Chapter 6 Foucault’s Looking Glass and Tongues of Flames: Pentecost, After Easter, Ourselves Alone, ‘The Wedding Community Play’, Massive 225
Chapter 6 Foucault’s Looking Glass and Tongues of Flames: Pentecost, After Easter, Ourselves Alone, ‘The Wedding Community Play’, Massive In his discussion of utopian space, Michel Foucault applies the symbol of ‘the mirror’ to the theatrical stage. In the mirror, the viewer is simulta- neously absent and present: In the mirror, I see myself there where I am not, in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface; I am over there, there where I am not, a sort of shadow that gives my own visibility to myself, that enables me to see myself there where I am absent: such is the utopia of the mirror.1 But the mirror exists in its own right, so it is not a utopia or non-place, it is, as Foucault coins it, a ‘heterotopia’, an elsewhere or other-place, and ‘it exerts a sort of counteraction on the position that I occupy. From the standpoint of the mirror I discover my absence from the place where I am, since I see myself over there’. From the standpoint of the ‘over-there’, which is the mirror, a critical, challenging gaze is redirected towards the viewer: Starting from this gaze that is, as it were, directed toward me, from the ground of this virtual space that is on the other side of the glass, I come back toward myself; I begin again to direct my eyes toward myself and to reconstitute myself there where I am. In Stewart Parker’s Pentecost, theatre can be seen to function...
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