cover art by Rosemarie Trockel

   Ex Voto Platte, cellulose "India gum" (Zellstoff-Kautschuk) self-adhesive with gum frame, 2000

cover of Zizek's Desert of the Real

Welcome to the Desert of the Real
by Slavoj Zizek

Can one imagine a greater irony than the fact that the first code-name for the US operation against terrorists was "Infinite Justice" (later changed in response to the reproach of American Islamic clerics that only God can exert infinite justice)? Taken seriously, this name is profoundly ambiguous [...] When, on September 22, 2001, Derrida received the Theodor Adorno Award, he referred in his speech to the WTC bombings: "My unconditional compassion, addressed at the victims of September 11th, does not prevent me to say it loudly: with regard to this crime, I do not believe that anyone is politically guiltless." This self-relating, this inclusion of oneself into the picture, is the only true "infinite justice."

Welcome to the Desert of the Real is the text from which Slavoj Zizek read from on November 14, 2001 in his lecture, "Passions of the Real: Violence In The XXth Century" at Jack Tilton Gallery in NYC. It is, in general, Zizek's reflections on the destruction of the WTC and his perception of the reactions from both the Right and the Left, from his Leftist perspective. From this vantage, he attempts to find the source of these Western "First World" reactions, while probing the initial US reaction within the psychological framework of American film, television and journalistic media.

[out of print]
read the complete text in
The Symptom, Issue II

cover of Zizek's Desert of the Real