Crisis in the Visual System

By Paul Helliwell, 1 May 2008


Declaring the economic off-limits to politics, the art world’s favourite philosopher, Jacques Rancière, does have something to hide, argues Paul Helliwell


‘There is no science… but of the hidden’ – a phrase by Bachelard taken up by the Althusserians.

– Jacques Rancière from ‘The Janus-Face of Politicized Art’[1]


The god Janus has two faces each looking in opposite directions, he looks at origins and ends, past and future, cause and effect, and for both Theodor Adorno and Jacques Rancière he makes the connection between art and something ‘forbidden’, whether commerce or politics.[2] Janus is fortunate in having two pairs of eyes for it means he could look at the ‘two faces or a vase’ visual paradox or duck-rabbit (the drawing of a rabbit that looked at another way becomes a duck) and see both at the same time but, E.H. Gombrich argues in his Art and Illusion, we cannot. There are no perceptions without theories first – and perceptually we cannot hold two theories at the same time. We’ve only got one pair of eyes. On the other hand Anton Ehrenzweig holds (in The Hidden Order of Art), that our readings of art are always ‘polyphonic’ – we are always shifting our attention between details and the totality. Indeed, according to Rancière, collage/montage, creating relationships between things, images, image-sentences, has become the key artistic strategy. Moreover, this relation, these metaphors of visibility, are the means by which aesthetics and politics can themselves be thought in common again.

Rancière’s supporters argue his is the radical programme of May ’68 alive and still with us, something that can leapfrog the diminishing returns of the intervening 40 years of the new left and theory and put us once again in that blissful dawn.

Image: Nick Brooks

All theories, suggests Gaston Bachelard, render some things visible (that are first hidden), but conversely, they also render some things, questions important to the previous regime, hidden (invisible). Rancière seeks to reveal the ‘impossibilities and prohibitions … lodged at the very heart of thought that considers itself radical’ – but what are the ‘impossibilities and prohibitions’ of Rancière’s own thought.[3]


Aesthetic Regime Change

This, at first glance, would not seem a fruitful line of inquiry. Rancière visualises a relationship between art and politics that is a sunny upland of possibilities and exhortations, where all are visible or can become so and all relationships are transparent. What can be seen, thought or said is divided and shared among us all, a partage du sensible, and this division (e.g. who gets to say what) is inherently political. Where Rancière would rather talk about dissensus than resistance (as do his supporters), it is clear they are equivalent. With dissensus there’s a new partage, new social actors enter into society’s discussions against the police order, the invisibles in society – refugees, the unemployed, part-time workers etc. – become visible and speak. For to speak in a society is to have a part in governing it. Each work of art makes a partage, as does art as a whole, as does real political activity.

It is the symmetry of these metaphors that makes them so compelling – as above so below. The equality of language use becomes the equality of intellect propounded by the French educator Jacotot becomes the equality of aesthetic perception of each person becomes the principle of a radical political equality.

Yet, is there a fly in this ointment? A blind spot in this vision? For Rancière cautions that ‘when one searches for the hidden beneath the apparent, a position of mastery is established’, the apparent becomes a puppet, the slave of the hidden, and a teacher interposes himself between us and knowledge.[4]

Rancière resists determination of the meanings of art from without not by the usual means of granting it aesthetic ‘autonomy’, its own realm, its own rules, thus giving art a problematic and an ideology of separation from life, but by arguing aesthetics is inherently social and political and should not be made the slave of some hidden. But determination of an economic character, even if it occurs only ‘in the last instance’ (the hidden base – the apparent cultural superstructure), ultimately animates Marxism.[5] For Rancière this has become paralysing, not just of art but of politics also, the ‘dogmatism of the hidden truth has become the nihilism of the ubiquitous lie of the market’.

One would expect this good news of art’s radical potential to be well received, and yet the inaugural interview of Rancière by Fulvia Carnevale and John Kelsey in the March 2007 edition of Artforum became difficult. Instead of heralding, as the section promised, a ‘Regime Change’, the ‘return’ of the aesthetic regime to art that Rancière in fact argues hadn’t been away, it revealed the problems faced by the art world in fully accepting his theses. Rancière doesn’t want to teach or preach, yet despite all parties’ best intentions, the tenor of the interview was close to a bad tempered tutorial. It is hard to remain patient with people who will persistently argue that they are not free – and Rancière was forced to wheel on the poor (and the much more harshly structured nature of their existences) in defence of his theories in an uncharacteristic appreciation of Santiago Sierra, and a deprecation of Zygmunt Bauman. What was neatly tidied away in The Politics of Aesthetics came unravelled.


Disinterring Althusser

To fully understand Rancière’s positions and the art world’s attitudes to them, we must ignore at least one of his prohibitions, and search for the hidden beneath the apparent. We must disinter the thrice dead, excommunicated and buried at the crossroads body of le grand Althusser.

There is the creation myth about Rancière that, after the events of May ’68, and beginning with La Leçon D’Althusser, he has been engaged in a radical repudiation of his teacher Louis Althusser – now safely marginalised as a pantomime villain. Yet it is important not only to understand the huge impact of Althusser’s 1965 Pour Marx on French intellectual life, but also to understand it as an intervention at a definite conjuncture for the French communist party (the PCF).[6] Althusser aimed to create a party to face Janus-like towards both history and philosophical truth by ways of a Marxist (revolutionary) science and a Marxist philosophy, disciplines created by Marx’s epistemological break with his early reliance on Hegel and Feuerbach – or so Althusser argued. This concept, the movement from pre-scientific ideas to scientific ones, comes from Bachelard’s work on the history of science (and Althusser’s teacher Canguilhem)[7] which, together with Jacques Martin’s concept of the problematic, open up a reading of Marx that does not stop reverentially at the surface of the text (nor at its last word).[8]

Rancière’s thought is formed in this precise era – he took the lead in the reading group for Lire le Capital (Reading Capital), which was to become a who’s who of French philosophy, psychology and literary theory – Louis Althusser, Étienne Balibar, Pierre Macherey, Roger Establet, François Regnault, Jacques Alain-Miller. One quote from Marx became critical:

The anatomy of the ape does not explain that of man, rather human anatomy contains a key to the anatomy of the ape.


In Capital, pp.25-6 the quote continues:

The pointers to higher species of animals in the lower species can only be understood if the higher species itself is already known. Thus the bourgeois economy provides the key to the economy of antiquity, etc.


This is an attempt to encourage a definite engagement with the past conjuncture from an epistemologically privileged present. Althusser himself later used this to argue that the general strikes in French labour following the student revolt of ’68 were more significant than the initiatory revolt itself. Is it any wonder that Rancière came to modify Althusser’s example of the police (from his most quoted essay ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses’) to have them say ‘move along there is nothing to see’ – just as Althusser did in ’68, closing off revolutionary avenues of investigation by means of the hidden.[10]

For French historian of philosophy Francois Chatelet, the model of the intellectual as Janus fell with Althusser in ’68. To speak for another became shameful. Rancière and Foucault were among the first to question what the intellectual’s new role would be.[11]

In 1965 Althusser claimed Foucault as a pupil, but Foucault describes himself as only being ‘somewhat under his influence’.[12] Like Althusser, Foucault rejected the humanist interpretations of Marxism popular with the PCF that focused on the alienation of the subject. Similarly Foucault owes a lot to science, the subject that held a ‘strategic position’ in debates within ’60s French Marxism, and he shares Althusser’s distrust of Hegel.[13] But Foucault used Bachelard and Canguilhem’s[14] work differently, historically examining the limits to science’s claims on rationality by making small-scale studies of ‘determinate subjects and a determinate field of objects’, an archaeology of discourse, to render what seemed fixed by the history of a particular science (or a social science) open to question again, to render the unthinkable (in the science as it is currently understood) thinkable again – to open up its ‘episteme’ and founding concepts.[15] Yet, claims Rancière, ‘from one episteme to the other, there is for Foucault, neither any common question, nor any common answer’, the old episteme remains irretrievable as a project, lost to history, the hidden from within the new regime.[16]

Foucault and Rancière have ‘met’, Foucault improvising written responses to questions from the Révoltes Logiques collective when Rancière was a member.[17] As Foucault said at the time, each question is posed ‘in such a way that it cannot be analysed’ and this criticism was clearly taken to heart by Rancière. In his Artforum interview 30 years later he says that questions whose ‘principle virtue is one’s pleasure in declaring it insoluble’ are to be shunned. But when he declares the question ‘How can one escape the market?’ insoluble, aren’t investigations of the connections between art and capitalism being blocked?

Révoltes Logiques wanted to invoke a pleb – a plebeian revolutionary subject, ‘the constant and constantly silent target for the apparatuses of power’. Foucault cautioned them against this saying it had no sociological reality, ‘plebness’ was not outside of relations of power, of subjectification, but their limit and underside; not even inside ourselves is free of power. Rancière has taken this less to heart – merely leaving the role structurally empty, a point that can only be temporarily occupied as part of a dissensus, a claim to speak, to be visible.

Arguably Rancière inverts the disciplinary nature of visibility in Foucault to stand it on its feet, uniting who speaks and who is seen, providing a means for new social subjects to claim these very rights to representation, to be heard and seen. But from Althusser and Balibar’s reading of Marx we know that these inversions are never as theoretically simple as they are rhetorically portrayed. In moving from Foucault’s structured subjectivities to subjectivising equalities, this point of dissensus becomes not just structurally empty but structured only by the equality of language use of the members of the community. Alain Badiou argues Rancière is an heir to Foucault but in ‘reactivating the sediments’ he does not discover a phenomenological ground but ‘a discourse plotted and held in the aftermath of an event’, a frozen moment of dissensus and its incorporation. There is a risk that the theory becomes an endlessly applicable ‘just-so’ story, an only slightly more structured version of the expanding circle of ethical concern. There is no script here to guide would be actors politically, nor artistically – as both Badiou and Liam Gillick have noted.[18]

It is time to look at the source of Rancière’s refusal of the hidden and to see what its effects are likely to be.


History’s Stage

Rancière is haunted by a restaging, one he has returned to again and again – the ending of Althusser’s ‘The “Piccolo Teatro”: Bertolazzi and Brecht’. This text, the key to both philosophers’ thinking, is a meditation on Bertolazzi’s little known play:[19]

I look back, and I am suddenly and irresistibly assailed by the question: are not these few pages, in their maladroit and groping way, simply that unfamiliar play El Nost Milan, performed on a June evening, pursuing in me its incomplete meaning, searching in me, despite myself, now that all the actors and sets have been cleared away, for the advent of its silent discourse?[20]


Director Jean-Luc Godard has also made use of this quote; in his La Chinoise a ’68-era Maoist begins to speak and enact it. Rancière says of Bertolazzi’s play, ‘reality wins in one blow by killing ideology’. The blow is struck by Nina, a daughter who repudiates her father, leaving him to the police (he has killed her would-be seducer for the ideology of honour), and she exits the play to enter the world of social relationships. This is the ‘action’ of the play – but it is sidelined. Instead, the stage is mainly occupied by the desultory inaction of the Milan lumpen-proletariat, a term criticised by Rancière as a ‘phantasmagoric stage name for unmeaning’. For Marxists their activity is meaningless, they can never enter into (hi)story and be produced by it. Yet, how is Althusserian revolution to be made if the masses (or even the party) stay sunk in ideology and cannot be lifted out of it (or at least, in social worker’s terms, moved on)?

Rancière argues, that in sharing that stage, meaning and the lumpen’s unmeaning can be brought into a relationship by means of their very non-relationship, just as a montage of any two images together produces a third meaning: and that this is Althusser’s method. Both Nina and we the audience – the one standing for the many – are produced by the play as new social actors. However, this is not because Nina embodies real praxis as an act of will against the inertia of the lumpen-proles or her reactionary father (Althusser is not an Italian autonomist and neither is Rancière) but because the relationship between the parts of the ensemble, between Nina and the lumpen or Nina and her father, is productive of meaning.

Rancière argues that Althusser makes use of this montage in Reading Capital: Adam Smith cannot see the surplus labour robbed from the workers in his own writings, Marx can, but, if these are different epistemes à la Foucault, Marx should not be able to. Rancière says Althusser needs precisely this seeing of the hidden as the necessary epistemological break to make Marxism a science. From the shared stage of El Nost Milan, says Rancière, Althusser brings unmeaning into a relation with meaning, drags the hidden into visibility, and thus Marxist science out of classical economics by means of an extension of Marxist notions of contradiction. This is a profoundly Maoist notion of the dialectic as the one split in two, as opposed to the revisionist formula – the two becoming one.[21]


Autonomy Undone

If Althusser is concerned with teaching us to read again, Rancière wants us to see. Rancière takes this method and applies it methodically. The stage is the one, what is common to all, it is the all of a montage. The partage divides the social world as it divides the stage, dividing the montage into its parts which share the montage. What determines the meaning of the relationship between these parts, of the social whole or of any montage, is both political and aesthetic. These metaphors of visibility and of speech, the one standing for the many (‘the part of no part’), have become his theory. For Rancière this method has no need of its Althusserian hidden and he casts doubt on the example from Reading Capital to show this. What Althusser claims as hidden is revealed as having been in the light all along and we are returned to a society that is simply the aggregate of (individual) choices and actions.[22] Like Hegel in 1820, Rancière laments the loss of thinking in common but unlike Hegel he has a means to visualise an undoing of this work – by the undoing of the concept of autonomy.[23]

We can see this undoing of autonomy in Rancière’s recent book The Future of the Image in chapter 2, ‘Sentence, Image, History.’ This is structured round an analysis of a sequence from Godard’s Histoire(s) du Cinema over or in which Godard re-voices Foucault’s acceptance speech upon becoming director of the Collège de France. (What is quotation if not restaging?) In this sequence we are shown four images – two are inescapable in the history of the 20th century, a Jewish boy emerges hands-up from the Warsaw Ghetto, Murnau’s Nosferatu – two are not, a cinema audience laughing (from King Vidor’s The Crowd), a woman with a candle descending (from Richard Siodmak’s The Spiral Staircase). Rancière identifies all four and Godard’s method and intended meaning – in separating images from their narrative arrangement he aims to make them pure presence and use them to show a cinema that sold itself and its audiences out to Hollywood (the exiled Siodmak representing the link between German expressionism and US film noir) and thus ‘betrayed its ability to prophesise by betraying being present.’

Rancière finds this argument weak, he resists it as dialectical montage – a ‘revealing of one world behind another’, familiar from Adorno, where art’s autonomy is constitutive but dialectical, art’s very separation from damaged life allowing it to comment. Rancière refuses to ‘blame’ cinema or art for Auschwitz (the mechanism of ‘cause’ and thus ‘guilt’ cannot be established, From Caligari to Hitler – the ‘prophecy’ is retroactive). Instead, Rancière argues for the reading of Godard’s film as a symbolic montage, one, like Althusser’s reading of El Nost Milan (and Foucault’s acceptance speech) where everything speaks (cinema, art) of and through what is common to it – history.

Over the last 20 years Rancière has noted a movement towards an understanding of montage as symbolic montage only, and he is not alone in this. On the front cover of Johanna M. Drucker’s Sweet Dreams: Contemporary Art and Complicity a high gloss Ophelia floats in dark water that has mysteriously flooded a kitsch ’70s living room. Drucker asks us to try to imagine that the ‘beauty’ of the image is being used ‘against itself’, dialectically, ‘to produce an edgy commentary on our addiction to illusion’.[24] But in fact, Drucker suggests, it’s more about the gloss; ‘a way of incorporating the techniques of industry production into (the) work as subject matter’.[25] Now that she has said it, try as we might, we can see it no other way – the dialectical montage is fading into the new visibility. Rancière swims with this tide but does not account for it beyond saying that the presence of mass social movements hid the fact that the mediation between art and politics of ‘consciousness raising’ was always incorrect.

How are we to respond to restagings of Hegel? In Marx’s The German Ideology, we find more metaphors of visibility:

If in all ideology men and their circumstances appear upside-down as in a camera obscura, this phenomenon arises just as much from their historical life-process as the inversion of objects on the retina does from their physical life-process.[26]


What is our current historical life-process? As material production vanishes from the West and the word worker loses ‘currency’, we are trapped in an imaginary relation to our (immaterial) labour, a dark water of art’s own ideology that our Nina can no longer escape, ‘In the ideological domain, all production is denied or sublimated and becomes free “creation”’.[27] We have entered a floating world and a new subjectivisation as our creativity. It is no surprise that sections of the art world experience Rancière’s formations as a liberation – from the spectres of autonomy, economic determination, from the frustration of the cadaver with its autopsy, and into a pedagogic visualisation as familiar from their own practice as their own idealised reflection. But it should also be recognised that there are costs.


History Will Repeat Itself

Is it a sense of frustration with the present when art world performances, panel discussions and interviews of yesteryear are restaged? As Melanie Gilligan has asked, what is the art world’s fascination with this?[28] In a review of a recent show at Kunstwerke Berlin, History Will Repeat Itself, Richard Grayson views it as sympathetic magic, a search for foundation myths, mystery and miracle plays, a cyclical revisiting of origins to recover control.[29] Shorn of its autonomy, art’s ritual function returns but as anthropology, as the ghost of social bond past. And yet for me the re-staging of things from the past that seems a suppression of the potential of the present moment is in fact its realisation in a Foucauldian archeology. Is it not that the past can never be exactly repeated? That what was conditional in that moment will be revealed? That the possibilities for other things that existed before they were sacrificed to history may become visible again? Or if they do not, that at least their loss will be visible. As if to say, it is the business of the past to be dangerous, if only, as with the celebrations of May ’68, as a farce that makes tragedy known.

The history that repeats itself in Marx’s The 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte, a restaging of Hegel, theatrical and pedagogical, is also, as Derrida points out, necromantic, a summoning of the dead. An invocation made possible by the possession of the body of Marx by an inverted Hegel and one that is mounting despite Althusser’s attempted exorcism.[30] Althusser sought to extract what was eschatological and teleological from Marxism – all that aimed at another ‘end of history’ to the ideological Kojèvian/Hegelian one we now inhabit, but the result has been to channel more philosophy into it.[31]

Montage: The structure of El Nost Milan, by Horsemouth

Forty years on, we await the danse macabre of the French political class celebrating their youth in the heady days of May ’68 for the umpteenth time, Jacobins and Thermidoreans embrace – it is a feast in need of a skeleton. From Godard’s Maoist students in La Chinoise to Denys Arcand’s ageing Montreal ex-Maoist, ex-structuralist university lecturer in The Barbarian Invasion (prepared for death with heroin provided by his stockbroker son), we see these ideas and ideals of ’68 have grown so faint as to be laughable. Post ’68, Althusser’s orientation towards the Party (as necessity for the continued development of Marxist science and philosophy) and away from a humanist interpretation of a young Marx (as arrested a development Althusser says as ‘the skull of the child Voltaire’), no longer seems comprehensible.[32] Many reasons can retroactively be given as to how it has become hidden: science, history and indeed philosophy are no longer the motive forces they once were; Althusser’s failure to shift the PCF; their and his (too late) reaction to the events of May ’68, his own subsequent developments, revisions, recantations due to personal tragedy… ‘On a celebrated occasion in 1961 he orchestrated a debate with Sartre, and to the delight of his students, he devastated him’.[33] But Althusser’s battle with and for the Party and against a humanism of the ‘Young Marx’ foisted on Marxism (and not just by its opponents) has been lost. A ‘Young Marx’ has also been victorious over the left communist current from the Situationist Internationale to Jacques Camatte, the children of ’68 have remained infantilised or grown old before their time. History has closed over this moment and Althusserian Marxism hiding both their conditions of intelligibility and their possibilities.

In The Flesh of Words we see Rancière reach out a hand to his dead teacher and attempt to smuggle him out of purgatory dressed as the murdered poet Osip Mandelstam. It is a touching and generous gesture. Rancière wishes Althusser’s words to become those of poets, ‘orphan words’ that do not create a community nor cause action, to free Althusser from the need that drove him mad. But there are better ways for Althusser’s unquiet shade to ‘come back’ and begin to speak to us.[34]


What Do Other Thinkers Make of Rancière?

In his afterword to The Politics of Aesthetics Slavoj Žižek seems indulgent, noting the degradation of the sphere of the economy from ‘a socio-transcendental a priori, the matrix which generates the totality of social and political relations’ (in Marx) to a merely positive social sphere, to ‘an “ontic” sphere deprived of “ontological” dignity’ (in Rancière).[35] Žižek holds it a ‘critical point’ that there is no possibility of a ‘critique of political economy’ in Rancière, and yet is prepared to sacrifice this for the ‘political’ gains of the theory – either as pure politics or the aestheticisation of politics, for example. For Žižek the relationship between politics and the economy is

ultimately that of the ‘two faces or a vase’ visual paradox – you can either chose to see the two faces or the vase – but not both.[36]


The two faces of Janus have been turned inwards to stare sightlessly at each other – they have become a vase, a funerary urn:

The trap to be avoided here, of course, is the naïve idea that one should keep in view the social totality … if one tries to keep all these in view simultaneously, one ends up seeing nothing … [37]


This position is strangely close, though admittedly opposite in emphasis, to Anton Ehrenzweig’s The Hidden Order of Art and (though it may not look like it) this is a salvaging of economy, it’s still there, even though we can’t see it.

Žižek argues you can’t see it all… (simultaneously), Ehrenzweig that you can see all (just not simultaneously), Marx’s achievement was to see not just the real abstractions of economic and political ‘life’ but beyond to a critique of political economy, even though Rancière argues he shouldn’t have been able to see it (based on Foucault) but did, whereas Althusser argues he could (and indeed must). But ironically, given Rancière’s critique of Plato’s conception of artisans as too busy doing their work to take part in the governing of the city, we are being told we do not have the time to look ourselves.

‘Move along! There is nothing to see!’ say the policemen as they shepherd us past the striking Tate cleaners and direct our attention towards an art exhibit. There is a hidden world – and it is all around us.

Rancière’s gains are losses. I hope I’ve made that clear enough.


Paul Helliwell <> would like to direct people to the MySpace site of his ‘brother ass’ horsemouth,



[1] ‘The Janus-Face of Politicized Art’, interview conducted in French with Gabriel Rockhill, 18 October 2003, in The Politics of Aesthetics, Jacques Rancière, Continuum, 2004,[2] Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia, Palace of Janus, Verso 1974, pp.146-8.[3] 'Art of the Possible', Fulvia Carnevale and John Kelsey in conversation with Jacques Rancière, Artforum, March 2007, p.269.[4] Gabriel Rockhill and Jacques Ranciere, op. cit. [5] From Althusser’s ‘the lonely hour of "the last instance" never comes’ (the real world is simply too complex for such a ‘calculation’ ever to be performed), to Zhdanov’s insistence that art(ists) obey orders – ‘Socialist literature … is one flesh and one blood with our socialist construction’ – we have an ? and ? of the nature of this relationship and the consequences that flow from it. See the Appendix to Contradiction and Overdetermination in For Marx, Louis Althusser, translated by Ben Brewster, Verso 1969, pp.117-128 and A.A. Zhdanov, On Literature, Music and Philosophy, Lawrence and Wishart, 1950, p.12.[6] For Marx and Reading Capital are available online, See 'Recit', by Francois Chatelet in Michel Foucault; Power, Truth, Strategy, eds. Meaghan Morris and Paul Patton, Feral Publications, 1979. [7] On Canguilhem’s influence; The Future Lasts Forever, Louis Althusser, translated by Richard Veasey, The New Press, 1993, pp.183-4, and 'Remarks on Marx', Michel Foucault interviewed by Duccio Trombadori 1978, English translation, Semiotext(e), 1991, pp.67-8. [8] Louis Althusser, For Marx, translated by Ben Brewster, Verso 1969, pp.66-7.[9] The Future Lasts Forever, Louis Althusser, op. cit p.208, Reading Capital, Louis Althusser, Étienne Balibar, translated 1970, Ben Brewster, p.125. [10] In On Ideology, Louis Althusser, Verso, 2008, p.48. On the paradoxical nature, uncharacteristically Hegelian problematic, and tar-baby stickiness of this, see Étienne Balibar, The Philosophy of Marx, Verso 1995, p.78.[11] See 'Recit', by Francois Chatelet in Michel Foucault; Power, Truth, Strategy, eds. Meaghan Morris and Paul Patton, Feral Publications, 1979, p.25.[12] In respectively 'A letter to the translator' in For Marx, Louis Althusser, translated by Ben Brewster, Verso 1969, p.257 and Michel Foucault, Duccio Trombadori, op. cit., pp.60-1.[13] Michel Foucault, Duccio Trombadori, op. cit., pp.55-8. Also Francois Chatelet, op.cit.,p.21. [14] Canguilhem on his own influence on Foucault, 'The Death of Man or the Exhaustion of the Cogito', translated by Catherine Porter, in The Cambridge Companion to Foucault, ed. Gary Gutting, CUP 1994, pp.71-92.[15] Michel Foucault, Duccio Trombadori, op. cit., pp.59-69. ‘The episteme is the “apparatus” which makes possible the separation, not of the true from the false, but of what may from what may not be characterised as scientific.’ – from Wikipedia,[16] The Flesh of Words, Jacques Rancière, trans. Charlotte Marbell, SUP, p.135.[17] Interview first published in Les Révoltes Logiques, 4 , Winter 1977, collected in Michel Foucault, eds. Morris, Patton, op. cit.[18] Metapolitics, Alain Badiou, translated Jason Barker, Verso 2005, chapters 7 and 8, pp.107-123 has the best critique of Rancière’s method I’ve read to date. 'Vegetables', by Liam Gillick in Artforum March 2007, has the faintest praise for it collaged with the most damning caveats.[19] The following argument is constructed from Film Fables, Jacques Rancière, translated by Emiliano Battista, 2001, pp.143-53, 'Future of the Image', p.37, The Flesh of Words, Jacques Rancière, pp.135-8.[20] For Marx, Louis Althusser, translated by Ben Brewster, Verso 1969, p.151.[21] The Flesh of Words, op. cit., pp.135-8. This extension is sourced from Mao’s 'On Contradiction' (1937) – see Louis Althusser, For Marx, 'Contradiction and Overdetermination', op.cit., p.94, to see how this looked from a Chinese aesthetic Marxist perspective see Aesthetics and Marxism, Liu Kang, DUP 2000, pp.79-81. [22] 'The Politics of Beauty', Dave Beech, Art Review, May 07, p.5.[23] Future of the Image, Jacques Rancière, pp.43-5.[24] From the Twilight series of Gregory Crewdson,[25] Johanna M. Drucker, Sweet Dreams: Contemporary Art and Complicity, University of Chicago press, 2005, pp.1-11.[26] Karl Marx, The German Ideology, The metaphor is first mechanical when critical and then organic when it seeks to support its own argument by naturalising it, seeking the cloak of science.[27] Étienne Balibar, The Philosophy of Marx, Verso 1995, p.77.[28] Melanie Gilligan, 'The Beggar’s Pantomime: Performance and its Appropriations', Artforum, Summer 2007, XLV, No. 10, and her interview with Rancièreb online,[29] Richard Grayson, 'History Will Be Repeated', Art Monthly, February 08.[30] Jacques Derrida, Spectres of Marx, translated Peggy Kamuf, Routledge 1994, p.107 onwards.[31] Ibid, pp.89-90. [32] ‘… for, from the Hegelian viewpoint, Early Works are as inevitable and as impossible as the singular object displayed by Jarry: "the skull of the child Voltaire"'. For Marx, Louis Althusser, op. cit., p.64. This ‘Young Marx’ is something of a poor answer to bad questions lashed together by the PCF out of soviet ideology and local conditions to deal with their ‘crisis of de-stalinisation’. Other ‘Young Marx’’s have also not been entirely themselves – like ‘Young Frankenstein’ we must ask – was the monster ever young? Althusser wants to produce a single unitary Marxism from Marx’s many and varied texts, but it seems to me a full application of Althusser’s arsenal of methods runs perilously close to a deconstruction of Marx. It can just as easily lead to an army of spectres (reason produces one text but the sleep of reason produces monsters plural). It’s a mercy he’s dead, Spectres of Marx would drive him crazy. [33] Introduction by Douglas Johnson, The Future Lasts Forever, Louis Althusser, op. cit., p.xi.[34] Mandelstam himself would disagree with the very premise of the escape, of poetry’s harmlessness, as he says to us, ‘Poetry is respected only in this country – people are killed for it.’ And they killed him for it – he did not live after the fall of Stalin, as his wife did, to see the return of those forgotten as ‘prison dust’ to reclaim their names. Nadezhda Mandelstam, Hope against Hope, trans. Max Hayward, Penguin 1975, p.190 and p.55.[35] Gabriel Rockhill and Jacques Ranciere, op. cit., pp. 69-73 and Slavoj Žižek's 'A Leftist Appropriation of the European Legacy' in Journal of Political Ideologies, Abingdon, February 1998, is instructive, as is the shift in Rancière’s work from politics to aesthetics.[36] Not only Gabriel Rockhill and Jacques Ranciere, op. cit., p.7 but also…[37] Ibid.