on gaps and intervals

Writing on A.Kiarostami‘s early fim ‘First Case / Second Case‘ B. Afrassiabi and N. Tabatabai draw interesting conclusion on the production of knowledge and the allowance of ambivalent openings of spaces (gaps) as necessary for the emergence of differently routed discourses.

However, symbolic representations start to lose their context when every experience hints at their inconsistency with reality. In being compelled to repetition, discourses of power are permanently at risk; in other words, the social and cultural conceptions they repeatedly institute run the risk of becoming de-instituted at every interval. It is exactly in these intervals that the society engages in producing substitutive discourses and representations of and about itself.

cultural practice may take on a double-edged role, at once occupying the space of this gap and rearticulating it into a space for dialogue. Always involving this gap between social representation and pure difference, cultural practice attests to the irresoluteness of political identification, encircling the very ambiguity of discourse. Cultural activities are political in the way they relentlessly reinscribe a split in the heart of any discourse, opening it for negotiation. To give in to this ambiguity is to keep open the possibility for constant rearticulation and negotiation. This is exactly what Kiarostami’s film is implementing. It is as if it reconsiders the corridors between classrooms as the place where discourses meet to collide, to be diluted and split into two, a place where the ‘real’ lessons are picked up.

reconfigurations of meanings are pursued always in regard to the ‘other’, to other meanings and configurations; in a sharing of knowledge based on its ambiguity, its suspension between (in)comprehensiveness and discord. In other words, to share knowledge is to produce and de-produce it together in a network of enunciations and of localities. This conditions an approach beyond consistencies of cultural representations and identifications, where knowledge is then a discourse of exchange and of constant transposition. As Georges Bataille wrote, ‘Every time we give up the will to know, we have the possibility of touching the world with a much greater intensity.’
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