Detours and disasters, signing the city otherwise: posed solitude, a poetics of community
MetadataShow full metadata
In the path of Maurice Blanchot’s thinking comprehension can lead to disaster. What is it to not comprehend? Where would this lead us? In the first instance, no doubt to a kind of disaster zone as a site of nostalgia, of representation—we hope, however, to drift otherwise. What does Blanchot really mean by disaster? In this presentation we would like to take a series of random drifts starting with the thinking of Giuliana Bruno and her notion of architectural sites of transition as a new geography of modernity that she describes as a phenomenon of transition or mobility as a form of “cinematics” which articulate an essence of new architectures. Her essence of thinking is in the distillation of relations between spatial perception (of motion etc) and emotion (space becomes interiorized communities as emotion). Another drift takes us in another direction amongst the discourses on non-place (Marc Augé) which we would like to link to a kind of stasis in (e)motion and will apply such analysis to our own reflections on some cinematic engagements which resonate across our thinking of contemporary sites of (non)stasis (or what we might suggest as a movement of non-movement – Augé’s space becomes exteriorized communities and nullified). Our aim is to drift to a question of Blanchot’s Unavowable Community as an experience of impossibilities of community’s existence, its dissolution. It is a community that does not become another subject or identity or puts itself into dialectical opposition to the One. His community is the site of “the never-subjected subject, the very relation of the self to the other, in this sense: infinite or discontinous, in this sense: relation always in displacement and in displacement in regard to itself, displacement also of that which would be without place.” (The Step Not Beyond). This dissolution that the community of the neuter suggests elaborates Blanchot’s unworking (désoeuvrement). The Unavowable Community, (neuter, radical passivity, non-place etc) Blanchot asks, in the name of the community, whether it is better to remain silent on what has been almost impossible to speak of without default, that is, its contemporaneous purpose. In responding, Blanchot gives and obliges his reader to not answering and at that very moment to not remaining silent. But, rather, to choose words exactingly that discover a politico-ethical poetics: “That [it] does not permit us to lose interest in the present time which, by opening unknown spaces of freedom, make us responsible for new relationships, always threatened, always hoped for, between what we call work, oeuvre, and what we call unworking, désoeuvrement” (The Unavowable Community).