chapter  5
31 Pages

Still living

Roland Barthes, the eloquent author of Camera Lucida and proponent of photography’s indelible link to the dead, was also quite articulate on photography’s link to theatre, as the epigraph above makes clear.1 As discussed in Chapter 3 regarding the undecidable space of live performance, beneath Hamlet’s father’s visor hides the “made-up face” of the live performer – a liveness that, despite Barthes’s proclivities of linking theatre, too, to death, may not resolve itself as death takes place again across the face of the live. The irruptive capacity of the live repetitively, continually, to take over the scene, is of course theatre’s impurity, its “endless trouble” as Stein said, and its “danger,” as Edward Gordon Craig bemoaned at the turn of the twentieth century.2