norberto llopis segarra

Celestina is a poetic space of Norberto Llopis Segarra where he is recognizing certain concerns and sharing his view on them. Celestina came into existence when he got invited by Het Veem theater to do so, athough she had a life in discussions and ideas that preceded this invitation.

underneath you can find the link to the reader of Het Veem theater


Do you make art for an audience? This question can place us in a disjunctive that puts AUDIENCE before any work of art.
We often hear that there is no work of art without an audience. It seems to me that it is an absurdity to place the notion of the audience before the work of art that implies that audience. The AUDIENCE cannot exist on its own. A work of art as an event consists not of an author in front of an audience, but art as an event asking for one or few audiences.
The arts of tragedy, cathartic arts, the arts of “the pathos”, they are not arts for the audience, they rather propose audiences. For instance, circus audiences are actually made up of at least three distinct audiences. First there is the audience of the sublime and associated with it the audience of the beast, the audience of animality. Secondly, among the audiences of the circus there is the audience of the combat zone – these audiences want to see opposing parties in combat and sometimes want to feel represented by one of them. This is the audience of the winner – an audience that takes many forms nowadays: football audience, audiences of the nations, the circus of the worlds. And thirdly there is the entertainment audience of the circus… seeking amusement… ‘enjoying’, we should never forget the word. but we can also understand it in the context of the original meaning of the composed word ‘entertain’, from the old French entretenir (entre, among + tenir, to hold. So, ‘to hold something among’ or to prevent somebody from doing something). Taken in this sense, the very word ‘entertainment’ implies beforehand a forced entertainment. Of course, this is not the way we necessarily immediately understand the word. Thousands of amusements, thousands of entertainments. The audiences. -Do you make art for an audience? -Mmm. -Do you make something with the audience? -Mmm. -Do you do an audience? –Yes, I try to take full responsibility for ‘doing’ an audience.

Art as a possession; whose art is this?

Think for instance about elitist art of the bourgeois kind, this kind of art that is used to satisfy that desire to feel oneself to be part of an elite, to feel the simultaneous pleasure of ownership and pertinence – with all the implications this entails of a political or congenital possession of an aptitude for sensing or understanding art.
This kind of art or audience understands artistic sense, artistic experience or even knowledge to be a belonging, a possession, a legitimate appropriation. Here, art is not elitist because of its level of complication or obsessive abstraction, but because of its use as a possession and a self-affirmation.
We have sometimes sought to combat this appropriation of art by certain sections of the elite by saying, ‘You also have the right to appropriate art! Own art! Now it is also yours!’ Unfortunately this way of opening up a work of art to an audience is far from being an artistic dispossession. It expropriates the art from the elite and redistributes it, rather than disappropriating it entirely. Of course, we can take away art from the few in order to distribute it among the many, but the principle stays the same. We maintain the paradigm of art as a possession and from there we try to reach a broader spectrum of audiences. So instead of being a radical dispossession, it is saying, ‘You also have the right to own art! Choose an art!’ The dispossession we are proposing, on the other hand, cannot be a deprivation of the audience; it aims to enable the audience. For if we do not, we would soon fall back into arrogant bourgeois elitism. Artistic dispossession is the indetermination of our artistic possessions.
The kind of possession we are trying to frame here is not that capitalism’s materialistic possession, for one does not own art in the same way as one owns capital. Neither are we talking about the fetishisation of the artistic market. But we cannot deny that the notion of ‘art as a possession’ is a convenient one from a capitalist perspective – even though it may seem that capitalism is always changing shape, it nonetheless has only one way of counting. If the audience is dispossessed, if for any reason there is not a clear correspondence between an audience and its art, an audience and its posessions, how can we proceed to quantify it? How can we assess it? How can we organise an audience if we cannot decide what that audience likes? Whose art is this?

Magic, hysteria and tupperware

There are many different kinds of magic. There the magic of the event, the art of making things appear and disappear, constant redefinition of the audiences – little local hysterias arising from the events, indeed occasional (eventueel), exceptional eventualities. And there is also the magic of collective hysteria, hysteria of the absolute ‘yes’. These magic tricks play that obscure game of asking the audience for a definitive ‘yes’, both a panacea and placebo. Tupperware parties happen at the same time in different parts of the world and they all propose the same notion of the audience. But not all in ‘Tupperware’ is collective hysteria, there is a certain kind of lady (including myself of course) that, beyond buying or not, gets lost in the little ergonomic curiosities of those little recipients, ‘my god it is so small!’, little eventhysterias: we place the finger in the little cavity that was made in order to make easier the opening of the recipient and before we open it we touch the hollow with an illicit intensity, the secret pleasure. The utility of the object is not as attractive as the curiosity of its small local event. After all, we may only have the opportunity to use it two or tree times in our whole life. If the lady in question realises that the hostess of the event thinks she is stupid, she will start by eating all the cheese from the table and will end up trying to get her own secret pleasures.

Events and secret pleasures, collectivities and organizations

Audiences are not collectivities or individualities. These are simply terms for principles of audience organization that adhere to the laws of accounting and statistics. They have nothing to do with the affect. Collectivity and individuality are concepts that don’t traverse the audience, they only create an account of our artistic possessions. They project the ‘audiences’ and remit them to themselves. It may look circular but;

‘Audiences are potential events functioning through eventualities in front of an object or event’

Often we understand the death of the author or the death of the subject through the sacralization of the collectivity. If the author is no longer the guide it is we as collective who must decide. Let us go through the audiences or the subjects through events, not through sacred collectivities. If audiences or collectivities take over art, we run the risk of accepting art only through collective hysteria and obscure magic tricks. Let us not give to the collectivities or to the AUDIENCE what we have taken away from the author. Dispossess the audiences, enable the audiences, understand the audience matter in its plurality and potentiality more than in its numerical and statistical organization. The affect and the secret pleasures, individually and collectively, are the main responsible for the dispossession of the audience.

The traversed audience

Some would say that there is always a sense of belonging, of ownership. We are not looking for a zero degree, we are just trying to express that arts and audiences alike traverse here and there socio-political or cultural organizational structures: children that feel the need to be cruel against the infantile theatres in which they are involved as if they where stupid beings, women who illicitly touch the Tupperware a bit more intensively that they are supposed to, a girl not belonging to any artistic field talks about her experience of time. This is the a-convenience of art, that it is even possible that we like it, sometimes so inconvenient, imminent secret pleasure.

The secret and the ego-seism

We should not confuse the ‘secret pleasure’ with an ‘I’ or with and ‘ego’. The secret pleasure is an event in itself. Secret pleasures can be either individual or collective. Indeed there is even a degree of loss of self in the secret pleasure. So we can’t appeal to ego-logicisms – although there may be a degree of egoism in the secretism, an egoism of good faith, the egoism of thinking that people can like or understand something is not a – their – possessions. Let us hold the secret of the

eventuality in front of transparency.

Beyond the death or life of the author, there is nothing that makes me feel better as an ‘audience’ than being in a place where I feel people are trying to make exactly what they want within the given circumstances. It makes me feel that I can also do exactly what I want with it. Let’s be generous with the audiences. Let’s take artistic responsibility, let’s do exactly what we want to do, let’s make events, let’s do audiences.

Thanks to : Bojana Mladenovic, Jaime Llopis Segarra, Sarah van Lamsweerde


link to Het Veem theater's reader