Image: Carlos Cruz-Diez


Comment on the play directed by Alexandre Dal Farra

Alexandre Dal Farra and his group of actors and directors, Tablado de Arruar, from São Paulo, already dedicated themselves, well before the current catastrophe, to the regressive and intense political force that moved a popular evangelical pastor in Brazil, in Matthew, 10. They have also reached obscure and primitive places in politics, reflecting the impasses that became definitive with the arrival of the mass leftist party to power, in class society, consumption and permanent deindustrialization, in the trilogy Abnegation.

They have already observed the corrosion of the lively and new character of the Brazilian middle class, between business, politics and crime, in more than one play. Even the impasses of being able or not to talk about the country's black history, always being racist by fixed principle, of the progressive culture among us, were investigated in White. Always running against time, and in time, the group has now plunged into an appointment by the Brazilian Army, and its eternal relationship, even if forbidden, with the country's politics.

Ridiculous, shocking, metaphorical, grotesque, historical, reflective, authoritative, investigative, comic and speculative, there are many ways that Truth, staged two months ago in São Paulo, mobilized to think about the presence of the Army in our life in the historical present, the “subjectless” process of occupation of politics and the State by the armed forces since 2016, its strategic actions tending towards Bolsonarism and, mainly , in my opinion, the open exercise of questioning what we could call a theory of the corporation, a philosophy of what “the military” is.

Between the degrading history of democracy in Brazil reframed by military strategies and tactics of its own advance over political life and the work of conceiving a metaphysics of the military, the play strongly marks the historical steps of the new-old presence of the armed forces in the country , while unfolding his philosophy of the military in intense monologues of theoretical value.

The strange Brazilian process of going down to the streets in disguise, which culminated with a four-star general present, without explanation, in the entourage – but always trying to become absent – ​​of Jair Bolsonaro in the city in the interior of Minas Gerais where he would suffer the eccentric and decisive attack, is articulated to the investigation of the pure elements, so to speak, of what the military would be, or, as the play says, “what is military in the military”.

Monologues appear, ranging from reflection to despair of uniformed and non-uniformed people, and scrutinize a system of oddities and violence, half historical and half transcendental: life as strategy, strong social presence as absence, the radical differentiation of everything that concerns to civil life and its criteria, the appreciation of the extreme position of control, absolute hierarchy and the full right to the extermination of difference, complacency with submission and death, the desire to act without leaving marks of one's presence, the place absolute negative, uncommitted to life, the military as a thing in itself. Purity, cleanliness, arrogant autonomy, rejection of the world of life, the dream of the pure and empty temple of transcendent power, the military as the threshold of a definitively absent god.

If in other historical worlds and political theaters, kings, princes or industrialists and bourgeois, gangsters, gave space for their investigation through the theater, as an investigation and poetry of the subjects of power, of power in the subjects, we can well say that the prince of the kingdom The rotten part of Brazil can be thought of as our military, the Brazilian Army, our generals, so smart, so idiotic.

If we are dear to the depreciation and presentation of political ridicule, and even human, of our intimate and common Generals Villas Boas, Heleno, Mourão, Pujol, Etchegoyen and others, if we can take revenge on the power and torture historically incorporated with the radicality of intelligence that allows us derision, caricature and contempt, which the play demonstrates to be symmetrical, but different, from theirs for us, the individual reflective dimension of the characters, their question about their own existence, and their answer, which with system escapes ordinary human life by escaping themselves, interests a little more than the strong impression of the limitless historical grotesque of the general case.

Between the alienated life, the permanent calculation, the scream as a word, the hatred for the companion, the political dispute as absolute dissimulation and the understanding of our civil lives as a kind of mud, soft and without character, Truth sheds light on an obscure truth that concerns us and shouldn't. That of the simple and root force of the infinitely positive thing of the military among us.

*Tales Ab´Sáber He is a professor at the Department of Philosophy at Unifesp. Author, among other books by The anthropophagic soldier: slavery and non-thought in Brazil (n-1 hedra).


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