Politicality of Reading and Listening in the Performance <i>The Discreet Charm of Marxism</i> by Bojan Djordjev
Keywords:Karl Marx, Bojan Djordjev, Marxism, dinner-performance, reading aloud, listening, political performance, dialectical materialism, performative reading, self-education, performance research.
AbstractThis text focuses on Bojan Djordjev’s theatre piece Diskretni šarm marksizma / The Discreet Charm of Marxism (2013), by analysing the politicality of the practices employed in it – the one of reading aloud and the one of listening to what is being read, and by enquiring what kind of transformation such acts could bring to the contemporary stage and the public sphere. It examines the politicality of such a community, formed by coming and being together in theatre to read aloud and listen to others reading Marx’s and Marx-related texts. Moreover, the paper advocates for collective reading and listening as autonomous performative and theatrical practices, which have community-formative qualities. Since Djordjev defined Diskretni šarm marksizma as a “six course dinner piece”, this article aims to look further into what happens when acts of reading and eating in a group become interchangeable. Is it possible to imagine a communist revolution, which began on a theatrical stage, when audience members surrendered to each other’s reading voices in the tactile act of listening (as a special form of attention in theatre) to political texts, first and foremost The Communist Manifesto?
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