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<nettime> the Thing is
Alan Sondheim on Tue, 4 Jul 2006 20:44:44 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> the Thing is




the Thing is


the Thing is < to what extent can one _explore_ dance, the body, the
body's sexuality, Dionysian register? outside of literature, where the
Thing resides, or the problematizing of the Obscene relegated, within the
register of, the Thing. dance for example is always already an institution
- well defined, over-determined, encapsulated. censorship requires that
each and every production possess an _edge_ in relation to legality, which
necessarily contaminates any investigation or presentation: the Law pre-
sents itself within unknown territory, which it encapsulates. the limit-
point of dance and sexuality dancing is indiscriminate fucking, display -
against the Law, in deliberate ignorance of propriety, etiquette, in favor
of culture as prolongation of the species _only,_ whose laws are therefore
localized. how to sidestep this? what is a presentation, an audience, dif-
fering on every occasion, at variance with, in tension with, the perform-
er, performance? careers are at stake: fill the holes and lose a grant,
empty the holes, and suffer the indignities of arrest, incomprehension,
midnight phone-calls and invitations. one a dancer is pornographic, once
the body is splayed / displaced in its inconceivability, there is no
turning-back, no retreat: the future builds on evidence. yet _without_
this splay / display, dance, photography, culture, art in general, is a
lie, transforming impulse into acceptable eroticism and taste. we are
painted and repainted by culture; our 'natural attitude' is at a far re-
move from anything within the limitlessness of the symbolic or pool of the
imaginary. the further we mount technology and the virtual, the further we
are mounted, rule-driven, protocol-governed - the further the clean and
proper body prepares itself for clean and proper laws, death-by-absence
only. go out on a limb: it is your own. where the limb joins the body,
aye, there's the rub of it. the Thing is not a Thing; the Thing is not
there, not Other, not here at all. and forget, among other things, the
enjoyment of arousal, arousal-art, aroused-artist/viewer/listener -
aroused participant - that will be fought, contaminated, transformed into
subterfuge. at best one can accept the diagrammation of arousal - what
else is psychoanalysis good for - the process or culmination-process is as
invisible as semen on stage, spurted from dancer, welcomed and returned by
audience-participants. this is the most familiar territory in the history
of art, of dance, of the body; it is also the most unknown. draw a vector;
follow it; starve to death; flesh transformed and its dessicate - we're
left with it, given it, one and all, one for all, all for One, and it's
gone. the Thing abhors One; refuses to recognize One; undermines its pol-
itical agenda. where the One is, the Thing is not; where the Thing is
knotted, the One self-decomposes, deconstructs on the way to forgetting.

and is any of this more than: revolt, pay the cost, disappear? shall it
end _here_ where the limb begins? shall it end within? this is the surface
appurtenance-appearance; this is what the dancer, photographer, performer,
does, those under the aegis of the real-imaginary, the re/presentation or
mapping of the most private body into/onto the limelight.

the audience might give a whore for it, sex-slave of either sex, might
barter or proffer, might just take, might kill, might extinguish, might
just rape, might tear limb from limb, limb from hole, hole from limb. but
the audience might just give a vote against it, law against it, might
close it down, dream it up, dream it down. the wager of sin is sin, the
wager transformed.

and what of the _inconceivable_ Thing? what of the delirium of impossible
and displaced topologies, higher-dimensional entities projected and flat-
tened in our tawdry space of the real? for if the dance-dancer emerge _out
the other end_ of this aporia, there's always movement against itself,
splay to the nth-degree, body turned inside out. so the performer has no
more secrets - they're in the audience, in the first or second row, all
the way back to the balcony. the dance-dancer's wasted, used-up - that's
hir power - exhausted - there's no turning back - there's nothing left of
hir, nothing the audience doesn't know, doesn't dream of that very night,
from that night forth -

the oldest of dreams - that is to _say_ - the fury of couplings, of the
fits and fittings of bodies, of the generation of substance and the sub-
stance of generation. this lurks within, beside, beneath, each and every
performance, each and every mouth we speak. there is no Other; there are
only holes, endless holes, endless wholes.


_





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