Jean Baudrillard Did Not Take Place.

But is he REALLY dead ?

> :(

I ever tell you about the time I met Baudrillard ?

Baudrillard came and lectured at Emily Carr in Vancouver, I believe it was 1999 or so. The hall was full and the administration refused to open these massive doors which would have allowed the hundreds of students outside in the concourse to listen and see. But they wouldn't do it. So they began pounding on the walls. Baudrillard encouraged them, but the administration wouldn't relent. He talked for two hours about the image, photography (he was there for an exhibition of his photographs), the real and the simulacrum, and the way the image is the measure of the distance -- it was unclear how close this was to a decline -- from tribal society. I have it on minidisc somewhere. At the end, he struggled through a few English questions -- mainly reiterating what he had said, as most of the questions were poor, of the "I don't get it" variety -- and eventually just translated each question into French and responded in French. This being Vancouver, an audience of about one thousand was ignorant of his far more fascinating answers voiced in his native tongue.

At the end, I went up to get his signature on a library copy of _The Gulf War Did Not Take Place_ (I still have it -- I ripped the page out, which I thought was appropriate).

While I was doing this, an impish professor from SFU was trying to get Baudrillard to come and talk to his seminar. He said something like, "Are you saying that it is becoming too late? I really feel that you're really saying something about the whole state of things, where we are...."

It was kind of embarrassing, this posturing, this pleading. Baudrillard turned to the prof and said, perfunctorily and with an air of resignation, "It is too late."

The circle of administrators ready to cater to his every need and gloating Emily Carr professors that had been filling the air with laudatory chit-chat paused to listen. Was this the Meaning of his Talk?

"It is too late!" said the prof, eyes wide, taken back, leaning toward Baudrillard with alarm sketched across his face. The Answer had arrived. "Do you really mean it is too late?!?"

"It is too late," says Baudrillard, casually, eyes downward, and in a way only the French can manage, he pulls back the sleeve of his brown jacket and glances at his watch.

posted. Thu - March 8, 2007 @ 02:42 PM           |