Antonin Artaud og hans idé med théâtre cruel - historikk og bakgrunn

Antonin Artaud (f. 1896 - d. 1948) var en fransk avantgarde dramatiker, poet, kritiker, skuespiller og regissør. Han regnes som en av de viktige teaterteoretikerne innen moderne vestlig teater. I 1938 utga han sin banebrytende bok "The Theatre and Its Double". Boka var et knallhardt oppgjør med konvensjonelt borgerlig teater og skapte en revolusjon innen teatrets verden dengang. I boka videreutviklet han konseptet Théâtre cruel, som var blitt grunnlagt av den franske dramatikeren Henry François Becque på slutten av 1800-tallet. "The Theatre and Its Double" regnes fortsatt i dag for å være aktuell av både teaterteoretikere og -kritikere, og boka brukes i undervisningen på mange teaterlæresteder og universiteter.




"No one has ever written, painted, sculpted, modeled, built, or invented except literally to get out of hell."

- Antonin Artaud




"Never before, when it is life that is in question, has there been so much talk of civilization and culture. And there is a curious parallel between this generalized collapse of life at the root of our present demoralization and our concern for a culture which has never been coincident with life, which in fact has been devised to tyrannize life.

Before speaking further about culture, I must remark that the world is hungry and not concerned with culture, and that the attempt to orient toward culture thoughts turned only toward hunger is a purely artificial expedient.

What is more important, it seems to me, is not so much to defend a culture whose existence has never kept a man from going hungry, as to extract, from what is called culture, ideas whose compelling force is identical with that of hunger.

We need to live first of all: to believe in what makes us live and that something makes us live - to believe that whatever is produced from the mysterious depths of ourselves need not forever haunt us as an exclusively digestive concern."

- Antonin Artaud, The Theatre and Its Double






Antonin Artaud (Poetryfoundation):


The Theatre and Its Double (Surrealism-Plays):




Théâtre cruel - teater som metafysikk

Scene fra "Venus and Mars" som ble vist på Grusomhetens Teater i desember 2017. Manuset ble skrevet av Judith Malina. Regien var av Lars Øyno. Stykket ble utarbeidet og fremført av Grusomhetens Teater i samarbeid med The Living Theatre (New York). Det fikk gjennomgående gode kritikker i både aviser og på teaterblogger. (bilde: Claudia Lucacel).




"In our present state of degeneration it is through the skin that metaphysics must be made to re-enter our minds."

- Antonin Artaud, The Theatre and Its Double




"Every real effigy has a shadow which is its double; and art must falter and fail from the moment the sculptor believes he has liberated the kind of shadow whose very existence will destroy his repose.

Like all magic cultures expressed by appropriate hieroglyphs, the true theater has its shadows too, and of all languages and all arts, the theater is the only one left whose shadows have shattered their limitations. From the beginning, on might say its shadows did not tolerate limitations.

Our petrified idea of the theater is connected with our petrified idea of a culture without shadows, where, no matter which way it turns, our mind (esprit) encounters only emptiness, though space is full.

But the true theater, because is moves and makes use of living instruments, continues to stir up shadows where life has never ceased to grope its way. The actor does not make the same gesture twice, but he makes gestures, he moves; and although he brutalizes forms, nevertheless behind them and through their destruction he rejoins that which outlives forms and produces their continuation."

The theater, which is in no thing, but makes use of everything - gestures, sounds, words, screams, light, darkness - rediscovers itself at precisely the point where the mind requires a language to express its manifestations.

- Antonin Artaud, The Theatre and its Double





The Theatre and Its Double, exerpts (ParaTheatrical):


The Movements - The Theatre of Cruelty (Nouse):




Røttene - arven som Grusomhetens Teater bygger på

Grusomhetens Teater er et brudd med moderne dialogbaserte vestlige teater. Teatret bruker knapt dialog i stykkene som vises. Istedet fokuserer teatret på kroppsbevegelser, mimikk, samt rytmisk og urytmisk dans, i tråd med visjonen til Antonin Artaud om hva ekte teater burde være. Røttene til Grusomhetens Teater går helt tilbake til antikkens Hellas. Derfra via middelalderens mysteriespill til surrealistisk teater på begynnelsen av 1900-tallet. Også Østens teater er del av røttene til Grusomhetens Teater, især indisk teater. Felles for antikkens, middelalderens, surrealistisk og Østens teater er at det ikke skilles mellom intellektet og følelsene for publikums opplevelse og erkjennelse.




"We are not free. And the sky can still fall on our heads. And the theater has been created to teach us that first of all."

- Antonin Artaud, The Theatre and Its Double




"All writing is rubbish. People who try to free themselves from what is vague in order to state precisely whatever is going on in their minds are producing rubbish. The whole literary tribe is a pack of rubbish mongers, especially today. All those who have landmarks in their minds, I mean in a certain part of their heads, in well-defined sites in their skulls, all those who are masters of language, all those for whom words have meaning, all those for whom the soul has its heights and thought its currents, those who are the spirits of the times, and who have given names to these currents of thought—I am thinking of their specific tasks, and of that mechanical creaking their minds produce at every gust of wind—are rubbish mongers."

- Antonin Artaud






Antonin Artaud and The Theatre of Cruelty (British Library):