A inspected the blog line graph yesterday and noted that as soon as I started writing about him, my readership plummeted. I suggested that this is because nobody wants to read about a do-gooder humanitarian. We agreed that it would probably be best for the blog if I invented a rockstar named Z with whom I can conduct a steamy affair. I worried for a moment that focusing my energy on recounting the various occasions in which Z has done blow off of my naked body before ravaging me in a public restroom might detract from the main purpose of this blog, namely writing about brunch. But A assures me that rockstars are very good at going to brunch. In fact, A insists that rockstars survive entirely on brunch and appetizers. I didn’t realize how well acclimated I was to the rockstar lifestyle! Yesterday I ate a lovely brunch, a plate of charcuterie for dinner, and a bag of hot wings at 3 a.m. Bring me some leather pants. I’m ready.
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Two nights ago I went to a screening at the Centre Pompidou of Chantal Akerman’s documentary about the German choreographer Pina Bausch, Un jour Pina a demandé, followed by a production Bausch’s 1984 Barbe-Bleue. I’d like to write something semi-articulate about it because it moved me very deeply, but I am coming up against the sense that I lack an adequate vocabulary to speak about dance, or at least this particular type of work. This frustrates me immensely because I feel like I’m dissolving into someone who is moved by everything and has nothing to say about anything. Bausch’s couples in particular dismantled me. This will surely make me sound like a philistine, but I had no idea that such a nuanced version of intersubjectivity could be evoked by dance. Bausch’s work makes shared affect viscerally physical. I kept thinking about this passage in Judith Butler’s Undoing Gender that always makes me weep:
Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something. If this seems so clearly the case with grief, it is only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact. It may be that one wants to, or does, but it may also be that despite one’s best efforts, one is undone, in the face of the other, by the touch, by the scent, by the feel, by the prospect of the touch, by the memory of the feel. And so when we speak about my sexuality or my gender, as we do (and as we must), we mean something complicated by it. Neither of these is precisely a possession, but both are to be understood as modes of being dispossessed, ways of being for another, or, indeed, by virtue of another.
There is a lousy video on youtube of the production of Barbe-Bleue: