Author: ricardo dominguez --- Date: 2/20/97 --- Copyright: ThingReviews NYC



a review

by ricardo dominguez

"Visting Desire" is a homemovie about the possible meeting the impossible--a low rent version of "Last Tango in Paris." Beth B places her camera in front of a bed and creates a temporary autonomous zone for twelve strangers. Where for a half-hour in pairs they can try to create a place for unbound desire. The tension of the first 10 minutes where random individuals are invited to speak about what they would do, given the chance--with overlapping commentary by community sex experts about nature of sexual fantasties--creates a strong visual act of foreplay. Of course the foreplay of the possible rubbing against the impossible is that the foreplay cannot fullfill the frenzy that it incites. The twelve strangers must deal with the reality of another's body and of another's desire. And the viewer must navigate their own desire between both of these bodies.

As the strangers began to arrive, the lines of flight, the blockage, and the orgasms started being mapped out between all parties--as basic contract questions: how far will I or they go? Will my fantasy be the main narrative? What is my fantasy--is it boring? Do I even want to be here? Who is this other person? Suddenly, the deterritorialized space of desire became a space of re-enactment of self-definition, communication-as-definition and not as desire. Only one couple allowed the imaginary to emerge as its own ritual --silent bodies inventing micro-zones of desire. The scene was composed of a blindfolded transexual and a man with a whip, who never spoke--learning and improvising their desire without ostensive language games. The arc of visiting desire became quiet visible as the couple became something more than their state of being-as-confession.

The other strangers became trapped in a state-of-confession: sexuality is now defined as a daytime talkshow, where desire is blocked by the need to confess to the Screenal State, and no longer into the psychoanalytic ear, or even our lovers. Even the scene of an orgasm between two women, the only one achieved during the filming, was mired by the desire to confess and speak. As in "Last Tango in Paris" the will-to-speak and know the stranger beyond the autonomy of the silent room kills the invention of desire. Recall that in 'Tango' the Woman shoots the Man.

Let us also recall the Lacanian drift of re-marking desire as a purloined letter--a stolen moment without signs.

ricardo dominguez

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