Marina Grzinic
Hysteria: Physical Presence and Juridical Absence
& AIDS: Physical Absence and Juridical Presence

[intro] [part 1] [part 2] [part 3] [notes]


1 Cf. Abigail Solomon-Godeau, "Who is Speaking Thus? Some Questions About Documentary Photography", in Lorne Falk and Barbara Fischer (Eds.), The Event Horizon, The Coach House Press & Walter Philips Gallery, Banff and Toronto 1985, pp. 195-196.

2 Cf. Luce Iragaray, This Sex Which is Not One, Cornell University Press, Ithaca 1985.

3 Cf. N. Katherine Hayles, "Embodied Virtuality: Or How to Put Bodies Back Into The Picture", in Mary Anne Moser and Douglas MacLoed (Eds.), Immersed in Technology: Art and Virtual Environments, The MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. and London 1996, p.

4. 4 Cf. Norman Bryson, Vision and Painting: The Logic of the Gaze, Yale University Press, London and New Haven 1983, p. 143.

5 Cf. Jo Anna Issak, "Mapping the Imaginary", in The Event Horizon, p. 137. In this first section of my essay I am following and reconsidering Issak's thesis about hysteria and representation from her essay "Mapping the Imaginary".

6 Ibid., pp. 137-138.

7 Ibid., p.139.

8 Cf. Joan Copjec, "Flavit et Dissipati Sunt", October, 18 (Fall 1981), p .23.

9 Ibid., p. 139.

10 The text in the film is about AIDS, about dying from AIDS and the inner feelings of an ill person knowing exactly that his/her end is near. On the one hand, Jarman develops a strong critique about the hospitalization process of a person ill with AIDS, about the amount of drugs needed to slow down not the illness but the process of dying, and, last but not least, about the whole societal system (medical, social, legal) which is unfavorable to the persons ill with AIDS. On the other hand, Jarman is meticulously describing the whole personal drama of an ill person, especially the loss of vision, of becoming blind: "My retina is a distant planet. I played this scenario for the last six years. ... My vision will never come back... The virus rages, I have no friends now. I lost the sight... I shall not win the battle with the virus...." - Citation from the film Blue.

11 Jarman: "I am helpless. I can't see him. Just the sound. In the pandemonium of the image I present you the universe of blue". - Citation from the film Blue.

12Joe Miller (Denzel Washington): "The people with AIDS are submitted to social death which precedes the physical death. ... What is it all about? ...About our fears of homosexuals....". The judge: "Mr. Miller justice is blind regarding race and sex in this courtroom!" Miller: " But your Honor, we are not living in this courtroom." - Citation from the film Philadelphia. This specific situation recalls that modernity as a cultural and social project brought about the differentiation between law and morality. It makes sense to measure the legal and political acts of the state against the criteria of morality, but it is not possible to conflate them into one sphere.

13 Ibid., pp. 208-209.

14 Ibid., p. 209.

15 Jean-Louis Baudry, "Ideological Effects of the Basic Cinematographic Apparatus", in Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (Ed.), Apparatus, Tanam Press, New York 1980, p. 26.

16 Cited in Rosalind Krauss, "A note on Photography and the Simulacra", in October 31, (Winter 1984), p. 57.

17 Cf. Sally Stein, "Making Connections With The Camera: Photography and Social Mobility in the Career of Jacob Riis", in Afterimage, vol. 10, no. 10, (May 1983), p.14.

18 Cf. Paetzold, "Lyotard's Definitions of the Postmodern Status of Knowledge", in Heinz Paetzold, The Discourse of the Postmodern and the Discourse of the Avant-Garde, Jan van Eyck Akademie, Maastricht 1994, pp. 14-21.

19 Ibid., p. 16.

20 Cf. Jean-Fran┘ois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1984, pp. 42-52.

21 Paul Virilio, Vision Machine, British Film Institute and Indiana University Press, London and Bloomington, Indiana 1994, p. 7.

22 Cf. Ibid., chapters 1 and 2.

23 Paetzold, op. cit., p.15. 24 Cf. Virilio, op. cit., pp. 43-44.

25 Cf. Hayles, op. cit., p. 4.

26 Paul Virilio, "The Third Interval: A Critical Transition", in Verena Andermatt Conley (Ed.), Rethinking Technologies, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis 1993, p. 4.

27 Timothy Druckrey, "The Transient Image", in A Symposium on the Changing Status of the Image, Banff, Canada, November, 4 and 5, 1994, quoted in Mary Anne Moser, "Introduction", in Immersed in Technology: Art and Virtual Environments, p. XVIII.

28 I am referring here to Helen Cadwallder report and evaluation of the presentation of Timothy Druckrey's paper "Crash, Crisis, Containment and Cyberia", at the 5th International Conference on Cyberspace, Cyberconf, Madrid, June 1996, in Helen Cadwallder, "5th International Conference on Cyberspace", in Mute, no. 6, London 1996, p. 4.

29 Ibid.

30 Ibid.

31 Cf. N. Katherine Hayles, "Embodied Virtuality: Or How to Put Bodies Back Into The Picture", pp. 7-10.

32 Ibid., p. 9.

33 Ibid.

34 Ibid., p. 10. Numerous commentators have pointed this out, including Fredric Jameson and Shoshana Felman.

35 Ibid.

36 Cf. Ibid.

37 Cf. Donna Haraway, "The Promises of Monsters: A Regenerative Politics for Inappropriate/d Others", in Lawrence Grossberg, Cary Nelson and Paula A. Treichler (Eds.), Cultural Studies, Routledge, New York and London 1992, p. 304.

38 Cf. Haraway, op. cit., p. 305. See also Fredric Jameson, The Prison-House of Language, Princeton University Press, Princeton 1972.

[intro] [part 1] [part 2] [part 3] [notes]