Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Fairest Corpses Of All

Vanessa Beecroft - VB 43.005.te., 200o

This place that Proust slowly, anxiously comes to occupy anew every time he awakens: from that place, as soon as my eyes are open, I can no longer escape. Not that I am nailed down by it, since after all I can not only move, shift, but I can also move it, shift it, change its place. The only thing is this: I cannot move without it. I cannot leave it here where it is, so that I, myself, may go elsewhere; I can hide in the morning under the covers, make myself as small as possible, I can even let myself melt under the sun at the beach - it will always be there. Where I am. It is here, irreparably: it is never elsewhere. My body, it's the opposite of a utopia: that which is never under different skies. It is the absolute place, the little fragment of space where I am, literally, embodied [faire corps].

And what if by chance I lived with it, in a kind of worn familiarity, as with a shadow, or as with those everyday things that ultimately I no longer see, that life had grayed out, like those chimneys, those roofs that line the sky every night in front of my window? Still, every morning: same presence, same wounds. In front of my eyes the same unavoidable images are drawn, imposed by the mirror: thin face, slouching shoulders, myopic gaze, no more hair - not handsome at all. And it is in this ugly shell of my head, in this cage I do not like, that I will have to reveal myself and walk around; through this grill I must speak, look and be looked at; under this skin I will have to rot.

My body: it is the place without recourse to which I am condemned. And actually I think it is against this body (as if to erase it) that all these utopias have come into being. The prestige of utopia - to what does utopia owe its beauty, its marvel? Utopia is a place outside of all places, but it is a place where I will have a body without body, a body that will be beautiful, limpid, transparent, luminous, speedy, colossal in its power, infinite in its duration. Untethered, invisible, protected - always transfigured. It may very well be that the first utopia, the one most deeply rooted in the hearts of men, is precisely the utopia of an incorporeal body.

Michel Foucault

Musique Du Jour: Model, Alexander Balanescu Quartet (Kraftwerk)