(The text series is written by being the absentee of a virtual academic event.)
In the wonderment of this [quoted ‘certain Chinese encyclopaedia’] taxonomy, the thing we apprehend in one great leap, the thing that, by means of the fable, is demonstrated as the exotic charm of another system of thought, is the limitation of our own, the stark impossibility of thinking that.
– Foucault 1966, 1970 (EN)
The scent of summertime, wind breezing. I used to cycle around with Velib around Avenue des Gobelins in Paris 13ème and Rue d’Alésia in 14th then Convention in 15th. August in Paris is always quiet, and for those of us who dare to remain and endure the hot weather, the merit comes as a relatively empty metropolis-wise town and a strong sense of ‘beingness’.
My mind wonders with this kind of easy promenade rides. Those huge tree shades dressed the moving body, and the relaxed handlebar with the hands was echoing the trembling road surface while my legs were following the mechanic spins of the pedals. Tourists would frequent less those venues. When the bike traversed the roads and corners, my eyes were a part of the camera on this cinematographic trolley (in French, travelling) mode by embracing the continuous depth of city horizons.
Where was my mind? Encouraged by the atmosphere and my heart beating, I couldn’t merely view the city but visualise my relation with the living place of the past decade.
The imaginaire would keep going sans hesitation. What is the image of a goblin? Concretely, what could be the presence of the myth of goblin in both our historical and present narrative? All of a sudden, I sensed the coexistence of two terms: l’exotisme and la naturalisation.
Cédric Klapisch realised the Spanish Apartment film trilogy with his remark: ‘in a way all my films have looked at the question of how a person exists in relationship to a group. The subject that I keep coming back to is the link, and the difference, between individual issues and social issues.’ When I re-look at those work, my position from the audience follows by the signifiers as film titles:
- Spanish Apartment/L'Auberge Espagnole, 2002
- Russian Dolls/Les Poupées russes, 2005
- Chinese Puzzle/Casse-tête chinois, 2013
Each of the connotative word messages illustrated the director’s attention to offer us a journey between the domestic and abroad: Paris and Barcelona; Paris (London) and Moscow; Paris and New York (Manhattan / Chinatown).
Remembered as one of Klapisch’s trademark imprints: Philosopher(s) who shaped or enhanced the western civilisation (e.g. Erasmus) would make the time-travel and visited our leading character cast by Romain Duris.
Now, the ‘stark impossibility of thinking that’ of Foucault arrived.