- Purchase/rental options available:
Sylvain George’s documentary film, Paris est une fête (2016), and Jean-François Lyotard’s idea of the figural are the focus of this paper’s conceptualization of desire-work as a way to theorize race in contemporary French thought. I take as a point of departure the troublesome implications of Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytic structure of the subject when linked to perceptions of racial difference. Through a critique of Lacan’s model of the symbolic and the real, I appeal to a figural aesthetic in George’s documentary. The figural calls for desire-work, or a movement elicited by an aesthetic force that is not pre-inscribed as unrepresentable difference.