Opacity and the Closet: Queer Tactics in Foucault, Barthes, and Warhol

Opacity and the Closet interrogates the viability of the metaphor of “the closet” while utilized to 3 very important queer figures in postwar American and French tradition: the thinker Michel Foucault, the literary critic Roland Barthes, and the pop artist Andy Warhol. Nicholas de Villiers proposes a brand new method of those cultural icons that money owed for the queerness in their works and public personas.

Rather than interpreting their self-presentations as “closeted,” de Villiers means that they create and set up efficient techniques of “opacity” that withstand the closet and the confessional discourse linked to it. Deconstructing binaries associated with the closet that experience persevered to steer either homosexual and immediately receptions of those highbrow and pa celebrities, de Villiers illuminates the philosophical implications of this displacement for queer conception and introduces new how you can take into consideration the gap they make for queerness.

Using the works of Foucault, Barthes, and Warhol to have interaction one another whereas exploring their shared old context, de Villiers additionally exhibits their queer appropriations of the interview, the autobiography, the diary, and the documentary—forms ordinarily associated with fact telling and authenticity.

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Whereas resolutely blind to it, French semiology used to be metaphorizing and “culturalizing” the yankee mechanist paradigm. From the domain names of metaphor to fast atmosphere, all facets of social existence quickly got here lower than the empire of indicators. 38 Debray periodizes a shift among what he calls “the graphosphere, while revealed textual content imposes its rationality more often than not of the symbolic milieu” and “the videosphere, with its devitalization of the publication through audiovisual media,” yet he notes that “mediaspheres haven't succeeded each other as substitutions, yet fairly as problems in a perpetual online game of mutual reactivation. ”39 Foucault, Barthes, and Warhol straddle those mediaspheres, with Warhol truly exemplifying the videosphere whereas still publishing numerous published texts. choosing an analogous phenomenon and set of figures, Peter Wollen issues out that “the arrival of father paintings within the early sixties used to be only one point in a way more basic cultural shift: Warhol and Lichtenstein may be obvious along cultural critics reminiscent of McLuhan (or Eco or Barthes), writers like Burroughs, obsessed via advertisements, the picture financial institution, the be aware virus and the ‘Reality Studios,’ and naturally, filmmakers like Godard. ” in keeping with Wollen, “Artists needed to come to phrases with the hot photos, even if via irony, party, aesthetic enhancement, or détournement. ”40 The transatlantic connection made via Debray and Wollen is additionally vital to my very own venture of connecting Foucault, INTRODUCTION nine Barthes, and Warhol. for example, it used to be in Paris in 1965 that Warhol introduced his goal of giving up portray and going into film and the area of tune and function, and, as we are going to see, Warhol turned one of those conceptual personality in texts via Foucault and Barthes. forty-one As works by means of Foucault and Barthes flow in translation and edited collections, prefaced by way of americans (such as Susan Sontag’s A Barthes Reader), they're supplied with new contexts. forty two In French thought: How Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze, & Co. reworked the highbrow lifetime of the us, François Cusset examines the “creative misreadings” and varied ideological reasons to which fits via those French philosophers have been installed the yankee academy, relatively faraway from their discussion with Marxism, in classes taught in departments of literature, in women’s reviews, and in homosexual, lesbian, and queer reports as they emerged within the Eighties and Nineteen Nineties. forty three regrettably, considering the fact that he occasionally makes use of as his resources the venomous opinions (American and French) of cultural reviews and multiculturalism, Cusset occasionally too quick conflates “identity politics” with the critique or subversion of id complicated by way of queer thought. forty four i need to, although, tackle this factor of id politics. I concentrate on 3 white homosexual males as case stories and forecast the critique that their positions (as trendy, “famous” figures with artistic organization) owe very much to “white male privilege. ” whereas spotting Marlon Ross’s critique, in “Beyond the Closet as Raceless Paradigm,” of “the closet” as a basically white eu discourse, i want not just to maneuver “beyond” the closet as metaphor but additionally to think about how Foucault, Barthes, and Warhol repudiate either the privileges linked to the closet (and “outness”) and what's presumed to be a “modern gay identification.

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