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Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 1, 2018

Aesthetics and Philosophies of Art

Evi Prousali
Pages 261-269

The Translation of Existentialist Concepts into Scenic Signification

The world-renowned Italian theatre director Romeo Castellucci and his company, named Societas Raffaello Sanzio, has created over the past 20 years theatrical performances, imbued in philosophical thinking. In the summer of 2011 they presented, in different European cities – including Athens – his performance entitled On the concept of the face, regarding the Son of God. A performance strongly influenced by the existential philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre as this is expounded in his essay Being and Nothingness. Taking the statements of Theodor W. Adorno as our guide that “aesthetic form is sediment content” and that “only artworks that are to be sensed as a form of comportment have a raison d’être” we shall approach the above theatrical performance, which seems to satisfy both these statements. It is a performance that is not based on the text, but one which is structured exclusively on “scenic images” amounting to specific and “iconoclastic” gestures. The scenic signs of these images directly refer to fundamental concepts of the existential philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre: the look, we-object, us-subject, freedom in situation, being and doing, expounded in his essay Being and Nothingness. The present announcement attempts to demonstrate the way by which these concepts are being transcribed into scenic-signification in this particular performance.

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