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Schizo-theatre: Guattari, Deleuze, performance and “madness”

Cull, Laura (2012) Schizo-theatre: Guattari, Deleuze, performance and “madness” In: Situating and Interpreting States of Mind, 2012-06-14 - ?, Northumbria University.

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This paper will explore the concept of “schizo-theatre”: as a mode of approaching both the production and spectatorship of performance, as a way of rethinking the term “schizophrenia” and its relationship to performance and philosophy, and as a means to conceive anew the relationship between theatre and the ethics of its encounters with those who have lived experience of mental illness. In the existing literature (eg. Roberts 2007), readers of Guattari and Deleuze have rightly insisted upon a distinction between the conventional clinical definition of “schizophrenia” and the reinvention of the term in works such as Anti-Oedipus (1972). However, this emphasis has allowed an artificial separation of the philosophy from its clinical context, specifically Guattari’s radical work at La Borde. As such, the paper will attempt to interrogate the specific relationships between 1) the hospitalized schizophrenic (who tends to be presented as a tragic figure by Guattari and Deleuze); 2) the joyful “schizo” (whom they present as closer to “the beating heart of reality” than the Oedipalized subject) and 3) a process they call “schizophrenia” which is defined as “the process of the production of desire”. Having established this theoretical grounding, the paper will then aim to question how these relationships might play out in the context of a performance practice that seeks to re-evaluate the role of theatre in relation to “schizophrenia” as Guattari and Deleuze define it, but also to mental health service users and their lived experiences of mental illness. Can a schizo-theatre make these experiences communicable to others, in all their singularity? Might such a theatre prompt or support positive changes in the provision of mental health service and the ways in which “madness” figures in the public imagination?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Guildford School of Acting
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
Date : 2012
Uncontrolled Keywords : schizophrenia, guattari, deleuze, theatre, schizo-theatre, madness
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 16 Aug 2017 07:29
Last Modified : 06 Jul 2019 05:12

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