Intervention as a means to make a political theatre
K. N. Matvienko
Stanislavsky Electrotheatre (Russia, Moscow)
Keywords: political, intervention, activism, site-specific theater, performative lecture, emancipation, protest, neoliberal, institutional criticism
Abstract: This article focuses on the political aspects of interventions in modern Russian theatre, as well as some examples of deconstruction of neoliberal means of producing and transmitting knowledge in current theatre theory. Intervention is the tool or the method of how to work with reality and how to penetrate socially constructed frames and problematize hot button issues in society. The most important aspects of intervention were described and fixed by the British art historian and theatre researcher Claire Bishop in her public online lecture at the Festival “Access Point” (St. Petersburg, 2020). In particular, Bishop defined intervention as the most democratic and productive way to make political actions visible and accessible for citizens. Intervention is described by her on the basis of South America performances of the 1960–1970s, where the protest against imperialistic politics of USA and against local totalitarian systems was transformed into actions by contemporary artists. Intervention makes it possible for the artist to be critical toward authority and, indeed, to be political. For Russian artists this is also a way to ignore theatre as a hierarchical system and to create the project out of theatre as a genre. In spite of this strong willingness, these projects often are based on theatrical tools and methods. The conclusion drawn by the author is that activism contains the roots of the theatre and it makes it possible to speak of them as of ‘a performance’. It gives the theatre the resource for self-development.
To cite this article: Matvienko, K. N. (2022). Intervention as a means to make a political theatre. Shagi/Steps, 8(1), 66–77. (In Russian). https://doi.org/10.22394/2412-9410-2022-8-1-66-77.