Catastrophe Survived? The Failure of the Tragic in Moira Buffini'sWelcome to Thebes

Article


Voela, A. 2013. Catastrophe Survived? The Failure of the Tragic in Moira Buffini'sWelcome to Thebes. Somatechnics. 3 (1), pp. 133-148.
AuthorsVoela, A.
Abstract

In Moira Buffini's Welcome to Thebes (2010) Antigone fails to reach her tragic destiny, the city of Thebes fails to become an autonomous democratic state, and the audience fails to witness the splendour of the ancient heroine. In this paper I consider these three failures as interrelated and dependent upon one another, arguing, along psychoanalytic lines, that they register changing attitudes towards knowledge and the Other which ultimately determine the meaning of ‘failure’. However, in order to better appreciate the contemporary scope of failure, I draw on both Lacan and Baudrillard, highlighting convergences between the two theorists. In particular, I argue that Lacan's notion of the inconsistent Other can be supplemented by Baudrillard's notion of the impossible exchange. Further, the relevance of these notions for theatre and spectatorship is discussed in detail, as they both invite spectators to reflect on their own involvement in the scene they witness and the ontological conditions of (their own) absence and presence. Failure to do so possibly indicates an irreparable loss of the critical capacity which we have always considered central to radical thought.

JournalSomatechnics
Journal citation3 (1), pp. 133-148
ISSN2044-0146
2044-0138
Year2013
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.3366/soma.2013.0082
Publication dates
PrintMar 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited03 Mar 2016
Copyright informationThis is the accepted manuscript of an article published by Edinburgh University Press. The full version of record can be found at: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/soma.2013.0082
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