Exceptionalism, Schizophrenia, Artaud: On Judgment


  • Kélina Gotman King's College London




Gilles Deleuze posits that judgment is the crowning principle governing tragedy and modern philosophy at the same time (“Pour en finir avec le jugement,” in Critique et Clinique, 1995). Drawing on Antonin Artaud’s final radio play, Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu [To Be Done with the Judgment of God], Deleuze argues that Artaud, like D.H. Lawrence, Kafka and Nietzsche, suffered from the judgment of others inasmuch as he was individuated; his body was made to have organs – in other words, to suffer a hierarchy between brain, stomach, anus, etc. – even though he saw himself as utterly porous, without differentiation and without hierarchy. Returning to the concept of judgment and to Artaud’s final years, this paper offers a schizoanalytic reading of this tragedy of individuation, to ask whether Artaud’s theatre of cruelty – finally manifest in Pour en finir avec le jugement de dieu – can be read as a performance philosophical act without drama and without philosophy. In other words, it asks whether we might conceive of the pure drama of disindividuation – Artaud’s vision of a porous, horizontal self – eschewing the very philosophical and dramatic acts imputed to it.

Author Biography

Kélina Gotman, King's College London

[email protected]

Kélina Gotman is Lecturer in Theatre and Performance Studies in the Department of English at King’s College London, and a core convenor of Performance Philosophy. She received her PhD in Theatre from Columbia University, and has taught cultural and critical theory, writing, and performance at the Eugene Lang College for Liberal Arts at the New School, Bard College and Columbia. She is translator of Félix Guattari’s The Anti-Oedipus Papers (New York: Semiotext(e), 2006), and writes regularly on dance and philosophy, history and philosophy of science, performance, translation and dramaturgy. She has collaborated on well over two dozen productions in Europe and North America as an actor, director, dancer, choreographer, writer, translator, dramaturg and curator, including most recently her translation of Artaud’s The Spurt of Blood [ Le jet de sang (1925)] and a new work based on Georges Bataille’s “Propositions” (1937) with Falmouth- and London-based electronics band Schopenhauer, both for the Infancy, History and the Avant-Garde festival she co-curated with American composer Steve Potter, the fourth in a series of projects under the aegis of their experimental opera company Recreational Services (2015). She is from Montreal.


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How to Cite

Gotman, K. (2015). Exceptionalism, Schizophrenia, Artaud: On Judgment. Performance Philosophy, 1(1), 119–125. https://doi.org/10.21476/PP.2015.1121



Notes on Tragedy