body. work. poverty.
Qui, dans l’épaisse nuit qui couvre la nature... (Voltaire)
In July, a friend of mine, Pedro Ruiz, invited us to visit a small workers' row houses area (one of the so called islands) in ruins, located in Porto, behind K11 Paiol Azul gallery (in front of Palacete Pinto Leite). The simple crossing of a street separates the grandeur of a palace from the trail of misery and survival of an island. It was inhabited in the past by two poor old women who, meanwhile, have died. Surrounding one of the houses there was an extensive tomato garden full of fruits, almost all small green tomatoes. However, in one of them, larger and already mature, a large fissure was visible, identical to those that crossed the walls of these abandoned houses or to the ones drawn in some bodies in the form of scars. It pointed to the possibility that, from one fruit, the language of pleasure or guilt, poverty and inequality - the language of survival - could be enunciated.
The tomato has been frozen and will leave that state on the opening day, in January 2021. A tomato as subject-object, a possible ethos of speech.
The body. As in Bong Joon-ho's film Parasite, poverty has a smell. The same smell. And those bodies stink. Houses too. Social inequality crosses these places. An inequality that is also transmissible. Palaces and islands. People's homes. Some are rich and others poor. Bodies of work, survival bodies, divided into production modes, sometimes transformed into modes of repression. The social worker is everywhere, from the factory to the university. A work without pleasure in a pleasureless body. As in the world of Kasper Hauser, in Herzog's film, there are bodies that do not know what a house is. They can only grasp a few words and still don’t understand poetry but they aspire to play the piano in the rhythm of breathing. Necessity and desire stand as common ground of what is building up in time, revealing obstinate ways of being. Resisting the trap of fear, noble flavours and smells of pleasure are called upon. They cause the vibration of another disorienting and subverting body. Appealing to the poetic function that disturbs hierarchical divisions, the alimentary body combines all delusions. It is the violent language of life that speaks through the organism (Nietzsche and Artaud), the orgy (Sade), the force field (Deleuze), through what is the product of social organization (Marx). In this body which we affirm as a chain without beginning or end, it is libertinage, the order of libertine life, desire’s lawless law, and not sexuality’s law, as Foucault so lucidly considered concerning Sade, which we must name here. All sounds of desire, all detachments of thought. Endless freedom. There are those who choose the realm of submissive and boring shadow zones. As in Parasite, we may continue to pretend that we are not relatives. We prefer, however, brighter pictures.