Logics of Theatres: The Terror, Betrayal and Disaster of Playwriting
This thesis draws from the philosophical project of Alain Badiou in order to contend that contemporary playwrights lack a satisfactory distinction between the Being and Logic of theatre; that is to say, its ontology and its appearing. Therefore, they are unable to introduce the notion of truth into their thought and practice. Without such a notion, playwrights are, on the one hand, largely terrorised by the fluctuation of opinions within artistic circles, at the whim of doxa and popular belief; on the other hand, they are mostly betrayed, despite being instrumental to its conception, by philosophy, cast out of the republic and relegated to the realm of mimesis. Finally, that this can result in disaster; which is the assumption that their artistic practice or philosophy of practice is, could or needs to be, in some way final, totalising, or all encompassing, that their work is the absolute truth. Badiou’s philosophical project, in particular Being and Event, Logics of Worlds and Ethics, enables us to identify formal and generic representations of presentation that can be applied to the truth procedure of art, in this case theatre, as well as explore the ethic of truths. Further analysis is taken from Handbook of Inaesthetics and Rhapsody for the Theatre in order to elucidate a formal theory of theatre, and explore its practicability. The methodology will be an analysis of Badiou’s work, a series of case studies and my own practice. It will explore objective phenomenology, a method of analysis developed by Badiou, and the materialist dialectic, a paradigm of thought.
Key terms: Badiou, theatre, objective phenomenology, logic, ontology
Angus Cameron is a theatre maker and academic, based in Victoria, Australia. He has had work developed and presented by Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre, Red Stitch, Arts Centre Melbourne and at multiple festivals around Australia, including: the Emerging Writers Festival, Adelaide Fringe and Melbourne Fringe. He has learned from Jeremy Cohen, Simon Stephens, Raimondo Cortese, and Mac Wellman. He has also worked with Australian Theatre for Young People, Playwriting Australia and the Malthouse Theatre. He is interested in the philosophy of Alain Badiou.
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ORCID number: 0000-0003-1823-0990