Department of Critical Thought No. 1
The talks collected in At Alberta have as their ironic coincidence: place. Spatially concurrent (they were all delivered in Edmonton) they deliberately thwart the systematic treatment of genre, translation, desire, and territorialisation through reiterated displacement, subterfuge and irritation. Stephens makes often uncomfortable ethical demands on the present, in order that it may accommodate the fluctuations necessary to make the languages in our mouths and the places from which we speak, more elusive, and paradoxically more inhabitable. Entre-genre, Nathanaël’s work strives toward an ethics of correspondence through a dismantling of the body’s relationship to the notion of place, the body’s own damningly elusive where. Distrustful of genre delineation, Nathanaël pursues her work away from the usual generic safeguards, preferring instead the unexpected that arises from the arguably disreputable and misunderstood place where various lines cross. At Alberta persues a new critical position in her delineation.