ABOUT REVOLUTIONARY MESSAGES
From the manuscript
The woman constantly moves her fingers as the scene slides into silence. Her eyes shift in various directions, are suddenly focused, and then slide from one side to another. For a moment they are out of sight, hidden under her eyelids. Her feet stamp silently on the floor. Her jewelries make a rustling sound. After a certain amount of time with repeatedly controlled body movements the woman falls into trance. The song which has been underlying becomes monotonous and intense. Froth comes out of the corners of her mouth. It is a frightening character, in contact with nature and spirit. From nothing she went into the forms, as to return to emptiness and into the death. To be cultivated is to burn the form and by this feel the life. And precisely through this we show that the life will rise again from the metaphysics.
The type of physiological revolt presented during the last minutes heralds the possibility of change. This is a difficult state, which – as we have seen – makes several people insane. The described tableau has created a radically authentic individual, totally alienated and without human references – like a Christ. “Revolutionary Messages” refers to the three lectures Antonin Artaud gave at the University of Mexico City on the 26th, 27th and 29th of February 1936, and which were later published with the same title. The performance is inspired by these texts in addition to Artaud’s last writings – collected in 408 scetch books.
“The theatre is degenerated so from where will the rescue come?” the poet Rudolf Nilsen wrote in a letter from Copenhagen 11th of March 1927 after visiting The Workers’ Theatre. The previous year he had reported from Soviet about the miracle man Meyerhold: “It was first of all the revolution which gave Meyerhold the chance to show what he was able to, and the State of the Labours gave him further possibilities. All of Meyerhold is new, and is still new each time he produces a new play. He is never done, and continually working to find new methods, his theatre is a laboratory. Meyerhold has understood the way of reaching into the heart of the Russian worker of today. Due to this he is a hero of the people and his productions are always played for overcrowded halls.”
Revolution and Theatre
The surrealists booed at Artaud’s theatre experiments in Paris at the end of the 1920s, even though he belonged to the group and conducted their research bureau. But according to the surrealists the theatre was declared to be bourgeois, completely devoid of rebelliousness and ability of renewal. Artaud later resigned from the group – not because he felt hurt at the critique or had stopped being a surrealist, but because the group in its eager to approve of every revolutionary idea gave its support to Stalin. The surrealist leader André Breton become later a trotskyist and visited the exile Russian in Coyoacan in Mexico few years after Artaud announced for Mexico City’s artists and intellectuals that the young generation in Europe thirsted for change.
The poet Arthur Rimbaud looked forward to a universal revolution through which the human being itself would be transformed, and hoped that the woman could guide forward to this aim. The revolution of Christ succeeded because he put forward his message through a strong poetic imagery, and through an involuntary effect by his own physiological ruin. Trapped in the Churo Ravine near the village Higueras in the South Eastern part of Bolivia Che Guevara realized in 1967 the hopelessness in his revolutionary project through which he would save the South American states from the imperialism. Among the surrealists in Paris the one who had lost all hope was concerned as the truest follower.