Heiner Müller once answered the old question WHAT’S TO BE DONE? with the formula: „making reality impossible!“ If politics is the ‚art of the possible‘, maybe art has to persue a ‚politics of the impossible‘?
In this confusion maybe the difference is helpful that Jacques Ranciere drew between politics and police. The police is a governing principle, measures taken to administer populations, the power not only to define what is right or wrong, legal or illegal, but also what is possible or impossible. Its tool is consent – a manufactured consent. Politics on the other hand is a permanent conflict-zone in which all of the above is put into question: right or wrong, legal or illegal, possible or impossible. Maybe this is why Müller once said that the only thing he still believed in was conflict. Everything else is taken care of by the police: agents of state-security, representatives of the moral majority or just your own super-ego.
So what does it mean to resist? What does the re- in resistance (or: revolution) refer to? Following Ranciere we would say that it means the withdrawal from the place that the police has laid out and to return to politics, to the conflict zone which precedes the order of things, the chaos before the differences are defined between this or that. What if the stage is that place? Or better said: should become that place in which this original turmoil takes place?
„Comrades, let’s be realistic: Let’s strive for the impossible!“ (Che)