Actuel Marx 45 (1):66-79 (2009)

An Example of Emancipation through Art: Brecht’s Galileo The challenge which Brecht set himself was to make theatre a means of emancipation, by placing it in the service of the revolution. His work dealing with the exemplary figure of Galileo, which mobilised his energies between 1938 and his death in 1959, testifies to the succession of problems he came up against in his attempt to carry out this programme. For Brecht, the attempt to arrive at a scenic presentation of the complex relations between science and its social environment implied the endeavour to engage the audience in the formulation of a problem for which the theatrical performance eschewed the option of any ready-made solution. To do so could only be way of the representation of a model which was both attractive and repulsive, and by highlighting what was a fluctuating complex of contradictions. For Brecht, the status of art is thus to constitute an open-ended inquiry rather than the presentation, for propaganda purposes, of a set of cut-and dried ideas
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DOI 10.3917/amx.045.0066
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