Internationale Zeitschrift für Kulturkomparatistik 2022-11-18T15:04:33+00:00 Prof. Dr. Henrieke Stahl Open Journal Systems Vorwort 2022-11-18T15:04:33+00:00 Francesco Fiorentino Milena Massalongo <p><span lang="EN-US">Concepts are by no means merely illustrations from which to adequately describe a state of affairs but are rather tools by means of which we orient ourselves habitually and more or less effectively in our reality. This does not only apply to theoretical thinking: whether in everyday life or in the practice of art, one does not so easily escape concepts either. An indispensable artistic-critical moment consists in overcoming a concept’s periodic “loss of traction” by making it functional again. The articles in this issue work in this direction: in dealing with the changing reality of theater, they further develop its established concepts or explore the critical potential of relatively new concepts that also extend beyond it. Overall, they document the attempt not only to think <em>about</em> theater, but also to think <em>with the help</em> of theater.</span></p> 2022-11-15T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Internationale Zeitschrift für Kulturkomparatistik Spektakel: Plädoyer für die Revision eines umstrittenen Begriffs 2022-11-15T12:49:23+00:00 Kati Röttger <p>How do (new) communication and information technologies contribute to the development and maintenance of modern, democratic societies? Do they promote emancipation, enlightenment, and autonomy or do they lock us hermetically into the sparkling world of images and consumption, so that we are guided by false promises and pseudo-needs? Current questions like these make it necessary to revise the concept of spectacle. This term, originally coined by Debord, has again become the focus of cultural-critical debates with the increasing power of new social media. Debord raised the spectacle to a theoretical perspective by describing it as a “society’s worldview that is transferred into the material.” On the other hand, it is precisely this totalizing claim of Debord’s concept of spectacle that is now coming under increasing pressure. Facing this problem, Juliane Rebentisch (2007) suggests suspending the concept of spectacle, as hardly any other concept has been received so unscathed and uncritically of late. I will make a plea for a long overdue revision of the term from the perspective of theater studies. With a few exceptions, the fact that the spectacle itself already has a long (pre-Debordian) history is generally not taken into account. The scope of the spectacle cannot be understood merely within the confines of Debord’s totalizing concept; moreover, it turns out to be an extremely heterogeneous and promising field of investigation, which is far from being sufficiently explored. Here, I would like to stress a potential implementation of the spectacle that, in theater theory, is traditionally placed in opposition to its role in socio-political engagement. The critical potential of the spectacle can only be opened up when the technical conditionality of the spectacle is directly related to the technical conditionality of modernity. This aspect has so far been largely ignored in the critical debates around this concept.</p> 2022-11-15T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Der moderne Zuschauer: Genealogie und Kritik 2022-11-15T13:22:57+00:00 Francesco Fiorentino <p>Being a spectator in the theater has not always meant watching a performance while sitting quietly in the dark. There was a time when theaters were fully lit and very noisy.<br>A whole range of legislative, administrative, architectural, and aesthetic reforms as well as state ordinances were needed to tame this quarrelsome and undisciplined mass and to transform it into a contemplative and empathic audience that became a function of the imagination. There is a close connection between the development of a theater that had become an agent of government and the emergence of increasingly effective mechanisms of theatrical illusion. Governmentality generates a new aesthetic that aims to steer the audience in certain directions, to determine and to control it. It goes without saying that theater, especially modern theater, has had a decisive effect in this direction. Theater was and is both an agent of governmentality and its critique. Now, this critique has manifested itself and continues to manifest itself in projects aimed at emancipating the public from any kind of governmentality via the stage itself. Yet the stage remains an agent of governmentality even as it seeks to evade this function.<br>This is a paradox that is perhaps constitutive and necessary to theater. The question now is whether this paradox can be resolved and whether an autonomous emancipation of the audience—one that is not governed by the stage—can be imagined, and, if so, in what forms. Put otherwise, it is a question of whether the spectator “without someone else’s guidance” can alienate himself from this position and become a self-determined subject.</p> 2022-11-15T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Vom Drama zum Skript 2022-11-15T13:01:08+00:00 Nikolaus Müller-Schöll <p>Since Susanne Kennedy appeared with her first production in German spoken theater in 2013, she has disturbed and thrilled the audience with her team: her works established a theater that practically dismisses the idea of a universal, generalizable human being. Not only did Kennedy write a significant piece of the latest theater history, but her work also looks back and sheds a light on the entire history of theater, making us perceive it in a different way. It illustrates a paradigm shift that can be reduced to the formula: <em>from drama to script</em>. At the same time, and in connection with this aspect of her work, her theater project suggests the attempt at a different archeology of the present, taking a step aside from all previous theater historiography and looking at a whole tradition of resistance by the women of theater, to which she is productively linked. Such is the case, for example, of Marieluise Fleißer, whose text „Fegefeuer in Ingolstadt“(Purgatory in Ingolstadt), first appeared on stage after having been renamed, directed, sponsored, curated, edited, and staged by men. On the other hand, with Fleißer’s entry into dramatic poetry, one can observe a transition to a practice of writing and staging that is no longer based on the idealized assumption that one is dealing with the text of a lonely, ingenious author. Rather, the drama is replaced by a polyphonic script that can be recognized from the very beginning. From Fleißer and Gertrude Stein to Ginka Steinwachs, Elfriede Jelinek, and Sarah Kane, this other form of writing will be transferred into a practice of piece-writing that is far away from the male-dominated dramatic production.</p> 2022-11-15T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Theater (und Kunst) als „Ausstellung“. Ein langer Abschied vom Kultus 2022-11-15T13:10:50+00:00 Milena Massalongo <p>Walter Benjamin’s formulation about epic theater is well-known: Brecht succeeds in turning the theater from a “Bannraum” sort of spell room, into a “conveniently located exhibition space.” The epic playwright draws on “the great old opportunity of the theater in a new way – on the exposure of what is present.”<br>Whether consciously quoting Benjamin or not, the words “exhibition” and “exposure” are often used by theater makers and scholars to reinforce the seriousness either of the act of showing or of the shown object. If something is being <em>exhibited</em> and not simply represented, the stress lies on the attempt to have an <em>effect</em>: to have consequences beyond the aesthetical as-if-frame. “Exhibition” and “exposure” seem first to recur with a precise and alternative sense in Benjamin, in Brecht and in the Russian avantgarde regisseur and author S. Tretiakov, who became a friend of Brecht in the 1920s. What they understand by “exhibition” seems to be something very specific, not a mere metaphor, rather an operational term. Benjamin uses it in various texts and different formulas (as, for example, the famous and enigmatic „Ausstellungswert“, or “exposition-value”, combined with “cult-value”, in a kind of historical dialectic of the work of art). But the concept of aura and its agony generally steal the show, while the concepts of „Ausstellen“ and „Ausstellungswert“ are often misunderstood according to our current idea of “exposition” from the context of museums, galleries and exhibitions, and according to our experience of “absolute visibility” as a paradigm of modern life (Agamben 2005). This easy to misunderstand, difficult to grasp “exposition-value” seems to name a different experience and an innovative chance that resides in modern reproducibility. Its difference could be not only relevant for theater and its history as an art form, but also for theater intended as a dimension and opportunity of social practice.</p> 2022-11-15T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) Historisierung. Trauer- und Traumarbeit im Belcanto. Die Stuttgarter Inszenierungen von Vincenzo Bellinis Opern 2022-11-15T13:16:12+00:00 Günther Heeg (Leipzig) <p>Brecht equated the practice of historicizing with that of alienating. According to him, the process of historicizing is about letting the present become so alien through the relationship to another time and history that traits, structures, and patterns become visible that would otherwise no longer be perceived in everyday life. For this to succeed, according to Brecht, the present itself must appear historical and temporarally fixed. <br>However, most historical theater productions seem to be far away from this practice of historicization. History has been driven out of its own emotional images in the practice of theatrical historicism. Instead, they create the appearance of ‘vitalization’ and the ‘resurrection’ of history from the dead. Charged as a substitute for religion, these monumental historical images serve as a basis for legitimizing a world disenchanted by metaphysics.<br>Bellini’s operas can become very interesting from this point of view. They not only appear strange in the present but they challenge it by placing it in a strange light. The historical locations of Bellini’s operas are anticipated in the sense of Brecht. These rooms do not evoke distant times but a past that extends into our time and thus refers to the future past of our present. The historical times in “Norma,” “La Sonnambula,” and “I Puritani” are times of transition.<br>Bellini must have experienced various interim periods – between foreign rule and national liberation, between absolutism and democratic participation, between late feudal order and unbridled capitalism – as times of great and fundamental uncertainty. He historicized this experience in his operas. They expose people’s feelings and actions in the space of a pure in-between, which no longer has a reliable origin or a fortuitous outcome. Bellini’s protagonists are exposed to a transitional existence that is held in perpetual suspension.</p> 2022-11-15T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) „Trauerspiel“. Die Schuld im Spiel. Spiel, Souveränität, Schuld, Einfühlung im Lichte Benjamins 2022-11-15T13:22:31+00:00 Massimo Palma <p>This article discusses the theatrical form named in German <em>Trauerspiel</em> (the baroque drama or mourning play), focusing on the constitutive elements of its concept – both play and mourning. Although it has often been compared or reduced to ‘tragedy,’ in a sort of excessive anticipation of Romantic theatrical forms, <em>Trauerspiel</em> is more likely to express the traumas of secularization in the early modern age, as both noble and humble subjects face religious and political turmoil. Taking inspiration from Walter Benjamin’s renowned thesis in the book „Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels“ (1925), the article investigates some crucial actual elements of baroque drama-writing such as sovereignty, guilt, empathy, and the search for further intersections with the theories of playwriting proposed in 1938 by Johan Huizinga and discussed a few years later by French critic and thinker Georges Bataille</p> 2022-11-15T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c)