Daphna Ben-Shaul

Fabulous Retroactivity: Political Recurrence in Performances of Foundation and Destruction

Montag, 25.11.2019, 18 bis 29 Uhr, Raum GABF 04/611
Workshop mit D. Ben-Shaul am 26. November 10-12 Uhr
Anmeldung Workshop: theaterforschung[at]rub.de

In one of Derrida’s articles, titled “Declarations of Independence”, based on a lecture marking the 200th anniversary of the American Declaration of Independence, he focuses on the issue of the authority to sign a document that validates the foundation of a nation state. This authority is trapped in a cyclic logic which he dubs “fabulous retroactivity”: Those who sign validate the declaration with their signature in order to gain the authority to sign. In fact, the constitutive moment is not only caught up in circularity, but requires simulative recurrences. How does the endless reclaim of authority manifest itself through formal foundational scenes? Most importantly, how can artistic performance respond to this fabulous mechanism of political imagination and turn recurrence into a critical position? And how does such a performance reveal the method and limits of power, while linking the constructive drive to the inertia of destruction? These questions will be discussed in principle and in the Israel-Palestine arena. In this complex context, the political mechanism of recurrence will be demonstrated mainly in performances created by Public Movement and Sala-Manca group, incorporating a traumatic double bind of establishing and demolishing.

Daphna Ben-Shaul, is a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Theatre Arts, Tel Aviv University. She heads the Actor-Creator- Researcher MFA Track, as well as teaching at the School of Visual Theatre in Jerusalem. Her theatre and performance research addresses civic and political issues, reflexive performance, voiding as a performative phenomenon, creative collectives, and spatial thought & practices. She has published an extensive book on the art and performance collective Zik Group, and articles in major periodicals, including Modern Drama, Theatre Research International, Performance Research, New Theatre Quarterly, Theatre Journal and Research in Drama Education. Her research of contemporary site-specific performances is supported by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF).