PL EN


2014 | 4 | 173-183
Article title

Taking Sides on Severed Heads: Kristeva at the Louvre

Authors
Content
Title variants
Languages of publication
EN
Abstracts
EN
The theorist and philosopher Julia Kristeva is invited to curate an exhibition at the Louvre in Paris as part of a series-Parti Pris (Taking Sides)- and to turn this into a book, The Severed Head: Capital Visions. The organiser, Régis Michel, wants something partisan, that will challenge people to think, and Kristeva delivers in response a collection of severed heads neatly summarising her critique of the whole of western culture! Three figures dominate, providing a key to making sense of the exhibition: Freud, Bataille, and the maternal body. Using these figures, familiar from across the breadth of her work over the last half a century, she produces a witty analysis of western culture’s persistent privileging of disembodied masculine rationality; the head, ironically phallic, ironically and yet necessarily severed; the maternal body continually arousing a “jubilant anxiety” (Kristeva, Severed Head 34), expressed through violence. Points of critique are raised in relation to Kristeva’s normative tendencies-could we not tell a different story about women, for example? The cultural context of the exhibition is also addressed: who are the intended viewers/readers and whose interests are being served here? Ultimately, however, this is a celebration of Kristeva’s tribute to psychic survivors.
Keywords
Year
Volume
4
Pages
173-183
Physical description
Dates
published
2014-11-01
online
2014-11-25
Contributors
author
  • University of Stirling
References
  • Bal, Mieke. “Exposing the Public.” A Companion to Museum Studies. Ed. Sharon MacDonald. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011. 525-42. Print.
  • Bann, Stephen. “‘Views of the past’-reflections on the treatment of historical objects and museums of history (1750-1850).” Picturing the Powerful: Visual Depiction and Social Relations. Ed. Gordon Fyfe and John Law. London: Routledge, 1988. 39-64. Print.
  • Bataille, Georges. “Le Labyrinthe.” Acéphale 1 (January, 1936). Print.
  • ---. Oeuvres complètes. Paris: Gallimard, 1970. Print.
  • Condren, Mary. “Suffering into Truth: Constructing the Patriarchal Sacred.” Feminist Theology 17.3 (2009): 356-92. Print.
  • Derrida, Jacques. Memoirs of the Blind: The Self-portrait and Other Ruins. Trans. Pascale-Anne Brault and Michael Naas. Chicago: Chicago UP, Parti-Pris Series, 1993. Print.
  • Fyfe, Gordon, and John Law, eds. Picturing the Powerful: Visual Depiction and Social Relations. London: Routledge, 1988. Print.
  • Greenaway, Peter. Flying Out of this World. Chicago: Chicago UP, Parti- Pris Series, 1994. Print.
  • Kristeva, Julia. The Severed Head: Capital Visions. Trans. Jody Gladding. New York: Columbia UP, 2012. Print.
  • ---. This Incredible Need to Believe. Trans. Beverley Bie Brahic. New York: Columbia UP. 2009. Print.
  • Kristeva, Julia, and Catherine Clément. The Feminine and the Sacred. Trans. Jane Marie Todd. New York: Columbia UP, 2001. Print.
  • Michel, Régis. “Alibi?” Julia Kristeva. The Severed Head: Capital Visions. Trans. Jody Gladding. New York: Columbia UP, 2012. xv-xxii. Print.
  • Starobinski, Jean. Largesse. Trans. Jane Marie Todd. Chicago: Chicago UP, Parti-Pris Series, 1997.
Document Type
Publication order reference
Identifiers
YADDA identifier
bwmeta1.element.hdl_11089_8521
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