Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226717777 Published March 2014
E-book $7.00 to $36.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226113371 Published March 2014

The Decision Between Us

Art and Ethics in the Time of Scenes

John Paul Ricco

John Paul Ricco

264 pages | 6 color plates, 9 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2014
Cloth $45.00 ISBN: 9780226717777 Published March 2014
E-book $7.00 to $36.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226113371 Published March 2014
The Decision Between Us combines an inventive reading of Jean-Luc Nancy with queer theoretical concerns to argue that while scenes of intimacy are spaces of sharing, they are also spaces of separation. John Paul Ricco shows that this tension informs our efforts to coexist ethically and politically, an experience of sharing and separation that informs any decision. Using this incongruous relation of intimate separation, Ricco goes on to propose that “decision” is as much an aesthetic as it is an ethical construct, and one that is always defined in terms of our relations to loss, absence, departure, and death.
 
Laying out this theory of “unbecoming community” in modern and contemporary art, literature, and philosophy, and calling our attention to such things as blank sheets of paper, images of unmade beds, and the spaces around bodies, The Decision Between Us opens in 1953, when Robert Rauschenberg famously erased a drawing by Willem de Kooning, and Roland Barthes published Writing Degree Zero, then moves to 1980 and the “neutral mourning” of Barthes’ Camera Lucida, and ends in the early 1990s with installations by Felix Gonzalez-Torres. Offering surprising new considerations of these and other seminal works of art and theory by Jean Genet, Marguerite Duras, and Catherine Breillat, The Decision Between Us is a highly original and unusually imaginative exploration of the spaces between us, arousing and evoking an infinite and profound sense of sharing in scenes of passionate, erotic pleasure as well as deep loss and mourning.
Philip Armstrong, Ohio State University
“Through a compelling, lucid, and wonderfully suggestive reading of Nancy’s writings, we are exposed throughout The Decision Between Us to numerous scenes of seduction and abandoned existence, scenes at once erotic and funerary, intimate and desolate. An incisive contribution to the ways in which Nancy’s writings might be read today, the sense of sharing at the heart of the argument is both transformative and intensely ethical.”
Lauren Berlant, University of Chicago
“Ricco’s The Decision Between Us is a beautifully executed book on the execution and extension of being-in-relation. Its articulation of sexuality theory, deconstructive philosophy, and queer art opens up different idioms to each other the way lovers open to each other—excitedly, productively, and yet always enigmatically, pointing beyond what seems present. Ricco is also a brilliant close reader. An enrapturing read.”
Tim Dean, author of Unlimited Intimacy: Reflections on the Subculture of Barebacking
“Reopening ground broken by Jean-Luc Nancy, The Decision Between Us traces the paradoxes of relational being across a range of artistic, literary, and philosophical ‘scenes.’ Through a series of startling juxtapositions, Ricco weaves together scenes of exposure, erasure, and unmaking to reveal the inseparability of aesthetics from ethics.  This is an original and challenging work by one of our most brilliant philosophers of visuality.”
Contents
Acknowledgments

Introduction

Part I. Name No One

1: Name No One Man

2: Name No One Name

Part II. Naked

3: Naked Sharing

4: Naked Image

Part III. Neutral and Unbecoming

5: Neutral Mourning

6: Unbecoming Community

Notes

Bibliography

Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style |

Chicago Blog: Art and Architecture

Events in Art and Architecture

Keep Informed

JOURNALs in Art and Architecture