a conversation with Alphonso Lingis
Transfigured Night is the record of an exchange between the celebrated American philosopher Alphonso Lingis and the British art theorist and curator Adrian Heathfield. Drawn to conversation by reading Lingis’ numerous books, Heathfield pays a visit to the philosopher’s house near Baltimore where he discovers revealing dimensions of his ways of being and thinking.
The film assembles a rich patchwork of fragments taken from their dialogue over a period of two days. Lingis makes dynamic forays into thoughts that have preoccupied him in over forty years as a writer and traveller, drawing on his influences in phenomenology and ethics, and his extensive encounters with many places and cultures. The discussion moves from questions of the face and the gaze of others, the sensual experiences of weight and being touched, through considerations of performance, sculpture and dance, to meditations on mortality and suffering.
Alphonso Lingis is one of the most original voices in Contemporary American philosophy. He is the author of fourteen major works over the last forty years, including The Community of Those Who Have Nothing in Common, The Imperative, Dangerous Emotions, Trust, and Violence and Splendor. He is also the preeminent English translator of the works of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Emmanuel Levinas. He is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Penn State University.
Adrian Heathfield is a writer and curator. His books include Perform, Repeat, Record: Live Art in History, Out of Now: The Lifeworks of Tehching Hsieh and Live: Art and Performance. He is Professor of Performance and Visual Culture at the University of Roehampton, London.
Hugo Glendinning is an internationally renowned photographer whose work spans collaborations with visual artists on photographic and video works, theatre, dance and performance documentation, and portraits of prominent figures.
Directed and Edited by Hugo Glendinning and Adrian Heathfield
Director of Photography: Hugo Glendinning
Written by Adrian Heathfield
Duration: 61 minutes
Transfigured Night is part of the Crossovers series, which includes filmed dialogues with leading intellectuals whose work has significant impact upon the understanding of contemporary culture and performance. Crossovers is curated by Performance Matters: a collaboration between Goldsmiths, University of London, University of Roehampton, and the Live Art Development Agency, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. thisisperformancematters.co.uk