Susan Sontag

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In Approaching Artaud, Under the Sign of Saturn, written by Susan Sontag, she discusses the level of impact and influence Antonin Artaud had and continues to have in performance art. This essay will be a reflective response to the various ideas of who Antonin Artaud was, what he did as a performer and what his various ideas were in relation to performance art and art in general. This essay will also include a critical analysis on Susan Sontag ideas regarding Antonin Artaud, supported by quotations from the provided article specifically assigned, that will assist in the response expression of her given response in the article.

In the article provided, Sontag expresses that she believed Artaud to be a person on intellectual influence through
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Allow the body of art is speak for itself, and to those involved. Artaud wanted theatre to become a place where art is stripped away, without being heavily dependent on written word and poetry. He believed that ‘theatre be pared down, be kept as free from mediating elements as possible-including the mediation of the written text.’ (Sontag, 1972:35). On the contrary, Artaud was a man who first experimenting with written text, and was heavily influenced by what he read and saw, his choice to commit to completely eliminating text is profound but it does not take away the confusion of what Artaud wanted to accomplish. Artaud was a man who explored many artistic avenues but failed to fully commit to any artistic route. As a failed practitioner, one can say that Artaud himself was unsure of his particular interest in direction, but nonetheless, his openness to exploration made him incredibly influential, specifically seen in Grotowski’s work. Sontag continues to elaborate on this idea and view of Artaud that it was important to Artaud that one simply focuses on what the body speak, without talking but by the physical movement of the body, and making noises such as screaming, chants and any other…show more content…
Sontag supports this by saying commenting on Artaud, saying that, ‘Being a kind of emotional and moral surgery upon consciousness, it must be necessity, according to Artaud, be ‘cruel’.’ (Sontag, 1972:40). This leading to his theory of theatre of cruelty. In one’s opinion, this was expressing the need for a sense of urgency in theatre, that it must be difficult for people to digest. Artaud ‘imagines the theater as the place where the body would be reborn in thought and thought would be reborn in the body.’(Sontag,

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