Heiner Goebbels's Stifters Dinge and the Arendtian Public Sphere
Keywords:Arendt, Heiner Goebbels, Stifters Dinge, Eichmann
Heiner Goebbels’s works are examples of “postdramatic” theatre works that engage with the political by seeking to challenge socially ingrained habits of perception rather than by presenting traditional, literary-based theatre of political didacticism or agitation. Goebbels claims to work toward a “non-hierarchical” theatre in the contexts of his arrangement of the various theatrical elements, in fostering collaborative working processes between the artists involved, and in the creation of audience-artist relationships. In offering a reading of Goebbels’s “no-man show” Stifters Dinge, this paper seeks to situate Goebbels’s practice within a theoretical tradition that also encompasses Hannah Arendt’s deployment of the theatre as a metaphor for the public sphere. Within this analysis, I suggest, theatre can be seen to offer the possibility of a participatory democracy through its attention to disappearance and absence.
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