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By Elena del Río

This booklet deals a different reconsideration of the appearing physique that privileges the inspiration of affective strength over the idea of visible shape on the centre of former theories of spectacle and performativity. Drawing on Gilles Deleuze's philosophy of the physique, and on Deleuze-Spinoza's proper ideas of impact and expression, Elena del Río examines one of those cinema that she calls 'affective-performative'. The positive aspects of this cinema spread through targeted and interesting discussions of the hobbies, gestures and speeds of the physique in a number of movies via Douglas Sirk, Rainer W. Fassbinder, Sally Potter, Claire Denis, and David Lynch. Key to the book's engagement with functionality is a constant cognizance to the body's powers of love.

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But although this context and its historical reality constitute the general and necessary condition of Sara Jane’s performative act, this general condition is exceeded in the contingencies that creep in through her unique repetition of the slavery-event. Thus, it is not a question of pronouncing Annie’s blackness an illusion of racial depth, or of describing Sara Jane’s merely as the unveiling of such an illusion, but of considering each intersection of corporeality and race as composed of singular contingent ingredients that give it its distinctness “in addition to being a member” of a more general class of events (Massumi 2002b: 222), in this case the history of racism and slavery.

Qxp:Andy Q7 6/5/08 10:46 Page 37   37 oppression of expression (in the sense of a set of determining field conditions that both configure and limit the body’s expressive faculties). e. every woman aspires to embody the same unattainable ideal). In the Deleuzian sense, highly pertinent to performance, difference is not dependent on a binary alternation between two terms, where one always remains dominant. As Abigail Bray and Claire Colebrook explain: Deleuze’s “transcendental empiricism” posits a univocality whereby bodies, consciousness, actions, events, signs, and entities are specific intensities – each with its own modality and difference.

Martin argues that the body may emerge as a likely site of opposition in a culture where the mind is the most obvious target of control and domination by the linguistic sign: “The body is the appropriate source of action precisely because the control of mind makes it a site of resistance” (Martin 1990: 2). Far from resulting, then, in what Butler terms a “compulsory normative requirement,” the expression-event attests to the idea that “[the body’s] liberatory promise becomes prominent only when specific forms of social control establish its potential as a site of resistance” (Martin 1990: 14).

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