Disjointed Confessions: Adikia and Radical Deradicalization in Schlingensief’s Hamlet
Keywords:critical theory, Derrida, Heidegger, performance art, dike and adikia, Christoph Schlingensief
In 2001, in Zürich Switzerland, German director Christoph Schlingensief staged a version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In this version’s famous mousetrap scene, in which Hamlet wants to force his uncle to confess to fratricide, all the players of the mise en abyme are portrayed by a group of neo-Nazis endeavouring to separate themselves from the right–wing scene. In a dramatic break from Shakespeare’s text the group go on to share their own personal experiences with the audience. The production attempted to comment on and create debate about the ‘rottenness’ of the State, not just Switzerland, amid the rise in approval ratings and growing influence of far-right parties in the surrounding countries. I posit that Schlingensief’s project is a form of radical deradicalization (i.e., a radical method of deradicalizing neo-Nazis). This paper analyses Schlingensief’s Hamlet by utilizing the concepts of adikia (disjointure, dislocation, injustice) and dike (jointure, ordering, justice), which go back to the oldest extant Greek text: the Anaximander fragment. Drawing on Martin Heidegger and Jacques Derrida’s reinterpretations of adikia and dike I endeavour to illustrate how Schlingensief’s work attempts to intervene in the disjointure caused by the contemporary politics of fear by bringing adikia to the production of Hamlet itself.
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