Working canons | Medeber-Teatro

Canon is one of those words that could be defined as radiant, expressing a number of different and interlaced meanings. The word comes from the Greek kanon, which indicated a rod or a measuring stick used by artisans to organise their work. The meaning of rule is what lasted through time and became used in a number of contexts, most notably by the Church and in Music. The common denominator in all the uses of the word is the concept of unity, or better of working towards a unity – the artisan organising the pieces of the artefact; the church creating a univocal creed; and, finally the different voices that come together to create one harmony.

Medeber Teatro used this idea of unity of the canon to develop an investigation on work and the role of work in our lives. This starts from a reflection on the duality of work as something that at once empowers individuals but also binds us to strict economic and social rules. This we found to be pertinent across the globe: if the personal aspiration of migrants to improve their life conditions or pursue their professional dreams has been deemed “illegal”, with an effective criminalisation of the economic migrant, the economic crisis experienced in the West is equally shaking the foundations of the capitalist aspirations that supposedly guide the aspirations of workers. Again migrants are contributing to reveal the failures of democratic capitalist states in securing the so-called fundamental rights for their citizens. In this perspective the piece was strongly influenced by Agamben’s recent The Use of Bodies, where the philosopher reflects on the difference between Working Bodies and Used Bodies.