Description : Julia Kristeva turns her famed critical eye to a study of the human head as symbol and metaphor, as religious object and physical fact, further developing a critical theme in her work--the power of horror--and expanding the potential for the face to provide an experience of the sacred. Kristeva's study stretches far back in time to 6,000 B.C.E. with humans' early decoration and worship of skulls, and follows with an examination of the Medusa myth; the mandylion of Laon (a holy relic in which the face of a saint appears on a piece of cloth); the biblical stories of John the Baptist and Salome; tales of the guillotine; modern murder mysteries; and the rhetoric surrounding the fight for and against capital punishment. Drawing numerous connections between these "capital visions" and their experience, Kristeva affirms the possibility of the sacred, even in an era of "faceless" interaction.
Description : When Elijah and his friends find a treasure in an abandoned church, they discover that God has plans for them that they never expected.
Description : Explores actual and literary depictions of beheadings in sixteenth-century Ireland and addresses how violence is transcribed into art.
Description : During the riots that followed the unpopular verdicts in the Rodney King trial, a group of skinhead punks preys on the Gay Community of West Hollywood. In the course of this they unwittingly set in motion a series of events that places them in the role of the hunted. They rape and nearly kill a young man who is more than capable of seeking a just revenge. They incur the wrath of some leathermen. And they cause a gruesome murder that results in the severed head being found in a dumpster behind a fast food hang-out. Through all of this, a homophobic detective struggles to find the answer to one crime, before the next occurs to overwhelm him.
Description : Martin believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leaves him for her psychoanalyst, Martin is plunged into an intensive emotional re-education. He attempts to behave beautifully and sensibly. Then he meets a woman whose demonic splendour at first repels him and later arouses a consuming and monstrous passion. How will he survive it?
Description : One morning in Los Angeles, a noted homeless drunk wanders into a local market bragging that he killed a man the night before. When the store regulars dismiss him, he leaves and returns five minutes later with the severed head of the victim. The store owner places it in the meat counter and waits for the police. (This actually happened, in 1993.) During the hours that lapse, the head becomes something of magic. The store regulars recount their youth with fantastic stories. The young people in the neighborhood find their lives transformed for the better. And in the end, the local butcher, the reformed Artist in Meat, brings everyone together for a daybreak quinceanera dance.
Description : vastly original, fresh, potent and charged- if the poem is to move us, there must be a successful transformation of material, through voice, which feels true to the poem's deepest intention-Collins achieves this in poem after poem. -Pam Bernard, Across the Dark
Description : While philosophy and psychoanalysis privilege language and conceptual distinctions and mistrust the image, the philosopher and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva recognizes the power of art and the imagination to unblock important sources of meaning. She also appreciates the process through which creative acts counteract and transform feelings of violence and depression. Reviewing Kristeva's corpus, Elaine P. Miller considers the intellectual's "aesthetic idea" and "thought specular" in their capacity to reshape depressive thought on both the individual and cultural level. She revisits Kristeva's reading of Walter Benjamin with reference to melancholic art and the imagination's allegorical structure; her analysis of Byzantine iconoclasm in relation to Freud's psychoanalytic theory of negation and Hegel's dialectical negativity; her understanding of Proust as an exemplary practitioner of sublimation; her rereading of Kant and Arendt in terms of art as an intentional lingering with foreignness; and her argument that forgiveness is both a philosophical and psychoanalytic method of transcending a "stuck" existence. Focusing on specific artworks that illustrate Kristeva's ideas, from ancient Greek tragedy to early photography, contemporary installation art, and film, Miller positions creative acts as a form of "spiritual inoculation" against the violence of our society and its discouragement of thought and reflection.