By Krassimira Kruschkova

[…] the image of the genitals onto the armpit, that of the leg onto the arm, that of the nose onto the heel. Hand and tooth, armpit and genitals, heel and nose, in short, virtual and real arousal intermingle by overlaying each other.
Hans Bellmer


Self Unfinished
… with Hans Bellmer

In the much-revised dance performance Self Unfinished (1998) of the Berlin-based French choreographer Xavier Le Roy, Doctor of microbiology, the stage is suffused with laboratory-like neon light. One can see a table, a chair, a cassette recorder and – in the moment of reading this – an undressed body with its back to the audience, standing on its shoulders: a headless torso which makes above and below exchangeable. Shoulders and pelvis irritatingly double each other and themselves at the same time, as if they were staging an anagrammatical drawing from Hans Bellmer’s surrealist Puppet series.

Xavier Le Roy, Self Unfinished, 1998
Photo: Armin Linkeleroy_01
Hans Bellmer, Torsobellmer_torso_sm, 1935


In his Book Anatomie des Bildes, Bellmer writes:

„The body resembles a sentence which seems to invite us to analyse it down to its letters, so that in an endless series of anagrams that may come together anew which it contains in reality."[1]

So, an anagrammatic body[2] – body sentences which incessantly reset the syntax of the body. Arms and legs, hands and feet also choreographically change places again and again: with Le Roy just as with Bellmer’s Puppet. An organism deforms its organics.


Xavier Le Roy, Self Unfinished, 1998
Photo: Katrin Schoof

Hans Bellmer, La Poupée, 1935


The principle of the anagrammatical marks an important figure of thought in contemporary dance and performance. With Hans Bellmer’s anagrammatics of desire one cannot only read the performances of Xavier le Roy, but also the works of Meg Stuart, William Forsythe, Jérôme Bel or Tim Etchells – to name only those protagonists of the contemporary scene which will appear in the text on hand – as a reminder of examples already become „classics“, which here again are thought of together in terms of a singular figure of thinking. If the performative setting here is marked by unsettling, by a repetition against its own grain, then the choreo-graphy is running again and against at the same time – that is, anagrammatically: The Greek prefix “ana-“ also means “again” and “against” (e.g., anagnorisis: recognition; anatrop: running in the opposite direction). An anagram (from Greek anagraphein: circumscribing) is the rearrangement of the letters of a word or a dispositive of words to make a new one. In our case, it is interesting as a principle of simultaneous repetition and opposition, of self-evading execution, as a figure of defiguration or performative un/setting of reference. This figure can be thought of deconstructively: as more than a language, and at the same time no language any more (as plus d'une langue, so Derrida’s briefest attempt at a definition of deconstruction):


“I believe that in this matter there is only transference(s), and a thinking of transference(s), in the sum of all meanings which this word takes on in more than one language, and in the first place transference(s) between languages. If I had to take the risk – Heaven forbid! – to issue a single brief, elliptical and economical definition of deconstruction as a password, then I would simply say without building a sentence: more than one language/nothing that belongs to a language any more (plus d'une langue).”[3]


As a densification of this disjunctive marking of the linguistical, the anagram, that ever different constellation of meanings of the same letters, hints at more than one sense, and at none. The anagrammatical could thus be thought as a certain process of writing and reading which makes impossible that which it first makes possible, which itself undergoes the practice it practises.


… with Antonin Artaud


Le Roy’s body displacements, his de-ranged anamorphosen remind one of Antonin Artaud’s imperative in his text Maddening the actor:

“At last let human anatomy dance,
from above to below and from below to above,
from behind to the front and,
from the front to behind,
by the way though more from behind to behind
than from behind to the front […]”[4]


One could say that Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty aims at an anagrammatical disassembly and reassembly of the body:


“Reality has not yet been created, because the true organs of the human body are not yet assembled and installed.
The Theatre of Cruelty was created in order to accomplish this installation, and to rout this world of microbes which is merely coagulating nothingness, with a new dance of the human body.
The Theatre of Cruelty wants to have pairs of eyebrows with elbows, kneecaps, thighbones and toes dance and be seen”.[5]


If today the cabbalistic hypothesis of the body or the name as a genetic anagram is taken more literally than ever, i.e., as letter combinations of the four nucleotides ATGC, then this also happens in the sense of a thinking of suspended linearity. And if the anagrammatic foundation of language cabbalistics is the archaic belief that the letters form the deity’s body, that the letters of his name – as an embodied metonymy – are God himself, then a new creature can be evoked in the ultimately cruelly abysmal anagrammatic gesture. Insofar, Artaud’s cruauté, his ‘cruelty’, his relentless opposition against God as the Great Prompter could literally be interpreted as an anagram of creature.


For Le Roy’s solo performance which precisely follows this anagrammatic procedure and whose self, whose subject-reflection can never be finished, is named Self Unfinished. The headless shoulder stand (dis-)placement appears in several variations. Le Roy’s ease of extreme concentration does not try out a new assignment of the body, but the anagrammatic form of the formless, the shape of shapelessness. Le Roy:

“I am decidedly not interested in defining forms but rather in rendering something formless.”[6]

That which moves and investigates its motive reasons in Self Unfinished is formless, never completely depicted. If we think of the corporeal hieroglyphs of that “incarnation of the letter”[7] (thus Derrida about Artaud), which however remains singular, immediately dissolves before becoming form, inimitably: if we think of Artaud’s imperative of being “like the condemned who are burned and who make signs down from their pyre”[8] or of that “kind of tender, lively fire touched by no form[9]. That is, no prompted or “other-determined” body –

“Because I believe that it is not necessary to offer the audience a certain corporeality with which it can identify in the manner of: “wow, great bodies, fantastic what they’re able to do.” I want to contribute to change such patterns of identification because they are heteronomous.”[10]


… with Heinrich von Kleist


Repeatedly Xavier Le Roy stretches out along the crease between the white stage floor and the white stage background, remaining there. He almost disappears stretching out along this crease, this book crease – as if he were quoting Heinrich von Kleist’s dancing puppet which needs the ground “like fairies to streak it […] to rest on it […] a moment which obviously is no dance itself”[11]. The body is defigurated as a resting line, as ‘still’, as a dash, an omission – against the grain of any linearity of view. His dance which is none, his de/figurations, dis/placements, un/foldings mark another exciting figure for contemporary dance, the figure of standstill. These are moments of quietness, of shifting, of shifts in and beyond time, still acts: Le Roy always begins his performance at the table, the writing desk by simply lingering there for a spell, only to return – after each of the ten choreographic sequences – to the writing desk for a rest, even if only for a few seconds. If according to Paul de Man Kleist’s “aesthetic power lies neither in the puppet nor in the puppeteer but in the text which unfolds between them”[12], as “the transformation system, the anamorphosis of the thread”, then Le Roy’s Self Unfinished is puppet and operator at the same time without disentangling the thread between them. And if, according to de Man, the “puppet’s ground […] is not the ground of stable cognition but another anamorphosis of the thread by which it becomes the asymptote of a hyperbolic trope”[13], then the crease between the white stage floor and the white stage background also belongs to the scenic transformation system between line and curve, like between plane and space: Le Roy stretches out there, himself the asymptote of his hyperbolic tropes, e.g., the hyperbole of dance, of dance in standstill (vague as Kleist’s geometrical figurality may be, or better: just because of that).


Contemporary dance is often perforated by ‘still acts’, interspersed or almost totally beset with breaches.[14] By arresting the gestures, dance takes them out of time, puts them in scene and simultaneously exposes them. 'Stills' here can be understood as a different multiplication of that which is present, where presence appears as an – by necessity potential – interruption of the Now. It is gestures as caesuras which here arrest dance history/stories and perforate the scene. They are interspersed with references which however refer to nothing. The body dismisses itself. Choreography does not make it visible but absent from itself. The body only makes an appearance through its steps. Sense only comes up as an effect of retrospection, as surplus, waste matter, too much and too little at the same time. The exchange economy of representation is broken by gestures, in a manner that everything that is reproduced is immediately taken back. What remains is the never-shown, the performative remnants of absence, the presence of absence.[15]


… or with Heiner Müller


The presentations and dissimulations taken on again and again, the reverse motions, the movements of thought against their own grain possibly spell out the scientific interest of microbiologist Le Roy in the cancer cell – about the proliferating loss of the body's original coding, about its retrogression, about palindromatic spatial and temporal mirror writing. "Cancer my beloved", the last words of Heiner Müller's Quartett longingly take up the disintegration of the textual cell, just like the backward movement, the palindromatic progress of the (scenic) writing (de-)noting itself, spelling itself backwards. The body figures continuously change, not only to expose imaginatively the possibilities of transformation, but to unsettle any reading. The machine Le Roy, which in the beginning, spelling out the handed-over body alphabet, investigates the function of single extremities separately, and accompanies every minimal movement with hydraulic noises of the mouth, makes one think of the demeanor of Heiner Müller's Hamletmaschine: "I want to be a machine. Arms to grasp legs to walk." "I am a typewriter", Müller says, and that is also how the machine Le Roy writes (itself). And it rewrites itself – not least via the audience's gaze which gets sharpened like a pencil. Every minimal movement is directed at itself in order to execute itself, simultaneously ticking itself off and crossing itself out: "Thinking for me is a physical practice", Le Roy says.[16] He has the thinking of the body act(ed out) anagrammatically.


The self unfinished works on its own body as well as on the body of its staging in a state of floating between reference and performance. And if one believes for a short while to be seeing two bodies, a male and a female one, dancing-fighting with each other as Le Roy is pulling his too-long T-shirt over his head and arms, bending down and walking to and fro as if head and arms were a lower body in a frock, headlessly connected to his Siamese twin, Le Roy's actual lower body in trousers, then that image, too, is quickly dropped. The performer straightens up again soberly, matter-of-factly, continuing his meticulous body scenario. For the dance-fight has to be seen headless in two ways, literally and figuratively: On the one hand the partly inverted figure actually lacks a head and on the other hand it would be folly to continue thinking about this sequence merely referentially e.g., as a paradigmatic battle of the sexes etc. "'What you see is what you see', said the American artist Frank Stella", Xavier Le Roy reminds us.[17] Other figurative and literal dances-fights, for example from Heiner Müller's Herakles 2 oder Die Hydra, can be put in relation to this:


"Adapt to the enemy’s movements. Avoid them. Pre-empt them. Meet them. Adapt and do not adapt. Adapt through not adapting. Attackingly evade. Evasively attack. […] in continuous destruction ever anew set back to his smallest parts, again and again reassembling himself from his shards in constant reconstruction, sometimes he put himself together wrong, left hand to right arm, thigh bone to upper bone […] he learnt to read the ever changing blueprint of the machine he was stopped being different was again with every glance grip step and that he thought changed wrote with the handwriting of his works and deaths.”[18]


The erotic-belligerent adaptation to the opponent’s movements here also correlates with Kleist’s swordfight with the bear (Über das Marionettentheater). Here, every turn of writing is nothing but a parade celebrating and creating itself which cannot be countered [parieren]. The de-rangement of language in its referential irreducibility. For language is like a bear, like Kleist’s bear, says Paul de Man:

“His thrusts go awry, hit off target, are misplaced, slip off track and deviate. The same with language: it always thrusts and never hits. It always refers, but never to the right referrer.”[19]


Or, besides the anagram, another figure for the dissimulation of the body, the chiasmus (from Greek Chi' = Χ)[20] One could say that Xavier Le Roy executes the chiastic relationship beetween dance and theory by example of his own body. The chiastic reversibility of the theory of dance as a dance of theory is spelled out in Self Unfinished. If the right hand moves the left foot and the left hand the right one, when Le Roy, standing on his shoulders, 'sits' with his back to the audience, then this disfigured anagrammatic body chiastically is drawing a "Χ". The body is disowned in this reversibility and made over to the ever Other, and every reflexion about it is signed biographically: "Theory is biography", Le Roy says in his performance Product of Circumstances, as if he wanted to declaim Paul de Man's Autobiographie as De-facement. "Giving a lecture is doing a performance", he says, presenting the propositions of his microbiological thesis followed by his transition to dance by showing how he learned to dance. One learns a new alphabet of the body, and unlearning as well as failure belong to this lecture performance. Or maybe one could call it a lecture "afformance" with respect to Werner Hamacher's term for simultaneous placement and displacement. What Hamacher calls afformative is the "enabling which cannot find fulfilment in any form, as enabling and disabling, as action and non-action at the same time: as an afformative of language"[21]. The afformative is "not aformative, not the negation of the formative"[22]. Le Roy’s “afformance” takes back the performative, simultaneously places and displaces the body images, makes impossible what it enables, takes out what it takes for granted.


Moreover, the anamorphoses of Self Unfinished are not merely directed at the androgynous, and not only at the monstrous or animal representations; they belong to more than one body and at the same time to no body any more: if we think of Derrida’s definition of deconstruction as plus d'une langue. If Le Roy’s choreographic deconstruction works at the biological, social, cultural machine which is his body, then this work is also linguistical, exactly like Hans Bellmer’s body sentences which have to be anagrammated, reordered, inverted. And a synesthetic inversion only becomes ‘visible’ as a moving image via the lack of sound – “hearing opens the eyes”:

“The piece begins when I am walking toward a tape machine in the room and pressing the start button. There is no sound because the piece has no sound – but through this simple gesture the people still are prepared for hearing. This hearing also opens the eyes. Perception becomes more acute.”[23]

The sound from the tape machine only comes when the button is pressed again at the end of the piece. The scenic sound body also is disfigured – doing what the song is about, repeated upending: “Upside down, inside out”, thus the words of a well-known song by Diana Ross. The switching on and off, the forward and reverse movements in Self Unfinished decline physique ever different. Thus the body falls out of the body ever anew, thinking out of thinking, anagrammatically shaken. Thus the thinking of the body just like the body of thinking eludes any syntactical attachment and assignment. Le Roy brilliantly misses the coding of the body. And forces the pleasure of dissimulation.


First Night


In the performances by Forced Entertainment, too, anagrammatical de-articulations of all kinds as a test arrangement are often marked by frontal positioning of the performers before the audience, where they take apart and put together previously begun stories again and again, as if marking a transposable line of letters.


Forced Entertainment: First Night, 2001; Photo: Hugo Glendinning


This also happens literally in First Night (2001), where the performers are carrying letters and arranging them to form new words again and again. The ironical potential, the ironical potentiality of this scene does not simply consist of the literal play with the letters, but in the oscillation between the literal and the figurative. The performers, a little exhausted by this game, now and then 'switch off' (of the word ILLUSION, which is created out of the letters of all performers, there only remains an ILL US and then only an I). Then one stands with his O next to an N, thus forming an ON, and both are – performatively – ON again. At the same time, this performance is palindromatically (i.e. readable in both directions) crossed out: The ON/NO-game of broken words, promises and hearts begins again, only to keep breaking the linear order of reference, of representation. But let’s break off the ON/NO-games, the switching on and off of sound, image, presence, which were also pregnant in Self Unfinished, only to return to them presently …


Splayed Mind Out


In the dance/video performance Splayed Mind Out (1997) by choreographer Meg Stuart and video artist Gary Hill, a dancer writes “hand” backwards on her bare back, the sequence at the same time appearing enlarged as a projection. Backwards the hand also writes “on”/”no” onto the naked wkin (and onto the projection screen’s ‘skin’), and this palindrome, this writing which can be read in two directions lets the body which is only misused as a projection area, as “on”, write: “no”.


Meg Stuart/Gary Hill: Splayed Mind Out, 1997; Photo: Chris Van der Burght


Where does the body end, and does it belong to one? This aporetic question could offer a mode for reading Splayed Mind Out. The anagrammatic dissolution and disappearance of the body limits here happens in the ‘concrete’ theatre of intertwined extremities and projection areas. In the beginning an ‘octopus’ of several bodies is lying on the stage, as if they had exchanged their extremities. Almost incomprehensibly, the uncanny shape then untangles, without hand and foot (literally and figuratively), legs and arms continuously anagrammatically dis-placing their presentation, falling apart into single bodies and body images, followed by scenes of their choreo-graphic translation into each other, which now and then also is thematised verbally as a precarious task. The brittle, twitching (also due to lighting), fractal body of/on the scene consequently is multiplied by blackouts and video cuts. Where a living body just submerged, a virtual body image emerges, and only in the repeated fragmentation and cross-fading of this procedure the live performance emancipates itself from the virtual one, the real body from a (its) video image.


Of Any If And
Alie/n a(c)tion


The rapidly ascending and descending panels with ever changing combinations of letters and words in William Forsythe’s choreography with the dadaistic-like title Of Any If And (1995) seem to be dancing, anagrammatically testing the distances between words, between words and places: dis-d/tance as the search for possible changes of the field of meaning. The movement patterns of his choreography, too, can often be read as a kinetic anagram, disfiguring the handed-over ballet syntax. The vocabulary of classical ballet becomes anagrammated via the recombination of movement sequences. Peculiar body parts (e.g., the shoulders) set off impulses which are transmitted to the body and seem to relocate gravitation.


William Forsythe: Of Any If And, 1995


Again, at the end of Forsythe’s choreography Alie/n a(c)tion (1992) a dancer reads out the title’s neologism, spelling it out straight and reversed, and also exchanging each of the three word parts and single letters. These anagrammatical experiments frustrate, transgress any final sense. And while the dancer lets the letters dance verbally, he himself begins to move minimally, testing new positions of each extremity as if his own body were an exchangeable line of lettering. Only reading makes him dance so, and dancing becomes writing.


Nom donné par l'auteur
The show must go on


In Jérôme Bel’s first choreography Nom donné par l'auteur (1994)[24] large letters on the stage are rearranged again and again. So the choreo-graphy combines various words in different languages from the letters S, E, N, O (all points of the compass – S/E/N/O: sud/est/nord/ouest) and at the same time NO SENSE, eventually only to ironically destabilise any reading of the scenical conditioned to coding via their multilingual aspect, their ‘more than’ and ‘no language any more’ (plus d'une langue); a S(c)ENO-graphy disseminated in all directions (sens) and every sense (sens). At the end of the performance the final constellation of the letters is FIN, literally the “end”. (The O in profile has become I, and the E an F, its lower line covered – by a dictionary! Throughout the whole choreography the two performers ‘communicated’ with objects instead of words. The economy of exchange breaks down because the objects meet and come upon each other without an object – or is there one? The literality (at the end of the performance one can literally read the word ‘END’) which we know so well from Bel’s later works, does not divulge anything but communicability itself – only to deconstruct the uncanniness of language, of communication into nonsense. By naming his work Nom donné par l'auteur gibt, that is, by giving the work that which is the dictionary’s definition of a title, Bel gives it more than one, and no name at the same time: a performance which simultaneously gives too much and too little. Jérôme Bel virtuosically spells out the scenic lack/missing of referentiality. The vacancy, the omission, the presence of absence, incessantly promising itself but also stumbling over its own words, anagrammatically misspeaking.


Jérome Bel, Nom donné par l'auteur, 2005

In Jérôme Bel’s The show must go on! (2000), too, choreographical (and musical) elements are freely recombined in order to densify their ironical anagraphy ever different. For instance, in the scene full of omissions with pausing singing and dancing to walkman music, in which one line after another from entirely different songs are put into ever fresh sequences; the texts are only connected by the first person singular/plural. Or another scene: during the song I Like To Move It (Reel 2 Real, E. Morillo & M. Quashie) minimal movements of only a single part of the body are executed (each actor using another part): tongue, elbow, finger, behind, penis etc. In a row frontal to the audience the performers build a line of movement hieroglyphs, a body-line of singled-out body letters anagrammable anytime. And one is moving the rear curtain. Whether the rear curtain, the backside or the tongue is moving is not inscribed into any hierarchy of meaning. The body becomes stage, the stage becomes body. The hanging tongue becomes a curtain, the quotation mark of the voice, the song, the curtain becomes the tongue ironically sticking out into the face of the stage. It’s the appearance of the lingua of the scene, its language and tongue at the same time, the appearance of the body of language. And Bel’s work The show must go on 2 (2004) is explicitly constructed according to anagrammatic principles which – so it seems – only enables the title’s imperative, be it overdetermination …


Jérome Bel, The show must go on!, 2000


… with Ferdinand de Saussure and some others …


Even Ferdinand de Saussure’s anagram notes (1907-1909), possibly the most famous study of anagrams, are considered as a kind of overdetermination – just because they put overdetermination and instability on the scene of language. In 1971, Jean Starobinski publishes Les mots sous les mots: les anagrammes de Ferdinand de Saussure, a long expected book with de Saussure’s notebooks and Starobinski’s comments. These comments deal with the probably most important and at the same time most scandalous anagram study which in various circles received extraordinary attention, because it argued for the suspension of the referential function of poetry by investigating the texts only with regard to formal principles. De Saussure’s controversial hypothesis of the anagrammatical materiality of Latin poetry, which according to him was structured as a coded dispersion of a basic name or word throughout the lines of the poem, is especially significant for the text at hand. If in the anagram one has to “recognise and gather the leading syllables, like Isis reassembled the dismembered body of Osiris”[25], then the fragmented scenic body also has to be continuously reconfigured, and one has to have it reverberate and take itself back in its own echo – insofar as the anagrams “hint at a hardly conscious and quasi instinctive pleasure in the echo”[26]. And if the anagrammatic typeface “not only binds the parts of speech into linearity any more, but lets them radiate to all sides and strike up relationships with each other which could break through the logic of sentence structure”[27], then the anagrammatical calls the visual peculiarity of writing to the fore, lets their rhizomatic conjunctions, their deconstructive “spatialisation” have a word. Like in Artaud’s pictography, every inscription here figures as word and image at the same time. And contemporary dance and performance, which often work with inscriptions, writing tablets, letter sequences, expose just this spatial dimension of writing, the literal dimension of space.


If de Saussure’s anagram theory gives up the compulsion of origin by letting multiplied lettres convolute into each other ever anew, then it corresponds with the thought of différance, that “writing avant la lettre”, that “primordial writing without present origin, without arche”[28]. The anagram can be thought of as a scenic figure of the ana-mimetic instead of the solely negative anti-mimetic, which not only negates imitation but lets it generate itself, without anything that is imitated, without original, anagrammatic instead of analogue. Artaud, too, wanted to emancipate language from a discursive origin which could always be prompted, its lines fed, breathed in. His glossolalia creates such a (language) body out of breath beyond the discursive.


The anagrammatical is not about a virtuosic play of ambiguousness towards arbitrariness, but about persevering in referential indecision, in intentional instability, a holding out beyond givenness and this side of possibility. The act of understanding in the anagrammatical is suspended by its intentional instability – a literal commotion of the senses, a tremor of meaning levels, a continuous deconstruction, also quite literally. It is not by chance that in Paul de Man’s text about de Saussures anagrams Hypogram and Inscription the deconstructive procedure is called “determinated elimination of determination”[29], or – as in Shelley Disfigured – as a “performance of disfiguration”[30]. Let’s think of Meg Stuart’s Disfigure Study here … but also of the inconclusiveness – self unfinished – of the choreographic examples possible here, as the anagrammatic procedure itself: therefore, too, the inconclusiveness of the ‘zu’ in the subtitle of this text.



[1]Hans Bellmer: „Kleine Anatomie des körperlichen Unbewußten oder Die Anatomie des Bildes", in: Idem: Die Puppe, Berlin: Gerhardt Verlag 1962, p. 158.

[2] On the term "anagrammatic body" in Le Roy's Self Unfinished and also in relation to Bellmer and Artaud cf. Krassimira Kruschkova: "Actor as/and Author as 'Afformer' (as Jérôme Bel as Xavier Le Roy)", Frakcija 2001; Kruschkova, Krassimira "Szenische Anagramme: Zum Theater der Dekonstruktion." TheaterKunstWissenschaft. Wien/Köln/Weimar: Böhlau, 2004, p. 229-238.

[3] Jacques Derrida: Mémoires. Für Paul de Man, Wien: Passagen 1988, p. 31.

[4] Antonin Artaud: Schluß mit dem Gottesgericht. Das Theater der Grausamkeit. Letzte Schriften zum Theater, München: Matthes & Seitz 1980, p. 34.

[5] Cf. Antonin Artaud: "Le théâtre de la cruauté", in: 84, Paris 1948, #5-6, p. 101. German translation quoted from: Jacques Derrida: "Die soufflierte Rede", in: id.: Die Schrift und die Differenz, Frankfurt a. M.: Suhrkamp 1972, p. 288.

[6] Xavier Le Roy, quoted from Helmut Ploebst: "Das Labor des Dr. Le Roy", in: Falter, No. 18, 1999, May 5, p. 22.

[7] Jacques Derrida: "Die soufflierte Rede", in: id.: Die Schrift und die Differenz, Frankfurt a. M. 1972, p. 289.

[8] Antonin Artaud: Das Theater und sein Double, Frankfurt a. M. 1979, p. 15.

[9] Ibid., p. 15.

[10] Xavier Le Roy: "Bin ich ein Insekt? Bin ich ein Mensch?" A conversation with Eva Karchner, in: Die Zeit, No. 36, 1999.

[11] Kleist, Heinrich von. "Über das Marionettentheater." Sämtliche Werke und Briefe. Bd. 2. München, 1993. S. 342.

[12] Paul de Man: "Ästhetische Formalisierung: Kleists Über das Marionettentheater", in: Paul de Man: Allegorien des Lesens, Frankfurt a.M. 1988.

[13] Ibid.

[14] Cf. Brandstetter, Gabriele. "Still/Motion: Zur Postmoderne im Tanztheater." Bewegung im Blick. Beiträge zu einer theaterwissenschaftlichen Bewegungsforschung. Eds. Claudia Jeschke and Hans-Peter Bayerdörfer. Berlin: Vorwerk 8, 2000, p. 122-136; also: Lepecki, André. "Still:On the Vibratile Microscopie of Dance." ReMembering the Body, Ed. Gabriele Brandstetter and Hortensia Völkers. Ostfildern-Ruit: Hatje Cantz, 2000. p. 334-366.

[15] Cf. Krassimira Kruschkova (ed.): Ob?scene. Zur Präsenz der Absenz im zeitgenössischen Tanz, Theater und Film, Wien/Köln/Weimar: Böhlau 2005. Also cf. the noteworthy book by Gerald Siegmund Abwesenheit. Eine performative Ästhetik des Tanzes, Bielefeld: transcript 2006.

[16] Xavier Le Roy in: „Das Labor des Dr. Le Roy", l. c.

[17] Ibid.

[18] Heiner Müller: „Herakles 2 oder Die Hydra", in: Frank Hörnigk (Hg.): Heiner Müller Material. Texte und Kommentare, Leipzig 1989, l.c., p. 76f.

[19] Paul de Man: “Ästhetische Formalisierung: Kleists Über das Marionettentheater”, l. c., p. 227.

[20] Chiasmus [Greek-New Latin; from the Greek letter Chi = ? (= crossed)]: a crossed syntactic position of words or parts of speech relating to each other (e.g. great was the expense, the reward was small; rhetoric; stylistics); opposite: parallelism.

[21] Hamacher, Werner. "Die Geste im Namen. Benjamin und Kafka." Entferntes Verstehen: Studien zu Philosophie und Literatur von Kant bis Celan. Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp 1998, p. 323.

[22] Hamacher, Werner. "Afformativ, Streik. Was heißt “Darstellen”? " Ed. Christiaan L. Hart Nibbrig. Frankfurt a. M.: Suhkamp, 1994, p. 346/360. Hamacher specifies his neologism further, letting it think “the constitution of language itself”, which is “not only an act of language among others, but the performative, which is par excellence and still – because of its pre-structure, its alienness with regard to meaning and its possible figurality, has to remain suspended and holds all depending performatives suspended”; these are then thought “not simply as performative any more, but as its condition of formation and as “disposition” (cf. Hamacher, Werner. “Lectio: De Mans Imperativ.” Entferntes Verstehen, l. c., p. 190. footnote 14). Also cf. – with regard to theatre – Lehmann, Hans-Thies. Postdramatisches Theater, Frankfurt a.M.: Verl. D. Autoren 1999, p. 459-461.

[23] Xavier le Roy in: “Bin ich ein Insekt? Bin ich ein Mensch?”, l. c.

[24] Bel later gives his own name to his performance “Jérôme Bel” (1995); in “Xavier Le Roy” (2000) he acts as author/director, however letting Xavier Le Roy design the concept and stage the piece: theatre practices of an authorless fraud which purportedly render the question of authorship irrelevant but make it all the more important.

[25] Starobinski, Jean: Wörter unter Wörtern. Die Anagramme von Ferdinand de Saussure, Frankfurt a. M. 1980.

[26] Ibid, p. 32.

[27] Aage A. Hansen-Löve: “Velemir Chlebnikovs Onomatopoetik. Name und Anagramm”, in: Renate Lachmann / Igor P. Smirnov (Eds.): Kryptogramm, Zur Ästhetik des Verborgenen. Wiener Slawistischer Alamanach, Vol. 21 1988.

[28] Jacques Derrida: “Die différance”, in: Jacques Derrida: Die Schrift und die Differenz, Frankfurt a. M. 1972, p. 41.

[29] Paul de Man: “Hypogram and Inscription”, in: Paul de Man: The Resistance to Theory, Minneapolis/London 1993, p.43.

[30] Paul de Man: “Shelleys Entstellung”, in: Paul de Man: Die Ideologie des Ästhetischen. Frankfurt a. M. 1993.



(Translation: David Ender, 2010-05-10)

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