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    • Walter Benjamin's work could be described as an extremely precise and sensible/sensitive analysis of modernity. Or, more precisely, of the procedures through which modernity is affecting modes of life and of communication and, essentially, of relating to the world. In his "On Language as Such and on the Language of Man" for example, Benjamin describes a practice of an intense “listening”, a mode of extreme attentiveness and generosity towards every-thing that surrounded him, as the precondition for any form of language. And in "The Storyteller", he views storytelling as a way of voicing such experiences of listening to and of experiencing the world. Yet storytelling makes use of almost everything that the modern individual is not or has not, most notably time and the ability to listen. In this mode of communication, the story resonates on multiple levels of meaning without ever assuming the position of an objective truth. In other words, storytelling creates personal narratives where truth and fiction are as much intertwined as the subject of the narration with its object.

      Guided by a desire to take a closer look into Benjamin's work, we propose the feminist reading group.

      What does it mean to read as a feminist? The question may seem odd, or even trivial, but it engages the very ground of our work as artists and thinkers. Indeed, how is our reflection oriented, if not by the very way in which we turn to the text? And yet, when we think about methodologies and epistemologies, we rarely interrogate the practice of reading itself. This is all the more surprising that feminists tend to engage with texts by seeking to counter and denounce what phallocentrism wishes to leave unseen. These oppositional readings are crucial: without them, the insidious fallacies and the fatal acts of bad faith cannot be undone and proliferate unhampered. Yet they also run the risk of turning feminism into a mode of thinking that does nothing but to say “no,” one that destroys but rarely creates, and one that produces its own form of alienation. We want to propose another form of feminist reading: instead of the critical, distrustful distance, we suggest that closeness and intimacy may form an equally powerful approach. In this reading group, we examine what feminist thinking can become when it takes the shape of a lover’s response to a text’s seduction, and when refutation and penetration are replaced by a mode of reading that is founded in an ethics of proximity.

      The structure of the reading group is open. There are no experts. We choose, read and unfold the texts together and according to the interest and individual focus of the participants.

      Meetings from 17:00-20:00 at a.pass studio, 4th floor

      Next meetings & readings:  20.06 / 04.07 / 18.07 / 08.08

      For further information about the texts please contact: marialena.pouskouri@gmail.com

    • Reading Session
    • Block 17/I
    • Book Club #9 Language as Magic and the Language of Things Book Club Series / Caroline Godart & Marialena Marouda
      03 March 2017
      posted by: Pierre Rubio
    • a.pass
    • 17 March 2017
    • Book Club #9 Language as Magic and the Language of Things

       

       

       

      Bookclub #9

      Close Reading Session with Caroline Godart and Marialena Marouda

      Language as Magic and the Language of Things

      Walter Benjamin’s “On Language as Such and on the Language of Man”

       

       

       

       

      “To whom does the lamp communicate itself? The mountain? The fox?”

       

      In the essay “On Language as Such and on the Language of Man” Benjamin proposes a language metaphysics that extends to every thing. Every thing has a language: objects, animals, human beings but also immaterial things, like the Arts or Technology. For Benjamin language is therefore a medium going very much beyond human language and the communication through words. One could say language is the way in which some thing – indeed every thing – communicates itself to the world.

      During this morning session we will read Benjamin’s text on the metaphysics of language by using the method of the feminist close reading. By encountering the text in such a way we will try to unfold concepts such as the magic in language and the language of things.

       

       

       

      Caroline Godart holds a PhD in Comparative Literature with a concentration in Cinema Studies from Rutgers University (USA), where she studied under the direction of Elizabeth Grosz. She is now an Assistant Professor of Communication, Germanic Languages and Cultural Studies at IHECS (Institut des Hautes Études des Communications Sociales, Brussels) and a Scientific Collaborator at the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Her first book, The Dimensions of Difference, was published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2016. It explores the question of difference, and in particular of sexual difference, through three axes (space, time, and embodiment), which are approached both as aesthetic devices and as philosophical concepts in the works of Luce Irigaray, Gilles Deleuze and Henri Bergson.

      http://www.rowmaninternational.com/books/the-dimensions-of-difference

       

      Marialena Marouda works in the fields of performance art and choreography. She studied philosophy and visual arts at Columbia University in New York, USA (B.A., 2004) and continued her studies at the Institute for Applied Theater Studies at the University of Giessen, Germany (M.A., 2011).  Marialena Marouda’s work is focused primarily on the development of performance exercises, self-invented practices for relating to and for inhabiting spaces. The experimentation with walking, listening and storytelling as relational spatial practices forms the basis of her work.

       

       

      Friday 17th from 10am to 2pm

      @ a.pass 4th floor

      participation to the costs : 5 euros

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