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On Bakhtin: video recording of a symposium

"On Bakhtin" was a symposium i organized last May and it was focussing on the theories of the Russian philosopher Mikhail Bakhtin. On May 16th three guests were invited to the "Imaginary property" research project at Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht: After "Passing Drama" a film by Angela Melitopoulos, Arianna Bove, Maurizio Lazzarato, and Angela Melitopoulos gave presentations that were linked up with Bakhtins radical reconceptualization of the relation between self and other. Bakhtin suggests an event-like relation between “possible worlds”. The other is neither an object nor a subject; it is the expression of possible worlds.

"Bakhtin’s philosophy can still speak to us because it poses the problem of the relationship between life and culture, between life and art, a problem that traversed the entire beginning of the century, and the 1920ies in particular. The solution given by Bakhtin to this problem is markedly distinct from the solution of the ‘avant-gardes’. According to Bakhtin, in order to ‘overcome’ the separation and opposition between art and life, between art and culture, the elaboration of a ‘first philosophy’ is required: The philosophy of event-being. Art and life cannot and must not tend towards identification, as was the case with the Situationists, for example. But, in order that the enriching, excessive and productive difference between art and life be able to express itself, it is necessary to possess a theory which, whilst maintaining the irreducible differences between these two dimensions, articulates them in the achievement of the event." (Maurizio Lazzarato: Dialogism and Polyphony).

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