‘Well this is either the end of that river or the source, i let you decide…

Along time ago Rodrigo, you quoted Bruno Latour in an essay on an artists work saying “When I look at my friends I see my self” and that is the place where Truth and beauty coalesce, the rest is just market…

But what do I say to a man who has nothing to lose, whose mind is clear but whose soul has gone mad, the holy fool, a man of taste, a taste that can easily be passed on with enough charm and emotion …the one who goes about to look at beautiful things with his eyes and is also able to train others who are untrained if not savage enough. I must agree with one of your readers, Angela Lyn who once said something along the lines of, ”its not so much what you say but the incessant will behind it that prevails”…I can’t remember exactly, I’m drunk and possessed, its new years eve and i fear what i have to say may be painfully obvious, but what you say Mr Canete has consequences and i assume i don’t have to go into all that Schopenhauer problematical ethical cause and effect stuff….but I will….

I’ve followed this blog from afar over the last year and there is something in its claim to certitude at times that reminds of the naiveté of Cezzane and his claim to be able to show us the truth in painting for which he was openly mocked and cajoled. We can never know if Cezzane’s promise was in fact a performative stance, or if he really believed it and without doubt his naiveté was part of his strength as a painter, “naiveté” being a form of blindness that Adorno would say any artist who does not possess in some form is truly blind to “what is foisted upon them”… and Cezzanne cannot be blamed either, for it is only natural to follow ones ego as an artist or writer as our key motivation is that we are all in search of love and admiration. But in the heart of that “instinctive” promise which I will argue; cannot be delivered, there is a resulting debt, and Cezzane’s speech is in fact schizophrenic…and the more such a promise is made the more it is irreconcilable within an economy of debt. This promise of truth usually comes from a benevolent and educated man but the promise is flawed from the get-go and the only knowledge communicated is the exercise of power over “the other”.

…In Roland Barthes “Death of the Author” he examines the end of authority tied to the author with the rise of post modern thinking. Tracing audience participation in performance art from Dadaism and Duchamp, reader/audience interpretation (or viewer response) which changed the meaning of literary and artistic production to allow plurality and intertextual meaning. After “Death of the author”, the singularity of the subject is lost and the absence of any kind of system allows a doubling or mirroring effect through non-authoritative voices. As Barthes claims, “It is necessary to overthrow the myth; the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author.” So here language and knowledge are no longer infinite nor are they fundamental sources of truths. The relationships between text, image and author change with the understanding of there own mortality, death and destruction. within which lies the difference between knowledge that promises essence and non-knowledge that challenges ethics with the consideration of “the other”.
In Barthes final book ‘Camera Lucida’ written whilst mourning the death of his mother he looks towards the “beyond” in the photographic image…Here the viewer carries out the death of the image, changing the meaning and reintroducing the image as something different. Barthes ‘Punctum’ (The pregnant moment when the personal relationship between image and viewer “wounds” the viewer), changes the meaning. In the Derridean sense it is the ‘pointure” where poetry exists in the departure and entry point of the work itself, in the “prick. stitch and puncture” which is similar to Barthes wounding punctum…. Hence the punctum and pointure are the indescribable effects of the relationship where author (artist) and reader (Viewer) line up for the puncturing without replacing each as the other.

In Derrida’s ‘The Work of Mourning” he pays homage to great philosophers, Barthes, Delueze, Foucault and Emmanuel Levinas among others whilst pondering the meaning of life, death, mourning and friendship (as well as the gift). The impossible moment of mourning comes from Levinas and is intrinsically linked to considering the face of the other, and in the moment of the ‘impossibility of the other’ is where the friend, the enemy and the gift reside…He writes….

“But in its expression, in its mortality, the face before me summons me, calls for me, begs for me, as if the invisible death that must be faced by the other, pure otherness, separated, in some way, from any whole…It is as if that invisible death ignored by the other, whom already it concerns by the nakedness of its face, were already “regarding” me prior to confronting me and becoming the death that stares me in the face….The other becomes my neighbour precisely through the way the face summons me, calls for me, and in doing so calls my responsibility into question.”

So in terms of “regarding”, the other is both looking at me and is concerned for me, but the other is also begging for me. The other exists but is not my equal in an economic exchange for example, so it begs me; it is a beggar, and so the responsibility is to consider the other and regard it back. At the same time Levinas writes that the other is something/someone that one can never know for sure; the other is the impossible, the enemy, or rather the remains between the enemy and the friend.

Levinas also writes of the infinite, “without doubt, the finite beings that we are cannot in the final account complete the task of knowledge; but in the limit where its task is accomplished it consists in making the other become the same” as Levinas puts it, Knowledge purposes to grasp, (or to Know) like Derrida’s Handwerk or Grief Orgaon. Knowledge as perception, concept and comprehension refer back to an act of grasping, to make things concrete and calling it something to possess. The other is then situated in the ungraspable and cannot be framed in the knowing. The consideration that we are responsible for the other signifies the bond between act and responsibility and a call towards ethical practice – an act that can never fully match the responsibility toward the other and the deep humanity that lies within. So with Barthes, Levinas and Derrida in mind we can see they all grapple with the impossible honouring of friend (and enemy), the other whom we can never exactly know…it is a puncturing of truth that wounds and heals simultaneously, therefore the truth must be a compromise between honesty and the lies embedded within the system of representation and presentation.’