[-empyre-] public lament and gardening

Monika Weiss gniewna at monika-weiss.com
Fri Oct 5 04:54:34 EST 2012

I wish I was there to witness it...

I think collective catharsis could be the very foundation of the political community of citizens.

On Oct 4, 2012, at 1:51 PM, Ana Valdés wrote:

> For me the lament is a kind of collective catharsis, as the mourning
> itself. I has been in Palestine several times and see and listened to
> the collective mourning of the women when some of their relatives or
> friends are killed or buried, a kind of powerful roaring, not the
> claiming not the whinning but the power of a repressed cry or
> shouting.
> Ana
> On Thu, Oct 4, 2012 at 3:14 PM, Johannes Birringer
> <Johannes.Birringer at brunel.ac.uk> wrote:
>> which "Lamentations" are you refering to?
>> (not Martha Graham's Lamentation?) The lament of nation-building
>> I'd be interested in this idea of the critique of the ritual and the community self-restitution,
>> and also in a review how lament becomes a gesture (in performance and film/filmed performance/then in stilled photograph)
>> of witnessing and what Monika describes as "witnessing and enunciation .... sequenced to non-linear time....[with] compose[d] sound from testimonies, recitations, laments, the environment..."
>> I was interested in the staging of lament, Monika, and how it loses all aura (in Benjamin's writing on something that may have been originary or original) thereby, or retains some?, and how people today,
>> perhaps, are divesting themselves of having to witness ageing, decrepitude, decay, catatonia, living absence, death.
>> Not sure, i know many folks, in the old village, who are care takers and who are
>> witnessing the disappearance of loved ones, the sliding away, in pain or tranced, stilled pain (medicated), but Yoko Ishiguro, a Japanese performance artist who studied at my school, recently staged
>> her symbolic passing outside the library, had herself placed and buried in a coffin and transmitted all that action through the network to test whether the net would be a kind or tomb archive for later generations to look back to Yoko's death at the foot of the library and how would the data be preserved? Yoko told me she was reacting to the crass commodification of death she observed, with funeral trade shows and, for example, the Japanese cyber-burial companies which invite the dead to be "buried" on the website so that you can visit there online.........She saw this commodification in the Benjamin sense of raising questions about "work: (art) in the era of technical reproducibility.
>> So my question (this is before Alan and Sandy's dense textdialiogue about the signifier of pain arrived, which i have not been able to translate) was still to Monika to try to describe how she sees her work function, and what effect is produced, and how the audience is drawn into the long circle or not. And can there ever be audience in lamentation/mourning?
>> (PS.  i personally have no problems with weeds (as weeds), i love them in my garden and tend to them, and they are migrants too, some weeds have travel from far but i didn't know there were weeds, some one has to point out. that must be the signifier. I had never thought of them in the sense of homo sacer. This astonished me, Monika, that you mention Agamben,  after "Nowoczesność i Zaglada".   thank you for responding to my query, and in think Alan's answer is not quite responding to Bauman's critical analysis of the garden society, and what the writing may also have to tell us about politics of integration or assimilation of impairment, otherness.
>> respectfully
>> Johannes Birringer
>> Alan schreibt:
>> public lament and gardening
>> On Thu, 4 Oct 2012, Maria Damon wrote:
>>> Is there then (I'm sort of assuming the answer is yes, but asking anyway in
>>> order to make it part of the fabric of the conversation) a way in which
>>> lamentation is also critique as well as community self-constitution, as in
>>> Lamentations?
>> Maria, I wonder what sort of critique would be possible? Lamentations
>> seems to bridge the political and the obdurate. When pain becomes
>> overwhelming, silence is at the core and the signifier dissolves; I think
>> this is also the core of anguish. One is left speechless. On the other
>> hand, how much clarity is necessary for political or 'rational' thought?
>> In an odd way this also brings up mathematical thinking - which, from an
>> outsider point-of-view, seems based on the manipulation of symbols, but
>> from within is much more of clouded movements with indeterminate focus
>> (see Jacques Hadamard). Thinking itself, in other words, may well have
>> less content than its representations, and certainly its representations
>> in virtual worlds, where everything, one way or another, is determinate
>> and rationalized on a pixel-by-pixel level.
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M o n i k a   W e i s s   S t u d i o
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New York, NY 10013
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gniewna at monika-weiss.com 

M o n i k a   W e i s s
Assistant Professor
Graduate School of Art & Hybrid Media
Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts  
Washington University in St. Louis 
Campus Box 1031 
One Brookings Drive 
St. Louis, MO 63130 
mweiss at samfox.wustl.edu

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