Oblique Talks #3. 22.10.2021 at 18:00

Oblique Talks, #3. Daisuke Kosugi. 
Images of pain – inexpressibility and incommunicability
Mandag 22.11.2021, Kl 18
Møllergata 34, ringeklokke C4, 0179 Oslo.
Daisuke Kosugi
Images of pain – inexpressibility and incommunicability

“English, which can express the thoughts of Hamlet and the tragedy of Lear, has no words for the shiver and the headache. It has all grown one way. The merest schoolgirl, when she falls in love, has Shakespeare, Donne, Keats to speak her mind for her; but let a sufferer try to describe a pain in his head to a doctor and language at once runs dry. There is nothing ready made for him. He is forced to coin words himself, and, taking his pain in one hand, and a lump of pure sound in the other (as perhaps the inhabitants of Babel did in the beginning) so to crush them together that a brand new word in the end drops out.”

from “On Being Ill” by Virginia Woolf, The Criterion, 1926.

Physical pain has no language of its own. Pain is an internal and fundamentally unshareable experience, yet the figures of pain exist around us. We are constantly confronted with images of human individuals and ecosystems under oppression from all over the world. It is everywhere, images on news, short clips on the newsletter from human rights organizations or personal mobile recordings on the social media witnessing individuals who are exposed to racism, discrimination or other injustice. When I see these images of a hurting body I wonder if I see violence (the infliction of pain), instead of the sensation of pain. These images are often morally and politically contextualized while leaving the hurting body harmed and mute. Is there a way to see the sensation of pain more clearly without settling down on its immediate, referential comprehensibility as metaphors?

Oblique Talks is a series of collegiate talks held once a month on a Monday night. It can be in the form of a seminar, a lecture, an informal conversation, or something more performative. In each case, the focus is on an aspect or theme that the artist/filmmaker finds interesting in relation to the moving image. These are not artist presentations.

Illustration: Joseph Beuys, "When You Cut Your Finger, Bandage the Knife", 1962

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Oblique Talks er støttet av Norsk Kulturfond og Fritt Ord.