Artaud: final plague, school shots. Produced by Videopolis, performed by J. Pat Miller and Anda Korsts, 1979. Source: mediaburn.org
Antonin Artaud, that vampiric schizoid deviant in existential exile, was interested in plague-ridden dreams. He was not just in exile but in ‘an extravagant departure from the history of being.’* He wanted to deliberately stay in the state of horrible energy, of necessary cruelty and delirium. For him, the audience is a witness of an apocalyptic spectacle, the stage is a ravage, and the text is to be violated by the plagued organs. The possibility of a theatre or art as a place where both the spectator and the actor are entrapped, rather than protected from each other, is an Artaudian tradition. He rejected any psychological formation and aesthetic distancing, and constructed a hermetic, complete, and inhuman actor/artwork. A ‘monster’, one might call it, which is infected and infects the viewer.
*: Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh, Insurgent, Poet, Mystic, Sectarian: The Four Masks of an Eastern Postmodernism, 2015