The Withdrawal of Tradition Past a Surpassing Disaster:
This lecture provides an overview of my concept of the withdrawal of tradition past a surpassing disaster. To detect this withdrawal, whether symptomatically or otherwise, one is well advised to look for it in messianic movements as well as in artistic and literary works: “With regard to the surpassing disaster, art acts like the mirror in vampire films: it reveals the withdrawal of what we think is still there. ‘You have seen nothing in Hiroshima’ [Duras/Resnais’ Hiroshima mon amour]. Does this entail that one should not record? No. One should record this ‘nothing,’ which only after the resurrection can be available.” We will examine if and how one can record this “nothing,” as well as how to contribute to the resurrection of the withdrawn tradition—without this resurrection tradition becomes a counterfeit of itself.
Jalal Toufic's Concise Biography
Jalal Toufic is a thinker, writer, and artist. He is the author of Distracted (1991; 2nd ed., 2003), (Vampires): An Uneasy Essay on the Undead in Film (1993; 2nd ed., 2003), Over-Sensitivity (1996), Forthcoming (2000), Undying Love, or Love Dies (2002), Two or Three Things I’m Dying to Tell You (2005), and ‘Âshûrâ’: This Blood Spilled in My Veins (2005). His videos and mixed-media works have been presented in such venues as Artists Space, New York; ICA, London; Fundació Antoni Tàpies, Barcelona; Witte de With, Rotterdam; Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel.