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Leave the Screen Empty!



Slavoj Zizek


To resume again...

The Wolfman I

Reducing the Sophist to Silence

The Jouissance Program…

Freud and the Object…

The Universal Eye…

Transcendental Black Metal

Leave the Screen Empty!

Mike Kelley,
Carroll Dunham,
Olaf Breuning

Dunham imageThis void does not result from an “abstraction” from the concrete fullness of human existence; this void is primordial, constitutive of subjectivity, it precedes any content which fills it up. And it poses a limit to the common-sense idea that our conversation with others should follow the path of straight sincerity, avoiding both extremes of hypocritical etiquette and unwarranted intruding obscene intimacy. Perhaps, the time has come to acknowledge that this imaginary middle road has to be supplemented with both of its extreme poles: the “cold” discretion of symbolic etiquette which allows us to maintain a distance towards our neighbors, as well as (exceptional) risks of obscenity which allow us to establish a link to the other in the real of his/her jouissance.
So let us conclude with a more political example of resisting the urge to project. The theologico-political topic of the King’s Two Bodies (developed by Ernst Kantorowicz in his classical work of the same title) returns violently in Stalinism, in the guise of the Leader’s two bodies (recall all the Stalinist procedures to deal with the Leader’s body, from retouching the photos to conserving the body in a mausoleum). So when the sovereignty of the State shifts from King to People, the problem is that of the people’s Body, of how to incarnate the People, and the most radical solution is the Leader as the People incarnated. In between these two extremes, there are many other possibilities—consider the uniqueness of Jean-Louis David’s The Death of Marat, “the first modernist painting,” according to T.J. Clark.

Art: Carroll Dunham
Tree with Red Flowers - acrylic on canvas, 2009
courtesy Barbara Gladstone Gallery, NYC.

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