We are not voids, lacks which wait for sustenance, fulfillment, or plentitude from an other. That our lips make us women does not mean that consuming, consummating, or being filled is what matters to us.
I turn my eyes away (or I zoom in with a camera at some exotic exemplar of suffering, which amounts to turning the eyes away because it both satisfies my perverse desire to see suffering and appeases my conscience for having turned the heart away from the sufferer). I go about my own business. Numbed by the apparent ineluctability of exclusion taking place outside of my will though with my collaboration, I start to view horror and my implication in it as normalcy.
Photography as merchandise already has its own theology.
We are at least partially formed through violence. We are given genders or social categories, against our will, and these categories confer intelligibility or recognizability, which means that they also communicate what the social risks of unintelligibility or partial intelligibility might be. But even if this is true, and I think it is, it should still be possible to claim that a certain crucial breakage can take place between the violence by which we are formed and the violence with which, once formed, we conduct ourselves… . we are left with questions such as: How do I live the violence of my formation? How does it live on in me? How does it carry me, in spite of me, even as I carry it? And in the name of what new value can I reverse and contest it? In what sense can such violence be redirected, if it can?
What are the social conditions and abiding interpretative frameworks that make horror possible in the face of certain kinds of violence, and when and where is it “ruled out” as an available affective response in the face of other kinds?
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