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Embodied Fantasies: From Awe to Artifice

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Edited By Suzanne Anker and Sabine Flach

Embodied Fantasies, a concept central to art history, theory and practice is concurrently a topic debated in the fields of the neuro- and cognitive sciences, philosophy and phenomenology.
This volume focuses on notions of embodiment as they relate to sexuality, aesthetics, epistemology, perception, and fantasy itself.
Approaches to modes of fantasies are explored beyond traditional conceptions to include complex thinking processes, subjectivity and inter-subjective experiences. What function do fantasies and their images possess in relation to art as a form of knowledge production?

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5. Pose and Expose

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Body-Calligraphies: Dance as an Embodied Fantasy of Writing ALEXANDER SCHWAN 1. Simulacrum of writing As he moves through space, a dancer leaves no trace. The shape of the dancing body, constantly changing its outer appearance, is in no way a significant mark that could easily or unmistakably be deciphered. Dancing, after all, is not writ- ing. But what if it were? What, if dancing were writing? What if it were an écriture corporelle, an instantly vanishing inscription in space, not necessarily readable but evident in its writing-like structure and appearance – like the cal- ligraphy of an unknown language? What if dancing were writing? Or more precisely: what if dancing were something that could be regarded as something that seems to be like writing? Aware of the doubly counterfactual nature of that analogy – regarding some- thing as if it were something else pretending to be yet a third something else (which it apparently is not) – I am thinking of dance as a simulacrum of writing and asking: what are the main similarities between writing and dancing which allow me to compare them? Which aspects of a moving body on the stage sup- port the dance-writing analogy?1 That analogy deals intrinsically with the question of embodied fantasy. For spectator and dancer create together the image of dance as a radically ornamen- tal and therefore opaque figuration of moving letters and ephemeral lineaments, existing neither merely on the stage nor simply in the perception of the specta- tor, but rather in the...

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