by Lucas de Lima on Sep.17, 2010
The past few posts remind me of Elizabeth Grosz’s Chaos, Territory, Art. Consider this quote in which she explains Deleuze and Guattari:
“Art is not the activation of the perceptions and sensations of the lived body [my emphasis]—the merging and undecidability of subject and object, seer and seen in a common flesh […] but about transforming the lived body into an unlivable power, an unleashed force that transforms the body along with the world.”
Reading this, I turn to David Wojnarowicz’s art of unlivable power, a power that the image intensifies and effects even more than it represents:
the beautiful falling buffalo.
For Grosz, “[a]rt is of the animal. It comes, not from reason, recognition, intelligence, not from a uniquely human sensibility, or from any of man’s higher accomplishments, but from something excessive, unpredictable, lowly.”
Could I, while beholding Wojnarowicz’s oeuvre, say that one possible origin of art is AIDS? A disease whose origin itself is the animal?
If I can, will that help me locate my body—despite/because of its porosity—in the way that Hélène Cixous, bleeding into feralness, struggles with in the Book of Promethea:
“We never die enough, we keep on getting sick from these inflammations of the soul; Promethea, especially, breaks her body and comes all apart, because the wildness of her soul is even more energetic than the wildness of mine; and she throws herself against her own walls, with enough violence to break bones. She has already cracked a vertebra…”
Pressed into the book with a red horse on its cover, Cixous finds it difficult to trace bodily history:
“how can I make my arrow not completely free of the past so that it keeps a trace of my desire, of its provenance? The only thing that comes mind is to carve a little motto on its shaft like: ‘I come from a woman.’”
Although I come from a woman, too, those are not the words for me right now. They’re not as pointed as my arrow. To restore the past in my body, I think I would carve something that is not true but is, words I experience as sensation:
“I come from a homosexual animal.”