The book Between Seduction and Suspicion: Relation between Text and Performance in Slovenian Theatre directly opens possibilities for cross examination of the theatre theory status, the formations from the history of theatre and the potential contextualisations of theatre works (procedures, institutions, events) in Slovenian culture after the year 1950. It derives from the thesis that the Slovenian theatre between late 50s and the end of 90s is defined by the distinct schismatical tension between textocentrism and scenocentrism. Textocentrism is the denomination for different approaches of history, phenomenology, potentiality, hegemonies and powers of the modernist and postmodern theatre text. As scenocentrism, we can label the heterogeneous and plural approaches of history, existence or hegemony of the late modernist and postmodernist postdramatic (non-verbal, physical, ambiental, action, spectacular) theatre.
With the aid of a theoretic platform and its development into interpretations of precisely defined and installed historical or archeological layers of differences within the Slovenian theatre (a) from the 50s to the end of the 60s: from the primacy of contemporary dramatic writing towards the death of literary theatre, b) the 70s: theatre as a ritual and the death of literary theatre, c) the 80s: the embrace of the look and the word and d) the 90s: the crisis of text and the “heterogeneity hegemony”), the book enters the interpretations of variable interactive relations of the theatre context, the theatre work and the possible poetic and ideological effects on the supposed interpretational layers (historical/ archeological extracts). Thus it restores a tactics of cross examination of cultural and ideological identities in the field of Slovenian theatre in the second half of the 20th century.
This sort of examination of history, theory and Slovenian theatre after the year 1950 leads to classification and identification of special battles for identity, power and influence within Slovenian culture, marked by the dichotomy of modernist hegemonies and postmodernist heterogeneities, and by the conflict relationship of the dramatic and the postdramatic within the theatre, and, from yet another angle, by the marking out of extremes: the aesthetic and the ideological. The author’s selection of examples (theatre works, contexts, author profiles, historical orientations) remains within the field of evolutions, revolutions and deconstructions of the theatre work, ranging from radical modernist existential theatre (such as Oder 57) and late-modernist or neo-avant-garde experimental groups (Pupilija Ferkeverk, Glej, Pekarna) to postmodern eclecticisms of the 80s (the directing practice of Jovanovič, Ristič, Pandur and Živadinov) and plural happenings of the conflict or non-conflict heterogeneities of the dramatic and postdramatic theatre in the 90s (Meta Hočevar, Pandur, Betontanc, Kušej, Berger, Hrvatin, Živadinov). That is history, but a history which is theoreticised in the sense that has been let through the interpretative filters of contemporary theories, which serve the examination of the thesis on the confrontation of textocentrism and scenocentrism.
Set this way, the problematic topic of the present book delineates the paradox complexity of the relative relation of numerous margins (the alternative, the experiment, the disclosed ideology) and the developing centre (high aestheticism, metaphysics and hidden ideology) in Slovenian theatre after the year 1950; it thus demonstrates how two big parallel and often conflict processes took place in the Slovenian theatre of the second half of the 20th century: on one hand, the inner struggle around the sensuality of the modern or postmodern theatre between textocentrism and scenocentrism, on the other hand the cultural-media orientated battle between dramatic and postdramatic theatre as a struggle between dramatic or textual concealment of ideology and postdramatic or scenic disclosure of ideology. The dramatic conflict between the high ecstatic aestheticism and the thoroughly precise critical ideologism marks the Slovenian culture of the second half of the 20th century to a great extent. Thus, the concluding thesis concerning the Slovenian theatre of the second half of the 20th century could e: there is an unambiguous and direct dialectic material battle between the power and domination of the dramatic (existential) and the physical (performative, that is, postdramatic theatre). That battle takes place in numerous confrontations: of the essence (that which is present), the subject (textual practice, that which is postponed) and the body (penetration of reality of the indicator and the machine into the idealities of the text); or in the confrontation of the body and the figure; the speech and the scream; the verbal gesture and the expressive behavioral gesture; the communicative gesture and the performative action. The performances of the battle between the dramatic and the postdramatic are today synthetically classified among the changeable experimental actions in the world of media and the world of theoretical pluralities/ heterogeneities.
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