[-empyre-] The Market from Here // Kuki

Johannes Birringer Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk
Tue Nov 25 10:02:22 EST 2014

thanks to Alan for sending us his music and his evocations of the calming, restorative power of sound, wood, and wind or string instruments. I listened to this while
also remembering what you cited to us earlier, Alan, namely a conversation, a dialogue between a Japanese and an Inquirer, and I couldn't help it, had to wander, a bit, through the woods,
to pass by & leave behind the german philosopher, the poems (by Hölderlin) on the river "Ister" he liked, and his guest Tezuka Tomio (they both reference Kuki Shūzō, an earlier visitor to western aesthetic lands of discourse)....

why bring up Kuki?   well, the dialogue seems to be about homeliness and unhomeliness  (Heidegger lecturing, during WW II, in 1942, on Hölderlin !), about the "foreign" and other to the market from here, the homeland,
the foreign bringing to the notion of homeliness what is absent from the place in which 'we' have been thrown—an unhomeliness which is an original ingredient of homeliness, and which will eventually make one feel at home.
The question that is raised by Kuki is what happens when the foreign unhomeliness is utterly Other, and the Other is not the source of one’s homeliness. Then, the encounter with the Other must be much more dramatic than the one Heidegger described with the word "Stoss" (shock).

Beginning this week, after reading Monika's fervent description, which she sent us about her public square project on Tahrir Square in Cairo  ( http://www.monika-weiss.com/articles/publications/143), and also her repeated commentary on the politics of using public lament and public space as lament-space ("the pollution of polis"), I would like to invite our guests,  Ana, Sonja, Aristita and Olu, and everyone else, to meditate on these propositions of public symbolic action, performance occupation, or communal exchange, also perhaps expanding our viewpoints through the experiences you have made.  You all have worked in the public sphere, on streets, and with memory, with " memorial work as a work of memorialization, a production...." [Alan], yes?    

Has your work shown congruence with what Monika professes? or discovered obstacles?

Are there distinctions one needs to draw between squares, occupations, modes of protest, violent or velvet demonstrations?

How do we encounter (and not incorporate) the others that are not homogenous with our culture, law, justice, morality, religion, aesthetics and politics?

*       *    

As a postscript to yesterday's brief evocation of the "Market from Here,"  a market brought from Venezuela to Texas and "built" there in a square before the (then leading) ethnographic master department/institution of the North,
stage designer Fernando Calzadilla, who collaborated with Abdel, described a few more of the objects in the "market":  

Cardboard boxes, onion sacs (red open weave), jute bags, rope, twine, thrift clothes, guacales, plastic bags,  innumerable household and personal effects donated by friends and family - they became our medium. Market vendors in Venezuela donated part of what made it into the installation. Developing the work raised issues that had to be solved as we worked; by bringing the ready-made objects into the space, were we making an allusion to "the ready made" (Duchamp)? . There was a physicality  that stopped all speculations about form, art, authenticity; the atmospheric environment that allowed the "Market from Here"  to develop a polyphonic language challenged both ethnographic authority and artistic authorship by placing the work in another betweenness, the betweenness of 'orchestrated voices' speaking in the evocative mode of trance......

For some visual images, see:  http://www.digitalcultures.org/Library/market.pdf

warm regards
Johannes Birringer

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