Nanette is layered, tactical, and lacerating in the most technical sense of the word

Nanette is layered, tactical, and lacerating in the most technical sense of the word.

There are few practices more promising of making an effect, and more crucial, than a rejection of the spectacle, slogans as expectations, reputations: the reputation of the rainbow, of the genius, of high art, of the lesbian, of the way the symbols of pride (as one of numerous examples) have prescribed and controlled the experience of it, for better and worse.

Can the visual prominence of the rainbow be suspended or be made elective for the sound of a clinking teacup?

Without our enfleshed or symbolic kings, who are we? Why do they get to name the sum of all perspectives? Even in perspectivalism, we arrive after they have chosen exactly who and what will populate the field.

Even when violence is finally talked about, its rituals dictate experience, of the dominant and of the would-be victims. Unspeakable pain is as immune to narrative as it is to words, it doesn’t fit into the sections of the world or the genres of expression. It falls out of the sides, hanging for dear life from a raft underneath, wondering if there is a way out of this parallel universe of suffering or whether the overground is as unlivable. How the abuser sucks the abused into his dream-world of pain, obscuring (sometimes) forever paths back to the world.

Identity is not a two-dimensional experience to be cared for with the “right” words, from the politique to the one whose identity is tied to their capacity to fix the other without transforming. No stasis can  hold a wound, or the other dimensions to which the sufferer is relegated. Flat images are thin, slicing, amputating.

Could it be now possible to move to a new language of discovering otherness that is not fixed in the terms of identity politics, but is more resistant and morphing, a deeper more fluid anti-technological mode of being that can hold vastness, change, alterity, feeling, and falling out of life? This is not the stiff stick figure of tolerance or the constellation drawings of coalitions. it’s not held in the endless arrows of blame or even forgiveness. Multidimensional realms of light, air, fluid, inter-psychic confessions held away from the gaze and also perhaps unintentionally traceable (or at least not silenced) are needed to drown the flat realm of understandings and sensibilities that have been colonizing en totale (ad) infinitum; a plasma drifting with celebrity reputations dismantled, fractured, made irrelevant or prosaic by mechanical acts if not felled by named aggressions.

Trauma is a parallel universe: its capacity to re-shape is only a tiny byproduct of this unknown element or being. What could happen if this plasma was not only not ignored but given a place en masse? When can  trauma stop switching between being the conjured nothing and the totally unlivable plasma of everything, and become something else, a lifeworld of its own “rights” (or of something more dimensional than rights)?


(Photo Credit: The Guardian / Meredith O’Shea)

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