In Julia Gaillard, Claire Nouvet & Mark Stoholski (eds.), Traversals of Affect: On Jean-François Lyotard. New York, NY, USA: pp. 99-112 (2016)

Kiff Bamford
Leeds Beckett University
The challenge I address in this chapter is a fear of repetition, as I turn to a performance by an artist whose work has already provoked my own thought and writing—the Chinese-born artist based in Germany, Yingmei Duan. At a performance in a London gallery, in spite of my personal acquaintance with the artist and despite my own fears, misgivings, and hesitancy, I found space-time-matter transformed by her presence. Or perhaps it is because of this hesitancy and the unanticipated power of the gesture that I was prompted to respond in kind, mouthing manacled words to camera in the making of a video piece that attempted to link on to that gesture. The art is in the gesture, not the artist or the work, and it is the presence of the remainder that is the concern of this chapter. In what follows, I attempt to evoke the complexity of the gesture, which resists and rejects expected articulations, prompting a transference of affect. Accepted forms of communication are broken down and the codified body dismembered, as Lyotard writes: “The body doesn’t belong to you.”
Keywords Jean-François Lyotard  Lyotard  Performance Art  Yingmei Duan  Gesture  Art Writing  Affect
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