The pending image Notes for an analysis of the aesthetics of violence
The deer is going to drink when there appears in the water
the reflection of a tiger.
The deer drinks the water and the image. It becomes,
before being devoured (accomplice, fascinated)
equal to its enemy.
ROSARIO CASTELLANOS, Destino (Destiny)
Violence is one of the problems that define the present. What once seemed the world of the peripheries has become a pattern of socialisation that has spread throughout the world. Faced with its rapid growth, doctrines abound that provide immediate answers. The majority repeat a moralistic scheme that reduces violence to the acts of force performed by irrational people, or to the malfunction of institutions, or to the lack of economic development, or to the absence of values, etc., etc., all of which provides a knee-jerk response to a complex problem. On the other hand, more in-depth investigations fail to establish the common ground necessary for an understanding of the strategic role that violence plays in the definition of collective lives.
Critiques are often blind to the sensitive dimension in which the exercise of violence is inscribed. The discussion about the use of force that lies behind the various forms of violence prevents recognition of the expressive role that accompanies it. The critique of violence cannot ignore its aesthetic dimension, as a process for analysing the political projects in which it is inscribed, together with its historical dimension. This seminar will present the basis for an analysis of the sensitive dimension of violence as one of the central components of its exercise in the contemporary world. Through the study of the aesthetic forms that accompany violence, the seminar aims to reach an understanding of the fundamentals of its execution and the effects that its various forms have on daily life.
The focus of the seminar will be the reflection on the dialectic that is created in the face of the possibility or impossibility of constructing images (visual, sound, written, performance) of violence. For the violence of the twenty-first century, there is a pending image, in at least three main senses: 1) a missing image to account for the complexity of the process; 2) an image that oscillates between shock and cliché; and 3) an image reflecting the dispute to be resolved in favour of critique or in favour of doctrine.
Violence determines our present. We need to reorganise critique to think about its complexity and the ways in which we can face and overcome it.
Presented by Daniel Inclán, lecturer at the Institute of Economic Research at UNAM and member of the Latin American Geopolitics Observatory.
14, 15, 16 AND 17 JANUARY, from 4 pm to 7 pm
Venue: Convent dels Àngels Auditorium
► Session I: 14 January
WHAT DO WE TALK ABOUT WHEN WE TALK ABOUT VIOLENCE
Although the content of the word violence seems obvious and shared by all, given its wide usage and its apparent and unquestionable verifiability, it is necessary to pause to return to the concept with the purpose of: 1) delimiting polysemy; 2) present some general features; 3) exposing its multiple dimensions; and 4) getting out of the trap of the use of the plural.
• ECHEVERRÍA, Bolívar: «De violencia a violencia», in Discurso crítico y modernidad. Bogotá: Desde abajo, 2011.
• INCLÁN, Daniel: «Violencia», in Pablo González Casanova, (ed.) Conceptos y fenómenos fundamentales de nuestro tiempo. Mexico: UNAM, 2018.
► Session II: 15 January
THE ENDS OF VIOLENCE IN THE TWENTU-FIRST CENTURY
Contrary to mechanistic and institutionalist interpretations, this session will discuss the strategic functions of the forms of violence in a context of a civilisation collapse: we are not facing a simple breakdown of civilised life, or a renewed version of the economic crisis. The sense of the contemporary world is defined by catastrophe, in which violence plays a central role in alleviating and managing its effects.
• SEGATO, Rita: La guerra contra las mujeres. Madrid: Traficantes de sueños, 2016. (Chapters 2 and 3).
• INCLÁN, Daniel: «La lógica de la violencia y la cultura de la crueldad. Las mutaciones sociales en tiempos de crisis civilizatoria», in Constelaciones. Revista de teoría crítica, vol. 10, 2018. Available here.
► Session III: 16 January
THE LIMITS OF THE REPRESENTATION OF VIOLENCE
The expansion of violence produced a paradox in the twentieth century: the possibility or impossibility of making an image (visual, auditory, written, etc.) of violence. The problem becomes more complex in the twenty-first century when the forms of violence and imaging technologies are radically modified.
• BUTLER, Judith: «La tortura y la ética de la fotografía: pensar con Sontag», in Marcos de guerra. Las vidas lloradas (trad. Bernardo Moreno). Buenos Aires: Paidós, 2010, pp. 95-143.
• INCLÁN, Daniel: «Violentamente visual. Los límites de la representación de la violencia», in Interpretatio. Revista de hermenéutica, vol. 3, núm. 2, 2018. Available here.
► Session IV: 17 January
EMERGING IMAGES OF VIOLENCE
Faced with shock and collective anaesthesia, there are several creative expressions that may break the siege of the aestheticisation of violence in order to produce politically critical images of violence.
• GRÜNER, Eduardo: «La invisibilidad estratégica, o la redención política de los vivos», in Ana Longoni y Gustavo A. Bruzzone, (eds.) El siluetazo. Buenos Aires: Adriana Hidalgo, 2008, pp. 285-308.
• CASTILLEJO CUELLAR, Alejandro: Poéticas de lo otro. Hacia una antropología de la guerra, la soledad y el exilio interno en Colombia. Bogotá, Universidad de los Andes, 2016. (Fourth and fifth part).
• REA, Daniela: Nadie les pidió perdón. Historias de impunidad y resistencias. Mexico: Urano, 2015.
• HUEZO, Tatiana: La tempestad, 2016.
macba [at] macba [dot] cat
Tel: 93 481 33 68