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Architectonics of Theatricality

Theatre Performance in a Semiotic Perspective

Ivaylo Alexandroff

The cultural discourse of theatrical performance defines the theatre sign interaction as an active semiosis. This, in turn, specifies the main objective of the study – the formulation of the basic parameters of this architectonics as a fundament of théâtralité. Since the time of Antiquity the theatre has always been discussing general aesthetic, philosophical, ethical and social issues in the context of a visual image of the specific objects of an intellectual discourse. The book takes a close look at this process of signification, formation of meanings, presentation and interpretation on stage: a theatre performance is a product of an intense sign environment and a major symbol of theatricality.
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The reconstruction of an open aesthetic discourse on the attitude of Derrida to Artaud and the Theatre of Cruelty implies setting a radical philosophy into the field of rationalization, and this philosophy, being the voicing of the telos of expression, is to help open the centres of metaphysical presence and assume an atrocity in the distinctness of categories as identified by Artaud as well as constitute their conceptualization. Derrida does not hide his aesthetic but also deeply political bias to the suggestions of Artaud and from the position of expressing his structuralist cardinality on the content of “cruelty” he voices his position that clearly affirms the role of Artaud, who according to him “produces affirmation itself in its full and necessary rigor”314. While this affirmation according to Derrida, quoting Artaud himself, has not yet started to exist, its creative birth-for-itself, which is essentially a birth into otherness, into being different from what is already conventionally established and regularized, is yet to come in all its openness to horizons of the revival of the future.315 This revival, that began with the reconstruction of the theatre through a radicalization of an absolute ← 155 | 156 →cruelty, i.e. necessity or rigor as Derrida himself translated this concept316, is primarily a revival of the cultural parameters of each subjective social reality, a kind of cultural explosion introducing through difference (différence) the purity of each presence and the absence of an existence of determining life in a primordial non-purity.

The thinking of...

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