Archaeological research in the area of the chateau park uncovered the relic of the Gothic church of St. Elisabeth, dated to the second half of the 13th century. It is a single-nave building with a rectangular finish (length 25 m, boat width 13 m, presbytery width 10.5 m). The church probably had an older predecessor - a wooden structure on a stone foundation, dating from the mid-13th century. At the same time, the church site was a burial place: a grave of a young woman and a 1.5-year-old child, dated 13th/14th century were found outside the presbytery wall. In the presbytery, there were 3 graves of men dating back to the 14th century. It is very likely that these are the Lords of the Wallenstein family. Archaeological research in graves in the Church of St. Elisabeth unearthed a small collection of animal bone remains. The occurrence of bones of young and mature cattle and domestic fowls, which are abundant in the archaeozoological assemblage, indicates the prevailing meat consumption of these animals. The butchering marks on their bones document removal of meat from the carcasses.
This article explores how audience participation practices were introduced into Lithuanian theatre in the last three decades (between the early ‘90s and the late 2010s) and how the audience participation methods of the 1960s Western theatre are/were being implemented into contemporary Lithuanian theatre projects. The key goal of this article is to examine the evolution of audience participation and collective theatre tradition in Lithuanian theatre by analysing the preconditions for participatory practices in the country’s theatre scene and defining the scope and contradictions of participation in the latest examples of contemporary Lithuanian theatre practices. These contradictions are also apparent in contemporary Western performative practices, which have already distanced themselves from the collective theatre movement of the ‘60s and the ‘70s and the political agenda of the performances of that time, selectively retaining only limited participatory aspects of the environmental theatre culture as a new form of entertainment. Similar limited levels of participation in Lithuanian theatre can be based on a different premise—that changes in spectators’ habitude cannot catch up with the newly (re)introduced theatrical ideas after the 1990s, and that theatre creators are still trying to cautiously synchronise conventional observation tactics and modern theatre hierarchies with the interactive ones, thus slowing down changes in staging and spectatorship strategies as well.
The article focuses on academic texts by Lithuanian theatre researchers Ramunė Balevičiūtė, Rasa Vasinauskaitė, Rūta Mažeikienė, Jurgita Staniškytė, Vaidas Jauniškis, Lina Michelkevičė, and others to illustrate the discourse of audience participation analysis and to present different stages of the participatory tradition in the historiography of Lithuanian theatre. For international context, history, and mechanics of audience participation, texts by Erika Fischer-Lichte, Michael Kirby, Richard Schechner, Gareth White, Gay McAuley, Johan Huizinga, and others are used.
The article employs concepts of time lag, inspired by Ernst Bloch, and ghost and haunting, borrowed from Jacques Derrida. It also draws on Svetlana Boym’s and Vilém Flusser’s vision of the émigré and on Dominick LaCapra’s and Slavoj Žižek’s interpretations of trauma. The analysis is also informed by Karen Jürs-Munby’s and Cathy Caruth’s views on trauma and its representation in theatre.
This critical apparatus is put into motion in the particular context of BANDIT: a theatre project developed in the UK by two Romanian émigré theatre-makers. The main focus is on exposing links between the references to trauma contained in the theatre piece BANDIT and the makers’ self-imposed artistic exile in the UK. The article seeks to answer the following question: what has pushed us, the makers of BANDIT, to leave our native country and what is our (new) role (as artists) in the country of emigration? The discussion is carried out within the wider context of the vast waves of Romanian emigration to Western Europe (after the fall of the Iron Curtain). The article critiques the troublesome relation of the contemporary Romanian society to its Communist past and the apparent inability and/or unwillingness to deal with the repressed/traumatic memories of that past. Analysis of BANDIT as performance of lingering trauma also references the historical Percentages agreement between Stalin and Churchill—the informal agreement that established spheres of influence in Europe at the end of the Second World War. Identifying the Iron Curtain as the epicentre of traumatic memory for Eastern Europeans, the discussion about BANDIT also makes a reference to Communist crimes against political prisoners committed in Romanian prisons in 1951–1952, put in parallel with the toxic EU referendum campaign in the UK in 2016. Underpinned by Derrida’s thinking, the article explains how the Romanian émigré-artist (as a paragon of the Romanian / Eastern European émigré in general) has to fashion herself into a ghost that haunts the adoptive culture, using artistic exile as a platform for processing the traumatic memories of an unresolved past.
Lithuanian theatre has always been known for its visual metaphors and dramaturgy of directorial images, where the language of literary text is translated into visual metaphors created on stage by a director. Due to this quality, some critics have argued that Lithuanian theatre has been demonstrating postdramatic characteristics for a long time. However, one should note that visual metaphors of modern Lithuanian theatre have been based on and controlled by literary text and never quite established a more autonomous and self-contained visuality. Dramatic text remained the point of departure whether the director chose to illustrate or concretise it, to transform or deform it. However, in post-Soviet Lithuanian theatre, these relations have been gradually turning discontinuous, their intensity often varied within the framework of the same performance. Fragmentary cracks, when images, departed from the roles of commentators or illustrators of textual meanings, turned into flashes of independent visions that were seen by the critics as an obvious shift towards a radical image-centric position or, to use the term of Hans-Thies Lehmann, postdramatic theatre. However, the recent performance Lokis (2017, Lithuanian National Drama Theatre) by Polish theatre artist Lukasz Twarkowski, produced twenty years after the initial introduction of the term postdramatic into the Lithuanian context, has paradoxically started a storm of divisive opinions in the Lithuanian theatre milieu. It became the focal point of discussions about the intrinsic character of Lithuanian theatre, especially its embedded attitudes towards drama text and acting—notoriously challenging factors for many international collaborations. The article analyses the ongoing debates about the term postdramatic theatre and its interpretations in Lithuanian theatre criticism, taking the example of Lokis as a case study.
For the purpose of my examination of how literature and art take part in the circulation of significations and representations in the construction of social reality, I concentrate on a specific feature that links and unites the work of four contemporary European authors—the inflation of death and violence, or the “overflow of corpses” in their novels, plays, and performances. My first example will be Bosnian-Croatian theatre director Oliver Frljić, his disturbing, shocking performances in which he uses his own personal, wartime, and political traumas to ask universal questions about the boundaries of artistic and social freedom, individual and collective responsibility, tolerance and stereotypes. As the second and third example I will take plays by two (no longer) dramatic writers, Anja Hilling and Simona Semenič—two outstanding representatives of German and Slovene (no longer) dramatic theatre and drama, exploring in their texts a tension between repetition and representation in which the first mechanism undermines and challenges the second and produces a specific poetic or aesthetic device—an effect of ostranenie or defamiliarisation (Shklovsky). The third example will consist of the novels by Winfried Georg Sebald, in which the German author uses the device of his wanderings between signs, punctuated by black and white photographs, producing a specific emblematic of a mutation of space and time, in which history and geography cross-fertilise, tracing out paths and weaving networks. Besides examining the contestation of subject positions, I concentrate on the dialectics of art and society, where fluid, uncontainable subjects are constantly pushing the contours. Revising the critical consensus that contemporary art primarily engages with the real, the essay describes how theatre and fiction today navigate the complexities of the discourse as well as social realities; how the discussed artists all share the belief that creative expression must also be destruction. Art has to go beyond what we are and what we can identify through understanding. Thus, art negotiates, inflects discursive circulation of stories, idioms, controversies, testimonies, and pieces of (mis)information in the face of global uncertainties.
Tycho Brahe, noted Danish astronomer and founder of modern astronomy died in Prague in 1691, at the age of 54, and was buried in the Church of the Virgin Mary before Týn. In 2010, at the request of Danish authorities, his remains were exhumed and an investigation into the cause of his death was undertaken, with an aim to addressing speculations of him having been poisoned. This report contains detailed information on the process of the exhumation and results of the subsequent investigation. An anthropological analysis confirmed the authenticity of the remains, that they are actually those of Tycho Brahe, and confirmed the results of an earlier exhumation, done in 1901. Physical chemistry analysis was unable to confirm a lethal or sub-lethal dose of heavy metal poison (Hg). A detailed paleopathological analysis of the skeleton confirmed that Brahe suffered from DISH (diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis), which attends Type II diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity (the metabolic syndrome). From period documents describing Tycho Brahe’s lifestyle and his last days, it seems likely that he died of complications resulting from these conditions, today described as diseases of affluence, also referred to as “Western disease”.
This article deals with the Matrix theory of subjectivity, gaze, and desire by feminist scholar Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger. Matrixial framework is explored in comparison to Lacanian psychoanalysis. The essay denotes the differences between split Lacanian model of the subject and Matrixial subjectivity based on plurality and continuity. I argue that Lacanian model which grounds the subject in fundamental lack and loss of corporal reality is insufficient for explaining specifically feminine experience in terms of temporality and collective memory, whereas the Matrix theory provides a conceptual apparatus for positive female identification and alliances between the past and the present. Ettinger’s Matrixial model is applied in the analysis of the 2012 video The Meeting by contemporary Lithuanian artist Kristina Inčiūraitė. I claim that the mode of desire in The Meeting is based on Matrixial gaze, which allows to formulate memory as co-created by two partners who share archaic knowledge of the Real, grounded in common relation to female sexual difference and intrauterine condition. Therefore, the article interprets the imagery of the town of Svetlogorsk in the video as coemerged mental images that affect each of the partners. I conclude that the Matrix theory overcomes the phallocentrism of classical psychoanalysis, allowing to reformulate the subject in terms of connectivity, compassion, and abilities to process Other’s trauma through positive cultural change.