Negroisation comprises three parts. History of a Certain Metaphor is an essay which presents the biographies of two writers featuring the similarities between their discourses. Part II is a loose variation on the literary oeuvre of Ernst Jünger, while Part III makes an attempt at translating Tadeusz Borowski’s poetry and prose into the language of loose cinematographic associations.
The word “negroisation” was borrowed from Jünger’s diary. He applied the term “instant and general negroisation” to the Germans’ approval of war crimes during World War 2. In Strahlungen (notes from between 1941-1944), it is the Germans who turn out to be “Negros”, i.e. “cannibals” and “Moors”, whereas in the diaries from 1945-1948 the “Negro” demonism is embodied by the black soldiers of the US Army.
Kozak’s triptych interlaces Jünger’s perspective with that of Borowski. These two writers never met and where entirely alien as regards their mindsets and biographies. Yet, in the symbolic order, there was a certain place and time where their discourses met – Germany under American occupation immediately following World War 2. In that realm, the perspective of the “perpetrator” bore an analogy to that of the “victim” in the fact that both Jünger and Borowski metaphorised the collapse of modern civilisation with the similarly grasped figure of a “Negro”.
Like the majority of Kozak’s works, Negroisation is a critical undertaking focused on revealing the “archaic” or “anachronistic” mechanisms that determine the work of modern imagination. These mechanisms are responsible for generating “atavistic” phantasms – including the vision of a “Negro”. The basic question that the author of Negroisation provokes in this context is: what to do with the post-colonial anachronisms of imagination? Kozak’s writings highlight the fact that the criticality he proposes does not operate with the aim of “colonising” phantasms: it does not intend to tame them and exhibit in corrections-resocialisation museums – to warn the future generations – as a memento of the inglorious past. The history of our visions of our very selves, mediated by our imaginations of Others, has to come to the fore freely, in the entirety of shameless lewdness. That is why Kozak argues that critical art has to resign from its moralistic commentary. The mediation of moralistic approaches is unfavourable, since it veils the field of vision, dims the image of mechanisms that govern our imagination, and as a consequence – hampers the work of our self-knowledge.
(Description courtesy lokal_30)
Source: BETA SP
© Tomasz Kozak. Courtesy lokal_30
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