LACANIAN INK 36 – Fall

The Gaze

ON PHILOSOPHY AND COMMUNISM
SLAVOJ ZIZEK and ALAIN BADIOU—in Dialogue—at The Jack Tilton Gallery,
New York City, October 15/2010

 I am Josefina Ayerza, the editor of lacanian ink. Let me thank you all for coming and a special thanks to Jacques Tilton for hosting this “quite extraordinary” event. It is lacanian ink's 20 year of consecutive existence—we are launching issue 36.

lacanian ink 36's general subject is the gaze. Barbara Probst art, on the cover, it impersonalizes the gaze to a point that you might say it reproduces the very structure over and over again. The gaze is the discourse of art. Whether Lacan’s Otherness, or Freud’s “place of dreams,” it is the perspective from this other scene to draw the distinction between seeing and looking. I see from a single point, but I am looked at from everywhere. Now you know your subjectivity, does not simply depend on what you see but also on how you are looked at. Because looking has the sense of searching, because seeing has the sense of knowing… The gaze makes use of the structure of language even if in art it has no use for words.

Of the Alain Badiou / Slavoj Zizek Dialogue on Philosophy and Communism to witness here, tonight…

Alain Badiou's, Saint Paul: "The Foundation of Universalism (Cultural Memory in the Present)" made its first appearance in Paris, the year 1997. A mathematical, distinct and exotic take over of the Pauline event, Badiou's English version reached the US 6 years later - published by Stanford University Press. Again this same year, 2003, Badiou's somehow more combative thoughts, came into sight as "Infinite Thought: Truth and the Return of Philosophy" (London: Continuum, 2003).

A parallel philosophical/religious common cause in the air,
Slavoj Zizek's, The Puppet and the Dwarf: The Perverse Core of Christianity (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003), came to put on an act. The actual act, if a dialogue, was there to stay. In The Puppet and The Dwarf Zizek rereads Christianity in the light of a critical Lacanian. Lost within is a "materialist" kernel or the Pauline community of an early Christian revolution.

Lacanian Ink started publishing Zizek in its second issue. And this was 1991. And Lacanian Ink discovered it could offer Badiou in translation the year 2000.

objet a.” Lacan was “importuned” by Marx at the time when he used to read Capital as a twenty year old on the metro when going to the hospital. This “completely at home,” states Régnault, "stands for the rejection of a gap, of a metaphor between both domains." And he proceeds to quote Lacan talking Marx together with his very personal theory “A subject is what can be represented by a signifier for another signifier. Is this not modeled upon the fact that, in what was deciphered by Marx, namely economic reality, the subject of exchange value is represented next to use value? It is in this fault that is produced and falls what is called surplus value. On our level, nothing counts more than this loss. Non-identical to itself, the subject no longer jouit. Something is lost, which is called surplus value. It is strictly correlative to the coming into play of what will determine everything which belongs to thought.”

Again from my conversation with Jack Tilton this morning, he challenged me to find a sexy line in Alain Badiou’s Plato's The Republic, chapter 5. They are about to include the necessary in an army, ”Nor do I think, as far as restraint goes," says Amanda, "looking all innocent, that it’s absolutely necessary for them to pay a fortune in dollars to keep a Ukrainian mistress with a mop of blonde hair and a shaved pussy."

With Slavoj Zizek it should be "the obscene," and this is what I could find, “I am free if the substance of my being is not a full causal network, but an ontologically incomplete field signaled by a desiring opaque god who is himself, marked by imperfections and finitude. What does he want?”

With you Alain Badiou.
— VIDEO

 


LACANIAN INK 36 – Fall

The Gaze

DOES THE NOTION OF ACTIVIST ART STILL HAVE A MEANING?
ALAIN BADIOU at The Miguel Abreu Gallery –
New York City, October 13/2010

Thank you all for being here tonight, and a special thanks to Miguel Abreu for his enduring desire with hosting our events. This is lacanian ink's 20 year of consecutive existence — tonight we are launching issue 36. So, in line with what Richard Kostelanetz in The Decline and Fall of a Soho Art Community says about lacanian ink becoming a witness to the cultural phenomena of the century's last decade —I quote, "there are but three of these magazines that continue, Bomb and lacanian ink are two of them,” this is how we want to think that LI has in turn become witness to the 21 century's first decade of contemporary phenomena —It may not be for us to say, but it should be so, if not an ideal.

lacanian ink 36's general subject is the gaze.
After Jaques-Alain Miller the Wolf Man plays the role of spectator, I quote “going so far as to say that the subject’s fundamental passivity—at first related to the seduction at the age of three and a half by his sister, but then retranslated into homosexuality when the genital signification steps in—is maybe fundamentally present from the subject’s position in the primal scene.” You know how Freud discovers that the Wolf Man sees the parent’s primal scene at the age of 3, how he will later remember, and then has this dream with the wolves looking out from the branches of a tree. Freud relates the dream to the parents’ coito a tergo — what the Wolfman baby sees from the cradle — not so different from an animal lovemaking scene. Only much later he will remember, and finally decode the memory of it through the dream, as he talks about it —as a grown up in analysis. Much as the baby child cannot really see what’s going on, the Wolf Man's general signification will not include castration. But there is the seduction scene with Grusha, which Lacan takes up in Seminar XI. Here the subject had shown himself to be active by urinating in front of her. Many elements in the episode to converge, the Wolf Man is really stuck in the position of making (him) oneself be seen.

Josefina Ayerza & Alain Badiou

One can speak of an initial paranoia of every subject at the beginning of an analysis, for example... something similar is produced so that the interpretation can begin. This is what Lacan calls signifier of transference which precipitates the emergence of the subject-supposed-to-know—the support of interpretation, in which the relationship to this elementary phenomenon asserts that this signifier is

Marie-Hélène Brousse ponders over a certain feminine know-how arising from three “R” words: Ruse, Ravaging, Ravishment, I quote “Because they constitute a discourse, they entail semblance and fiction. There is a link that is sexuated." Needless to say the actual sexuated link will measure up to Lacan’s enlightened concept, “…there is no sexual relation.”

Alongside Eric Laurent it's the vision of Inhotim that turns out to be a lost paradise. Thus the Art of extraction inherent in the phallic object, I quote “What is inside me is also outside, and this ensures the link to the other by means of the ex-timity of jouissance.” In line with Rivane Neuenschwander the current show at the New Museum — she is an Inhotim artist —"the timing is but pure coincidence."

In Alain Badiou's re-reading of Plato's Republic, it is the gaze that has seen it all, I quote “from the young proletarian who’s arrested and roughed up just for smoking a joint outside his apartment building, to the high-society serial killer who’s unmasked only later on…" Alain Badiou's title for tonight is “Does the notion of activist art still have a meaning?"