Monday, 22 June 2009
visible and invisible
“Absolutely visible body, in one sense, I know very well what it is to be looked over by someone else from head to toe. I know what it is to be spied from behind, watched over the shoulder, caught off guard when I least expect it. I know what it is to be naked. And yet this same body, which is so visible, is also withdrawn, captured by a kind of invisibility from which I can never really detach it. This skull, the back of my skull, I can feel it, with my finger. But see it? Never. This back, which I can feel leaning, against the pressures of the matters, against the couch when I am lying down, and which I might catch but only by the ruse of the mirror. And what is this shoulder, whose movements and positions I know nothing with precision, but that I will never be able to see without dreadfully contorting myself? The body-phantom that only appears in the mirage of the mirror, and then only in fragmentary fashion- do I really need genies and fairies, and death and the soul, in order to be, at the same time both visible and invisible? ”
‘Le corps utopique’ translated by Lucia Allais in consultation with Caroline A. Jones and Arnold Davidson from Michel Foucault, Utopies and Heterotopies, a CD release of two 1966 radio broadcasts published in 2004 by the Institut National d’Audiovisuel, Paris.