The Spectacle is a performative talk that unravels and unravels itself around the doubleness inscribed within the word, “spectacle”, which can at once point to the sight to be beheld and the apparatus through which the act of beholding is mediated (think eyeglasses). Rethinking the latter via the notion of the “handle”—the spectacle as that which handles the spectacle—it investigates the ways through which various forms of spectatorial handles stretch the eye and demand an embodied relationship to the spectacle-at-hand. Examining a gamut of phenomena from Pope Francis' Habemus Papam to Ai Weiwei's middle finger, the talk attempts to locate points of agency amidst the ocular-corporeal entanglements of contemporary visual culture.
The Spectacle was first presented at the opening event of Poetry will be made by all! on Thursday, 30 January 2014, at LUMA/Westbau, Zürich, Switzerland.