1887

n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - Die moderne self as toneelpop in

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Abstract

Hierdie artikel onderneem 'n semiotiese ondersoek na die identifikasie van die self spesifiek in die Suid-Afrikaanse modernisme deur 'n verwerking van Georg Büchner se "Woyzeck" as vertrekpunt te neem. William Kentridge se produksie van "Woyzeck on the Highveld" (opgevoer in 1992 en in 2009) verteenwoordig ten minste drie raakpunte tussen modernistiese en moderniserende diskoerse. Eerstens is die toneelstuk se hoofbron Georg Büchner se protomodernistiese teks waarin 'n Deur die toneelpoppe van Handspring Puppet Company as sentrale karakters te gebruik, word tweedens 'n styl na vore gebring wat verskeie elemente van die modernistiese estetika oproep, naamlik die objektivering van subjektiwiteit en die meganisering van die subjek. Deur Büchner se Duitse soldaat te rekontekstualiseer as 'n Afrika-mynwerker, bring die toneelstuk derdens verskeie aspekte van modernisering na vore deur die botsing, verwarring en die gepaardgaande sinkretisme van plattelandse en stedelike kulture te ondersoek. Ten slotte word verwys na die mens se strewe om meer te wees as net 'n toneelpop, meer as 'n masjien, asook die moontlike gevolge wat die gefragmenteerde modernistiese self kan hê vir konsepte van menslike vryheid en identiteit.


This article undertakes a semiotic investigation of identifications of the self in terms of a specifically South African modernism, via an exploration of an adaptation of Georg Büchner's "Woyzeck". William Kentridge's production of "Woyzeck on the Highveld" (1992; 2009) marks at least three intersections of modernist and modernising discourses. Firstly, it uses as its principal source Georg Büchner's protomodernist text, with its description of an individual alienated from his social context. Secondly, in making use of the puppets of the Handspring Puppet Company for its central characters, the play employs a style commensurate with modernist aesthetics, in terms of the objectification of subjectivity and the mechanisation of the subject. Thirdly, by re-contextualising Büchner's German soldier as an African mineworker, the production deals with aspects of modernisation by examining the clash, confusion and concomitant syncretism of rural and urban cultures. The article concludes by identifying the all too human desire to be more than a puppet, more than machine, and the potential consequences of the fragmented modernist self on conceptions of identity and freedom.

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/content/literat/32/2/EJC119282
2011-08-01
2016-12-04
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