e-flux lectures: Luce deLire, “Post-#metoo: My, Your, Our Pink Totalitarianism”

Whence after #metoo? In January of this year, the ancien regime (embodiment of the powers that be) formulated her scathing analysis, “[showing] us the futile struggle on everyside of #metoo. The liberal defenders, the conservative and feminist backlash, and even the supposedly trans-revolutionary. The problem? There is no sexual freedom when the commodity rules all...” (Jamieson Webster).

What, then, would “sexual freedom beyond the rule of commodities” look like? By way of starting a conversation, this lecture-performance will take up the task of answering this question from the far end of a discursive nightmare. Across the board, a specter is roaming politics. Be it in debates on allegedly “socialist” economics, on gender equality, on #metoo, on queerness, on cultural appropriation (#danaschutz), on Black Lives Matter, or on gun control, some notion of “freedom” is utilized against a tacit fantasy of “leftist totalitarianism”the figure of the pink totalitarian. A remnant of anti-communism without communists, this figure projects or fantasizes an imposition of rights-based oppression from the left that keeps people from the “things they want to do.” She is so easy to attack if only because nobody defends her; let alone had anybody ever articulated such a position.

In this lecture, the specter of a postmodern, queer-feminist, anti-imperialist, anti-racist totalitarian will take shape. Her name: Comrade Josephine, impersonated by Luce deLire (who previously impersonated the ancien regime). Josephine will recount the history of freedom in the twentieth century as the history of commodification, via the example of the discourse of “modern art.” She will then make concrete proposals regarding actual “pink totalitarianism.” If successful, she can function as a theoretical “bad bank.” We may then re-direct our attacks against liberal and leftist positions that aim at unruly restriction of somebody's “freedom” towards Comrade Josephine, and hence map our distance rather easily. 

Luce deLire is a ship with eight sails and she lays off the quay. A time traveller and collector of mediocre jokes by day, when night falls she turns into a philosopher, performer, and media theorist. She can be seen curating, performing, and publishing while working on and with the metaphysics of treason (or vice versa), the seduction of violence (same), post-secular privilege, fascism and the end of critique, the reality of infinity, and more (property, property, property)—always in mixed media. For more, see: getaphilosopher.com.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

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