Author Topic: Sociologists view on brutalism presented in art?  (Read 11779 times)

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Offline Trine

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Re: Sociologists view on brutalism presented in art?
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2007, 04:07:34 PM »
Hi Iain

Thanks for your reply.
You definitely have a point about her wanting to push British theatre in a new direction.
It's true that she is far from being the first artist to use brutality and shock effects, and it seems that she as well as other young dramatists of that generation seeks to reinvent the genre.
The "Cool Britannia" and "Freeze" exhibitions as well as many films from this decade from other countries as well, indicates a need for change in art in general.

But to me it seems that the young British contribute to this "movement" stands out. Being Danish I can only guess how it's been to grow up in England in this period. But knowing a little bit about the radical changes in society, that took place in the eighties, the intransigence towards for instance the mine strikers etc., makes me think that there must have been a good reason to ab-react. Artists and young people have a special sensibility in common, and even though Kane wasn't (and claimed not to be) political there can have been traces of the society that she lived in. An indication of her not being completely indifferent about what's going on is her link to the Yugoslavian war in Blasted.

So what I would like to ask, is weather you see any parallels between the development of the society and thematics in her work?

Offline Iain Fisher

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    • Iain Fisher
Re: Sociologists view on brutalism presented in art?
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2007, 11:25:47 PM »
Hi Trine,

I┬┤m not a sociologist or psychologist.  I hope you find one.

Interesting points you raise.  I┬┤m not convinced that brutalism is a reaction to Thatcherism.  Edward Bond┬┤s Saved, which so influenced Sarah Kane is from the time of The Beatles and the rise of the modern Labour Party (conversely also of Vietnam).  Its imagery of the baby being stoned to death is as shocking, and theatrically powerfull, as Blasted.  Going further back, Ibsen┬┤s Ghosts was described as "a dirty deed done in public", very similar to the reaction to Blasted.  The most powerful anti Thatcher play is, in my opinion, Caryl Churchill┬┤s sublime Top Girls which does not use brutalism.

Why use extreme violence on stage?  Shakespeare had Lear blinded and in Titus Andronicus there are various amputations etc.  But I doubt the audience were too shocked, with bear baiting nearby.  It was different when Sarah Kane wrote Blasted.  Perhaps she, and others, thought British theatre had become too complacent.  The "talking heads" and "chattering" of Alan Bennett and Alan Ayckbourn were worthy but lacked excitement.  Just as the blast in Blasted tears the stage apart, I think she wanted to do the same to theatre, and open up new directions.


Offline Trine

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Sociologists view on brutalism presented in art?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2007, 02:26:21 PM »
Hi everyone

I'm writing a theatrehistory project on Blasted and I'm wondering if any of you know of any sociologists or psychologists, who deals with brutalism in art - like why are these artistic effects found necessary to the dramatist/the theatres and why do we as an audience watch it? Is it a reaction (conscious or subconscious) to a cynical Thatcher society?

Would love to hear your views