Flesh, Bones, and Meat: Approaching the Becoming-Cow in Julio Medem’s Cows (69295)

Session Information: Media & Media Arts
Session Chair: Ying-Ying Chen

Sunday, 28 May 2023 11:25
Session: Session 2
Room: Room 705
Presentation Type:Oral Presentation

From Zhuang Zhou’s Butterfly Dream in the Zhuangzi to Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, the tracing of becoming-animal has been ongoing in a discontinuous way in literature as well as in artworks, despite that the becoming itself is nonetheless missing in most of the attempts in a Deleuzian-Guattarian sense. In Julio Medem’s Cow (1992), apart from the intricate themes of history, life transmigration, and individual ressentiment and reconciliation, an uncanny symbiosis between the cow, the camera-eye, and the character is delicately embodied in the moving images. In the light of Deleuze and Guattari’s writings on becoming-animal in A Thousand Plateaus (1980) and Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation (1981), this paper will explore how the moving images approach a becoming-cow by depicting the meat and the body without organs and therewith establishing an unnatural participation between the character and the cow. In particular, this paper will examine how the switch of cinematic senses and points of view of man, cow, and camera in Cows approximates the common zone of man and the animal. By employing a delicate close reading of moving images, this paper argues that Cows exemplifies the embodiment of Deleuzian-Guattarian becoming-animal in cinema by virtue of cinematic devices without falling into man's pity, sympathy, or imitation for the animal.

Xi Li, Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong

About the Presenter(s)
LI Xi Carmen is a Ph. D candidate in the Department of Humanities and Creative Writing at Hong Kong Baptist University. Her main research interests are Deleuzian film-philosophy, East Asian Cinema Studies, and film sound studies.

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00