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Experiments in ExileC. L. R. James, Helio Oiticica, and the Aesthetic Sociality of Blackness$
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Laura Harris

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279784

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279784.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use.date: 15 October 2019

Undocuments

Undocuments

Reproduction at the Margins

Chapter:
(p.118) 3 Undocuments
Source:
Experiments in Exile
Author(s):

Laura Harris

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823279784.003.0004

In this chapter I examine what was produced by way of the work or working in the organization/organ and the nests: an effusion of documents, largely proposals for projects that have yet to be carried out. I examine two key texts—not the master works for which James and Oiticica are generally recognized, but ambitious, messy, unresolved, unfinished works that lay, for a long time, unedited in their archives, “Notes on American Civilization” and Newyorkaises, considering they way they are proposed but not (until posthumously published) closed, and examine their resistance to the terminal condition of “work,” which they manifest as documents, or undocuments, that aspire to their own dissolution in a socialization of the intellectual function that would enact the very sociality James and Oiticica desire. I argue that these open documents or undocuments are the site, or at least a site, through which the motley crew or something like it might be reproduced and extended. I explore their reconfigurations of reproduction, as a sexual, but not necessarily heterosexual or even biological process. By ending (or not ending) with their non-endings, I mean to offer not conclusion to the experiment pursued here, but an invitation to begin it anew.

Keywords:   Citizenship, CLR James, Hélio Oiticica, Marginalia, Reproduction

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