Sunday, May 24, 2009

Zydeco Cha Cha

"Every work of art is painting and statuary, immobilized in the instant or in its periodic return" (Levinas, Totality, p. 263, my bold). We need to ask whether rhythm opens us up to the infinities of other people. For me, rhythm is a manumission from stupid moods, a dynamic movement out of a dismal immobility which is marked by the throb of a mere will to subsist, and an anemic throb at that. Rhythm overcomes the dolorous–or alternatively dwells in it, it amounts to the same–or rather it presents the means and the inspiration, the method of breathing and bodily vibration and most vitally the feeling that propels through the horizon of the given, the blue given, in a motion something like transmutation; rhythm is less of a form that one imposes on life than a music that emerges, develops and sends, a music that gives. Listening to rhythm, making rhythm with my knives and pans, musical instruments or my feet, makes me alive to my infinition. I enjoy it. Would this ecstatic journey of the self through rhythm be a condition for an openness to your infinition? Or do I risk deceiving myself about what is truly called for by your face? Levinas says "the whole body–a hand or a curve of the shoulder–can express as the face" (p. 262). So let's take off our shoes and socks and dance. Let's dance to some Zydeco Cha Cha.

The statues too would join us. The statuary and the plastic would join the performing arts if only we knew when to grasp the skoppic, the improvisation of the shape, and its many returns, the clay of everyday language. We could see them moving towards us, the statues, the sonorous masks, expressing, ecstatic, performative, the marble foot. This expression must not be confused with the infinition of the other person. Is such expressivity not a condition, though, of the openness to the infinitions of other people? What do you say of your mobilities, the ones you put out in the open? Do you ever find that you give yourself rhythmically?

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posted by Fido the Yak at 9:08 PM.


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