segunda-feira, 7 de maio de 2012
Up Front: Laura Kipnis
By THE EDITORS
In books like “Against Love: A Polemic” and “How to Become a Scandal,” Laura Kipnis has combined sharp analysis with blistering wit to challenge prevailing notions about love and sex, power and desire, hubris and retribution in American life. On our cover this week, she reviews “The Art of Cruelty,” by Maggie Nelson, a wide-ranging inquiry into the aesthetic and ethical questions raised by images of brutality in our culture.
“Reading Nelson’s book had an eating-the-madeleine quality for me, as I’m an art-world expat myself: a former video artist, with art school degrees,” Kipnis said via e-mail. She now teaches filmmaking at Northwestern University. “As an art student, I was very influenced by the boundary-crossing sort of work she writes about, and tried to emulate it myself. I recall a photo-performance piece in which I cast a homeless man as the romantic heroine and had him wear a frilly dress and say romantic clichés. I did pay him, of course. It caused all sorts of controversy.”
In her review, Kipnis writes that Nelson’s approach to her subject is notable for both its “distinction-blurring trains of association” and its poetic suppleness. “What I share with Nelson is a desire to push cultural criticism in an expressive and even experimental direction, toward a literary form in its own right, where the voice and style, the prose itself, become organic to the critique,” Kipnis told us. “Books like Nelson’s expand the possibilities for interesting critical writing, which to me means risk-taking and quirkiness, rather than the usual smugness and over-certainty.”
Posted by Francisco Augusto Vaz Brasil at 17:40