Jorella Andrews Lecture co-sponsored with the Center for Visual Cultures

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Memorial Library Room 126
@ 3:30 pm

Co-sponsored with the Center for Visual Cultures

Working with resistance towards a non-dual ‘poetry’ – and politics – ‘of truth’”

The words “work”, “resistance”, and indeed “truth”, tend to connote difficult terrain. As such, they evoke associated practices which, at best, are taken to require a fighting spirit, closed fists, and gestures of opposition. Or, at worst, responses characterised by fright, flight or frozenness. But to what degree is this due to the dualistic conceptual frameworks in which these terms are constantly positioned, particularly at the levels of everyday speech and experience (work versus leisure or laziness; resistance versus compromise; truth versus lies), frameworks that so often immerse us in polarising double binds?

What happens to “work”, “resistance”, and “truth” when non-dual, transcontextual models are foregrounded, with their attendant ambiguities, their detours/detournements, and their hospitality to what the French realist author Stendahl called “true little incidents”? Particularly within contexts of public space and public discourse? This lecture will consider these questions by foregrounding expressions of “paraconsistent logics” and pictorial rationalities discoverable in the work of phenomenological, (new) materialist, and indigenous thinkers. Specifically, I will foreground insights from the French phenomenologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s short essay “On New Items” from 1954, in which [competing] aesthetic/anaesthetic approaches to the stewardship of public space are identified and untangled. I will also reflect on a personal, informal example of object-making involving the delicate intra-actions of clay, a support, air, and sandpaper – my Holdings (2020-23) which offer a material meditation on the politics of open-handedness. They were exhibited in a group show about touch, Behold, at Hypha Studios, London, 2023.