, where the circle is but another figure of performance, and, as Deleuze might say, a repetition of difference.

Was there political recognition of what had occurred, of what had been reported on? Was this of such a nature that political forces rallied to suppress theatre—as if it had the slightest importance? No, I would say the politicisation of theatre closed it off from itself: now that is the further reversal we are getting to, the role reversal whereby political recognition reciprocated, and, like theatre, closed itself off from being a politics.

Then, should we ask what is politics? A matter of social organisation. Like theatre, it need not have at its centre a principle, about which it revolves: anarchy is politics. Like theatre, it needs no morality to guide it (quite the contrary), to police its edges, directing policy, as we have said about being directed in that fashion: it too is amoral.

More than this, politics represents to itself its mechanism, it demonstrates to itself, in a way that we could also say that it reports on it, what it is doing, or, as some are fond of saying, what is to be done. How think of the social organism? It doesn’t matter but that this thought has to be tied to actions, events and subjects. Politics concerns the movements of subjects, that is, their conflict; but, again, these are only political subjects to the extent there is political recognition, to the extent that they share the stage. So its subjects, and its subject matter, are those of self-representation and recognition, political subjects.

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