The Pantomime of Spirits
Here, this separation is explicitly removed. Klossowski’s entire œuvre revolved around the concept of the gaze. Rarely has the gaze been so radically interpreted – as an active, mobile, evanescent object that breaks down the connections between representation and the visible. How is one to see the invisible divinity? This question plagued Klossowski, and he displaced it onto pornographic rituals. The pantomime of spirits is the scene, fixed in silence, where bodies meet – a knotting of desiring body and dogmatic theology. A creator of simulacra, Klossowski attempted to exorcise the ‘obsessive constraint of the phantasm’ that subjugated him in all these scenes.
Translated from the French by Adrian Price in collaboration with Pamela King.
A.R. PRICE – Translator’s Postface
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A translation. The word seems innocent enough. Does the translation suppose the translator? This question should give us some pause for thought.
Freud opens his metapsychological paper on the unconscious with the observation that we only come to know the unconscious after it has been ‘translated into something conscious’.1 Does the work of the unconscious imply a subject of the unconscious who wills this translation, a dream-weaver who ‘does not think, calculate or judge in any way at all’?2 Lacan would tackle this question in his late teaching, speaking of ‘the ideal worker, the one Marx made the flower of capitalist economy’.3
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