THE UN-ACCOUNTED BODY IN PERFORMANCE: WHO IS THE SUBJECT OF THE RIGHTS OF THE ILLEGAL ALIEN?

Laura V. Sández

 

Abstract

 

If it is true that a “thing that disappears in discourse disappears in real life,” as Diana Taylor states (2008), then one could ask what appears in real life when ‘things’ appear in discourse. The discourse I am referring here is the focus on the alien resident as the subject of the demands for safety and political representation. I am interested in “Votemos.us” and “Design for the Alien Within” because I want to analyze the way in which claims for rights of marginal subjects open a dialog about the rights of the subject, but they don’t include the actuality of the subject in the conversation. Also, because of a claim of rights for a subject, I am interested in the way “Votemos.us” and “Design for the Alien Within” include that subject in the piece of art. The question: “who is the subject of the rights of the illegal alien” alludes to Jacques Ranciere’s essay “Who is the subject of the Rights of Man”. In this essay Ranciere is responding to Hannah Arendt, who asserted that the man of the Rights of Man was a mere abstraction because the only real rights were the rights of citizens. Ranciere re-read Arendt’s assertion and problematized the notion of political subject as a potential generator of subjects for rights.

 

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