The Funambulist

Monthly Archives: December 2014

Vicissitudes by Jason deCaires Taylor in Grenada (2013) Discovering the underwater sculptures of Guyanese English artist Jason deCaires Taylor, in particular, Vicissitudes (2013) in the Caribbean Sea, made me want to write an extension to the two articles “The Slave Ship Is Architecture” (March 23, 2014), and “The Mediterranean Abyss” (July 1, 2014), about the notion of abyss in regards to the slave trade. Although deCaires Taylor himself does not explicitly claim the imaginary of… Read More

Today, I publish the 60th Funambulist Paper (23rd of the second series that will be published in the Second Volume by Punctum Books), written by Renisa Mawani (listen on Archipelago: “The Archive: Fragments and Forces of Indigeneity“). In “Bee Workers and the Expanding Edges of Capitalism,” she reminds us that questions of corporeal politics extend the human realm. Capitalist logic are also at work on the bees’ bodies and through their economic and military labor. Precariousness… Read More

Still of Only the Bad Sleep Well by Akira Kurosawa (1960) HOMAGE TO GRAVITY: Architecture and the Body /// An exhibition proposal for the 2013 Young Curator Program at the Canadian Center for Architecture (translated from original French) My proposal is based on an axiom in the form of a definition of architecture. My intuition is that the latter is the discipline that organizes bodies in space. The various diagrams that we… Read More

Assistant state attorneys John Guy, left, and Bernie de la Rionda, right, display the hooded sweatshirt worn by Trayvon Martin the night he was shot by George Zimmerman. (Credit: AP) The Speech of Things /// Originally written for The New Inquiry (published on Nov. 25, 2014) Ceci n’est pas une preuve. René Magritte’s painting of a pipe was not a pipe; similarly, the documents and objects used as court exhibits are not proofs as… Read More

Yesterday, on December 22, 2014, the blog ARCH2O published an outrageous article written by a former employee of Rotterdam/NY-based architecture office OMA. In this article entitled “What I Learned at OMA | 20 Tips for Being a Successful Architect,” one can read, among many comments legitimatizing exploitative work conditions, an apology of rape in the form of what is introduced as a joke: “As far as free time goes, keep this joke in mind: ‘If you… Read More

Artwork by Mustafa al Hallaj (1938-2002) The 59th Funambulist Paper, “Palestine Made Flesh” is the continuation of a fantastic conversation I had with Sophia Azeb in last April for Archipelago. Back then, we had called it the “No-State Solution,” following Sophia’s manifesto against State-based imaginaries for Palestine (whether one or two states), to favor instead the incarnation of this idea through Palestinian bodies. I had used the influence of such an idea, as well as… Read More

The Black Lives Matter movement shutting down a highway (November 2014) This article is the third and last ‘episode’ around The Invisible Committee‘s new book, To Our Friends (Semiotext(e) & La Fabrique, 2014). The first episode was dedicated to the production of insurrectionist and counter-insurrectionist narratives through the protesting bodies, the second consisted in a critique of what we did wrong with Occupy Wall Street in the Fall 2011; this third one will take for object the… Read More

Stills from the film Diary of an Unknown Soldier by Peter Watkins (1959) / See past article The second series of The Funambulist Papers, dedicated to the bodies is almost over (four more texts soon forthcoming), and the book that collects its essays is currently being edited. Today, we have the chance to read a text written by Derek Gregory (see our past conversation on Archipelago) about the concept of corpography, which attempts to give a… Read More

Still from the film Concerning Violence by Göran Olsson (2013) This article intends to give a personal critique of the usual interpretation of violence in the work of Frantz Fanon, in particular in light of the recent film Concerning Violence by Swedish director Göran Olsson. However, I highly recommend to read friend Bhakti Shringarpure’s own article about the same topic on Warscapes (June 17, 2014) since I could not possibly pretend to articulate these ideas better than she… Read More

This article is intended to continue a specific part of the research started with Weaponized Architecture: the consideration of a normative body when creating objects and architecture (see other articles at the end of this one). In order to do so, I would like to particularly examine the work of American industrial designer Henry Dreyfuss (1904-1972) in relation to the two malleable standardized bodies he invented and that he found fit to name… Read More

Pablo Picasso drawing with light / Photograph by Gjon Mili (1949) The second series of The Funambulist Papers continues around the topic of bodies. Today, I am glad and honored to welcome Grégoire Chamayou to this ‘assignment,’ after his three books (Vile Bodies (2008), Manhunts (2010), and Theory of the Drone (2013)) were discussed on this blog. The fifty-seventh text of the series, “Patterns of Life: A Very Short History of Schematic Bodies,” is an illustrated essay… Read More

Protesters in Ukraine holding mirrors to show the police their own reflection / Photograph extracted from the lecture ““How to Dress up a Police?,” by Ethel Baraona Pohl at the seminar Missions and Missionaries at the Het Nieuwe Instituut (Rotterdam, Nov. 27, 2014) This article starts on the bases of the lecture given by friend Ethel Baraona Pohl at the seminar Missions and Missionaries organized by Malkit Shoshan at the Het Nieuwe Instituut this last Thursday, as well as… Read More