Monday, 3 May 2010

DG – 003506SE

‘In the mirror I discover my absence from the place where I am’ (Foucault). A photographer, is this the photographer? At first sight, naively, it looks like a photograph of a woman, the street behind her, taking a photo of some desirable object in a shop window. But it could be a reflection, yes, the glass is angled relative to the picture plane; the photographer is the ‘desirable object’ looking at herself in the ‘shop window’. Even if it is not a reflection, this is the ruse of the double, setting up the desire to photograph the photographer looking at herself looking at herself. And here I am like her – like anyone – in the place where she discovers her absence, looking at herself looking at herself. The place of the shopper and the commodity is the same. Her left eye, not the camera lens, seems to look into that space from which she is now absent and from which I am looking, being drawn into this play of glances, this exchange of narcissisms. It is a look of intimacy, but it is not intimate. A smile plays on the photographer’s lips as she glances at herself and through herself into the virtual point, the empty space not of symbolic mediation but economic exchange, from which I look back at her. I notice the fractures in the glass hinting at the disunity of the body that is normally veiled by the specular image but is here disclosed. I fragment in turn. This commentary is too facile, don’t you think? I see a hurried yet studied impersonation of feminine desire. On impulse, she pulls back the thick curtain, as heavy as death, unwinds her veil, takes a quick snap of something that catches her eye (herself). Transgressive feminine jouissance is on display even as it takes place out of the sight of the King and his police (Purloined Letter, again). It is not an image of female narcissism, but an advertising of feminine desire and jouissance that appeals to the narcissism of the viewer, his idiotic cleverness. This is desire pimping itself in the form of its own semblance all the better to remain hidden. Abject, I don’t know how long I can go on playing the role of the (Lacanian) punter. It is time to unwind that veil, but what is behind it? Nothing but another semblance of an imitation of a semblance ... S