Teorie / Where is the Speech that Matters? On the Silence of the Czech Theatre Professionals in a Crisis

The essay presents the thesis that despite their activist tradition, Czech theatres abandoned any social criticism during the COVID-19 pandemic because they were unable to speak publicly about the structural conditions of the crisis (overtourism, mobility, etc.) and possibilities for change. The author argues that it is because the language of theatre professionals is nowadays shallow and clichéd and serves rather as a strategy to secure the positions in the artistic field than the true speech capable of addressing the public. This situation is interpreted in terms of neoliberalism/capitalist realism (Mark Fisher) producing the pragmatic language incapable of imagination and transformation. The intellectuals’ speech of transcendentals (detached from the reality) is contrasted with true speech (Martin Buber, François Laruelle) originating in immanence. The artists are depicted as the keepers of personal, archetypal language capable of producing universal (“terrestrial” – Bruno Latour) images of utopia. This is discussed especially in the context of the environmental crisis

Článek je k dispozici zde (fulltext): https://www.sav.sk/journals/uploads/10011717SD03-2020-276.pdf

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