Comment 11972

By WRCU2 (registered) - website | Posted September 23, 2007 at 08:45:38

All Radio is Dead revisited (bits and pieces from Living with GHosts: From Appropriation to Invocation in Contemporary Art) for highwater.

"...from the will to preserve the traces of something that was dead, or about to die, emerged allegory..."

"...All of these thoughts revolve around an experience of death, the certain death of modernity and the sense of history it implied, an experience of death that is framed and fixed by the object of appropriation through the accumulation of the dead matter of hollowed out signs in the form of allegory, the ruin of language..."

"...It is, however, a gothic novel written in denial of the implications of the atmosphere it conjures up, namely the suspicion that the dead might actually not be as dead as they are declared to be and that they might actually return as revenants to walk amongst the living..."

"...a spell to keep away the spectres of modern history that linger on the margins of the postmodern discourse..."

"...A key consequence of this momentum is the shift in the critical discourse away from a primary focus on the arbitrary and constructed character of the linguistic sign towards a desire to understand the performativity of language and grasp precisely how things are done with words, that is, how language through its power of interpellation and injunction enforces the meaning of what it spells out and, like a spell placed on a person, binds that person to execute what it commands..."

"...When you call up a spectre, it will not content itself with being inspected, it will require active negotiations to accommodate the ghost and direct its actions or at least keep them in check..."

"...To utter words for the sake of analysis already means to put these words to work. You cannot test a spell..."

"...There is ample evidence that this is precisely what public address experts do these days anyway. Every orchestrated retro-trend or revisionist resurrection of nationalist histories sees hordes of ghosts pressed into the service of the market and other ideological programmes..."

"...The task is to 'learn to live with ghosts' and this means to learn 'how to let them speak or how to give them back speech' by approaching them in a determined way that still remains undetermined enough to allow them to present themselves: To exorcise not in order to chase away the ghosts, but this time to grant them the right, if it means making them come back alive, as revenants who could no longer be revenants, but as other arrivants to whom a hospitable memory or promise must offer welcome – without certainty, ever, that they present themselves as such. Not in order to grant them the right in this sense but out of a concern for justice..."

"...The force that underlies the belief in the potential of appropriation is the hope that it should be possible to cut a slice out of the substance of this commodity culture to expose the structures that shape it in all their layers. It is also the hope that this cut might, at least partially, free that slice of material culture from the grip of its dominant logic and put it at the disposal of a different use. The practical question is then where the cut must be applied on the body of commodity culture and how deep it must go..."

The whole enchilada: http://www.artandresearch.org.uk/v1n2/ve...

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