The Bitter Fruits of Justice
27 January 2018
Assuming there exists an umbrella theme in Jesih’s multi-layered text, it has to be a theme of language. Jesih is a language phenomenon. Ludism, characteristic of The Bitter Fruits of Justice, is founded on freedom, play and creation within the language. The production addresses the role and power of the language, the Slovenian language, and its position in the world, as well as a creative power inherent in Jesih’s writing, as it is the latter that the creators of the production got infected with. Language is a sphere of freedom, but also of violence and exclusion. Using a variation of performing modes, the production embodies a gesture that Jesih sketched in a complex flow of many situations and inconsistencies of the characters within the play. By necessity, Jesih’s language is self-ironic and idiosyncratically comic; its irony lies in the irony of a language laughing at itself when it speaks. The question that The Bitter Fruits of Justice poses is as follows: What can all language be, and what is the piece of meat performing acrobatic feats in our mouths?
Freedom is, if anywhere at all, perfect only in language.
And language is love.
We build, transform and destroy reality through language.
Language is the beginning.
In the beginning was the Word.
In the beginning was the Silence.
And the Word became flesh.
Nowadays, flesh is becoming the Word: a virtual nature of reality and its constant state of being mediated make reality seem to be increasingly distanced from the experience and increasingly detached from the body ̶ from our bodies.
Iconic ludism, which could be hastily generalized as an uncompelling playfulness, has carved into the tissue of an author’s icon, and into the iconic tissue of literature, poetry and theatre, perceived as something rigid and predictable. It has wobbled some sort of blatancy by means of its boundless love of the possibility of playing, irony, humour and pain, in short, a love of everything that keeps one alive. Ludism has demonstrated that it is by means of emptiness, of the emptiness of playing ̶ simultaneously destroying and establishing a ritual ̶ that the infinite potential of meaning is being opened up, and that this potential is based precisely on elusiveness. It does not reveal only fiction in itself, but a disguise it has taken, laying bare a nature of reality which gradually begins to shine through, establishing that it is a constructed reality itself which is the biggest of all illusions. Life is a dream. Nothing is taken for granted, everything is blank. And this is where freedom resides.
There is nothing as absurd as reality when we look at it from a distance. A black hole of a proscenium opening is precisely such a glimpse into a human mouth.
It is within these paradoxes where Jesih’s text is located. It has become, however, a sort of an icon in itself during the decades following its inception. But it is an icon existing in constant self-destruction only, and it is never at ease with any kind of permanence.
Ludism is an icon which is at the same time its own iconoclasm.
Ludism is the very mechanism which is present in every single doubt, misunderstanding, ecstasy or belief we may have.
Ludism is at play when we are not there, when we disappear, and when we lose the ground beneath our hands. It is when we firmly believe in something that is sacred to us, while a different perspective carves in it.
And then something is born.
It is a moment such as this which makes perfect our love of our ability to talk, to keep quiet, to blab and to weep, to have faith and to have doubt. It happens when we become creatures of a paradox. This is when love is made perfect. It is only then that we can be free.
This is when the art of change is born ̶ and it is precisely the art of change that can open up our present to an elusive future.
We are language.