the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

yates on the face

Posted by rigorousm on February 4, 2015

“The face is the evidence that makes evidence possible” is how anthropologist Michael Taussig puts [it]. It is the “figure of appearance, the appearance of appearance, the figure of figuration, the ur-appearance, if you will, of secrecy itself as the primordial act of presencing”…. The redundancy of these formulations is instructive. For the face is in essence a “redundancy,” a space of transfer, the site where the social takes hold of the body, articualting it along with its clothes as possessions as an assemblage, a person. … Faces transform the body into a surface on which signs form for us to read. They enable us to convert what we see– a wrinkle, a smile, a nose, a frown, a wink, a lazy eye– into what we call an “expression.” When… [a] face appears, it is as though the narrative begins again.

Julian Yates, Error, Misuse, Failure, p 32.

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