What insights about the idea of ‘translation’ might be gleaned from thinking about it not only in performance, but itself as a kind of performance? Nicholas Arnold, following last week’s ‘Re-’ Interdisciplinary Network symposium on ‘Translation as Performance’, was prompted to reflect on the multicultural and multilingual shows and audiences that have characterized international theatre festivals since the 1960s – including his own productions.
Say the Re- Editors:
Last week Tower Hamlet’s Council website crashed because of the volume of objections to a planning application by a New York hotel developer to convert the Whitechapel Bell Foundry into a luxury hotel. People are always lobbying to preserve an original building or object somewhere. This is different.
Factum Arte’s prodigious industry since the mid-nineties means we will have to rethink what we mean by original, copy, and authenticity. Technologies developed under its aegis mean it is now possible to capture and record data about an artwork to an accuracy of 100 microns (100 million measured spatial points per square meter) – and for the first time, this year, these works can now be rematerialized to an accuracy of 20 microns. This is, as Simon Schaffer says, marks a ‘complete revolution in the last two decades’
What’s in a prefix? How to read a prefix as short as ‘re-’? Does ‘re-’ really signify? Can it point into a specific direction? Can it reverse? Can it become the shibboleth of a ‘postcritical’ reboot? At first glance transparent and directional, ‘re-’ complicates the linear and teleological models commonly accepted as structuring the relations between past, present, and future, opening onto errant temporalities.
This analysis of ‘socialist bromance’ humour can’t take us far enough to argue that it contributes to the liberalisation of public discourse in China. But we can say that socialist terminology no longer belongs exclusively in its original official field. For what we see here is that the very iteration of ideology imposed by political authorities through language is starting to cause its own demise, bringing inevitable changes to its politically persuasive power.