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Consumer (f.)

Incapable of consumption itself, society assigns the role of “consumed consumer” to women in three areas, as Vilém Flusser explains in his eponymous article “A Consumidora Consumida” [The Female Consumed Consumer] (in: Comentário, vol. 13, no. 51, 1972): in consuming cultural products; in accepting herself as both cultural object and product; in the consumption of men. Women, characterized by “concavity” and subjected to a project of a masculine culture, would only be able to act out their femininity if there were an archaeological revolution. Until the Paleolithic, produced goods were consumed completely, and culture was an increasing collection of values and forms. Today’s society, which is incapable of collecting values and forms and of eliminating the used ones, produces inconsumable waste. This place is the place of rubbish. The culture buried by the rubbish is content with just two types of past: one superficial layer (historical, taken over, and accepted past) and layers obliterated by rubbish (refused, consumed, and restricted past, the subject matter of archaeology). The feminine point of view – inaccessible since the second catastrophe (civilization) because of the layers of rubbish – can only be liberated by archaeology. The feminine revolution would need to reach the reality of femininity, which has been buried beneath the consumption and the conditioning, in order to animate and evaluate it.

If this revolution were successful, culture (marked by circularity, and no longer by linearity and progress) would not be historical or productive. Culture would not culminate in a consumer society, because from a feminine standpoint the difference between production and consumption is ambivalent. Perhaps culture might save us from the holes covered with rubbish that are the result of the male drive to “convexity” that fills up female “concavity,” which implies the role of women is to be objects (rubbish bins). We would be saved from death, and women would be both consumers and liberators. However, the paradox would remain: being liberated means being consumed.

Original article by Adriana Gurgel in Flusseriana

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consumer.txt · Last modified: 2021/11/05 17:47 by