Experiments In Exile (eBook)
C. L. R. James, Hélio Oiticica, And The Aesthetic Sociality Of Blackness
de Laura Harris
Sobre o livro
Comparing the radical aesthetic and social experiments undertaken by two exile intellectuals,Experiments in Exile charts a desire in their work to formulate alternative theories of citizenship, wherein common reception of popular cultural forms is linked to a potentially expanded, non-exclusive polity. By carefully analyzing the materiality of the multiply-lined, multiply voiced writing of the undocuments that record these social experiments and relay their prophetic descriptions of and instructions for the new social worlds they wished to forge and inhabit, however, it argues that their projects ultimately challenge rather than seek to rehabilitate normative conceptions of citizens and polities as well as authors and artworks. James and Oiticicas experiments recall the insurgent sociality of the motley crew historians Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker describe inThe Many-Headed Hydra,their study of the trans-Atlantic, cross-gendered, multi-racial working class of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Reading Jamess and Oiticicas projects against the grain of Linebaugh and Redikers inability to find evidence of that socialitys persistence or futurity, it shows how James and Oiticica gravitate toward and seek to relay the ongoing renewal of dissident, dissonant social forms, which are for them always also aesthetic forms, in the barrack-yards of Port-of-Spain and thefavelas of Rio de Janeiro, the assembly lines of Detroit and the streets of the New York. The formal openness and performative multiplicity that manifests itself at the place where writing and organizing converge invokes that sociality and provokes its ongoing re-invention. Their writing extends a radical, collective Afro-diasporic intellectuality, an aesthetic sociality of blackness, where blackness is understood not as the eclipse, but the ongoing transformative conservation of the motley crews multi-raciality. Blackness is further instantiated in the interracial and queer sexual relations, and in a new sexual metaphorics of production and reproduction, whose disruption and reconfiguration of gender structures the collaborations from which Jamess and Oiticicas undocuments emerge, orienting them towards new forms of social, aesthetic and intellectual life.