VITA PERFORMATIVA [A FICTIONAL AUDITION]
title. Vita Performativa, a fictional audition (draft)
concept. Daphne Kokkini
date. January 2019 , text written for the online magazine Philosophy of Performance
issue. Special Issue "Sites of appearance, matters of thought: Hannah Arendt and Performance Philosophy"
type. text / article / performance / publication
links. philosophy of performance
Brother and Sister / Antigone's wedding / Inseparables
We are in a dark space. A table, two chairs, 3 cameras. 2 Persons enter. A and B.
[Sound-Intro: Ludwig van Beethoven, Musik zu einem Ritterballet, WoO 1]
- Frau Hannah Arendt, you are the first woman that will be portrayed in these series. A woman with a profession some might regard as a masculine one: you are a philosopher.
- Ja, i am afraid i have to protest!
With these words plunges Hannah Arendt into the legendary
interview, for the back then young and talented journalist Günter
Gaus, that was broadcasted by RBB Television on the 28th October
1964. Gaus himself claimed it later as being the most fascinating
discussion of his entire career. The interview has been since then
a reference point, reaching even a wider audience the last few
decades after the explosion of communication and social media. If
Arendt would only lived longer to witness the birth of these new
realms of appearance, would she recognize in them an immense
expansion of existing or new ways of conceiving political space?
I watch her sitting comfortably in one of those armchairs, facing
mostly a man or even many men. Sparkling eyes behind thick
glasses, her modern short grey haircut and a cigarette in her
usually left hand could summarize the impression she makes on me.
Her body language inspires firmness and stability, the way she
articulates every word is solid. She seems always thirsty for the
next question, for this world - the world of many statements, of
many ideas, of many questions - is her element. And Hannah feels
so comfortable in her element. While observing her, i keep
thinking about the parts of a play i would like her to read for
me. I haven’t decided where to place her. She seems to carry
qualities of several characters. Perhaps i should let her decide.
- I am afraid i should already protest! I don’t belong to the circle of
philosophers. My profession, if one can speak of it as such, is political
theory. I don’t see myself as a philosopher… I avoid the term political
(the rest of the text available after request)