‘Apart, we are together. Together, we are apart’: Rancière’s community of translators in theory and theatre

Fryer, Nic ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7060-9290 (2021) ‘Apart, we are together. Together, we are apart’: Rancière’s community of translators in theory and theatre. In: Rancière and Performance. Fryer, Nic ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7060-9290 and Conroy, Colette, eds. Performance Philosophy . Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham, pp. 101-121. ISBN 9781538146576, pbk-ISBN 9781538148419, e-ISBN 9781538146583. [Book Section]


‘Apart, we are together’. This quotation from Mallarmé is cited by Rancière in his essay ‘Aesthetic Separation, Aesthetic Community’, first published in 2008 and subsequently in The Emancipated Spectator collection in 2009 (Rancière 2009a, 51). In coming together as distinct disparate elements around an artwork which is itself an entity comprised of distinct separate elements, Rancière sees the aesthetic community as being together whilst apart. In this chapter I want to explore Rancière’s outlining of this paradox as a desire to identify divisions and ruptures within a notion of community. I will outline ways in which some critics have seen Rancière’s writing on community as being unduly pessimistic and as failing to articulate a clear programme for how a community might realise and sustain political change. However, I will suggest that a notion of community underpins his understanding of theatre and art, and that it is here that he offers a vision of community as a creative activity and political act where individual spectators translate performances in their own way, but within a community of other translators and signs. For me, a vivid example of this is my own experience of watching the play People, Places and Things by Duncan Macmillan, where the desire to be part of a community and to break out of it existed within the narrative itself and was mirrored in my own experience as a spectator. I want to argue that this tension created a productive space for the characters in the play and agency for me as a viewer, as I negotiated a complex set of relationships between the characters and between myself and the protagonist.

Item Type: Book Section
Sustainable Development Goals:
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
Item ID: 36885
Notes on copyright: This is the author accepted manuscript of a chapter published in final form as: Fryer, Nic (2021) ‘Apart, we are together. Together, we are apart’: Rancière’s community of translators in theory and theatre, pages. 101-121, In: Rancière and Performance edited by Fryer, Nic and Conroy, Colette, 2021, reproduced by permission of Rowman & Littlefield. The final published version is available at: https://rowman.com/ISBN/9781538146576
All rights reserved. Please contact the publisher for permission to copy, distribute or reprint.
Depositing User: Nic Fryer
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2022 13:08
Last Modified: 24 May 2023 13:58
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/36885

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.