Monday, December 24, 2012

Theatre and Schizoanalysis

Ian Buchanan's generative argument at the end of his text on the subject of Deleuze and Guattari's Anti- Oedipus draws attention to the limitations of the arguments that false consciousness (Marx) and cynicism (Zizek) are at the root of the contemporary anomie in the face of capitalism's profound and arresting reach. Instead, he suggests, what is needed is an analysis that demonstrates how interest and desire travel in different and conflicting directions. Cynicism serves only to short circuit the schizoanalytic contradiction that the separation of interest and desire can formulate and makes it seem as if it is possible to accommodate this separation ("I know very well, but all the same...").

"Cynicism doesn't explain this state of affairs, it excuses it. In this sense, cynicism is the new name for what Foucault called fascism, as such Anti-Oedipus' message is as vital and urgent today as when it was first published."

For its part, Marxist doctrine is informed by the assumption that as long as people are informed about the contradictions of capitalism, then they will act, but again the recognition and awareness of the ways in which capitalism might be affecting even our own best interest does not necessarily reroute desire to disassemble capitalism. Both of these approaches presume a 'truth out there' that people are unable to discern, and thus are what Deleuze describes to be 'philosophical illusions'.

If 'schizoanalysis must point out the unendurabibility of the present', a key here will be for my theatre practice to continue to progress in such a way as to enact schizoanalysis. Already, the interest in other than Oedipal arrangements and a clear pursuit of the virtual, or desire, of sense in its capacity to engender new kinds of potentialities has been key to date.

For continued reference, four theses that sum up schizoanalytic project as a whole:

1. Every libidinal investment of the unconscious is social and bears upon a sociohistorical field (AO 375/409).

2. There are two types of social investments: there is the unconscious libidinal of the group or desire and the preconscious investment of class or interest (AO, 377/411).

3. The non-familial libidinal investments of the unconscious have primacy over the familiar investments of the unconscious (AO, 390/427)

4. The unconscious social investments of desire can be of two main types: paranoid, reactionary and fascisizing or schizoid, revolutionary and utopian (AO, 401/439).

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