Commentaries - August 2016

Fou Littéraire vs. nonsense: part 2

The 'non' in the Non-Sense
Medieval map of world

In previous posts, I have used the capitalized and hyphenized term "Non-Sense" instead of the more common “nonsense,” which can be either a noun or an adjective. However, I prefer Non-Sense, at least for the noun, as it draws attention to both the "negative" side of its referent, and to its duplicity. This is to say no more nor less than is implied by Deleuze and Guattari's concept of "the School."

Cybele Lyle: Transfiguring space

Refracting rooms, architectures, frameworks

[image: Cybele Lyle, The Moon is Slowly Rising]
Cybele Lyle, The Moon is Slowly Rising

This week I continue considering the implications of refractive poetics for artists who address issues of social identity. Cybele Lyle works with sculpture, photography, video, and projection, addressing themes of architecture, location, and space:

The spaces I create—queer, safe, architectural, and emotional—form a critically reconstructed mirror of reality, an alternative environment in which all forms of intimacy are allowed to be visible. I use social and visual material of my own life to represent spaces of transformative potential and desire.

Norman Finkelstein: 'Oppen at Altamont'

From N. Finkelstein, The Ratio of Reason to Magic: New & Selected Poems, Dos Mad
From N. Finkelstein, The Ratio of Reason to Magic: New & Selected Poems, Dos Madres Press, 2016


Thrownness he calls it

And indeed “everyone

turned very sharply

into himself or herself.

Kind of a masturbatory



And the music—

something we had never

Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: Mother tongue as white noise, water, wind

Refracting linguistic identity

[image: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Mouth to Mouth]

This week, I consider the video art projects of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, who is well-known in the literary community for her hybrid book Dictee but less famous for her other body of work. Born in Korea in 1952, Cha emigrated to the U.S. when she was nine years old, so it is not surprising that much of her art centers on issues of language, voice, identity, and the unsettling or loss of these. She spent her adult life invoking, like prayer, physical representations of silence and disruption; the breadth of her art—spanning written texts, film, slide projections, and performance art—is filled with empty spaces, broken language, and images and terms of silence. 

Metaphor is the return of the repressed 3

'FABRICADABRA': The magic of collaboration


Now for a moderate digression into the heart of the text/textile nexus; this also provides me an opportunity to showcase a collaboration with performance poet and feminist Kabbalah scholar Adeena Karasick.

After I reviewed and wrote about Karasick’s work, we collaborated on a conference presentation in 2006. But it was in 2010, after the publication of Radical Poetics and Secular Jewish Culture, a book in which we both had essays, that our text/textile work together began.