Journal of Romance Studies

Tiresia

Connecting desire, body and substantive citizenship

Journal of Romance Studies (2015), 15, (2), 61–76.

Abstract

Bertrand Bonello’s Tiresia (2003) offers an updated rendition of the Greek myth of the blind prophet of Thebes. Tiresia relies on the violence inflicted on the body to question the institutions that define humanity. Tiresia does not propose any solutions, it offers a complex portrayal through which non-orthodox identities can be analysed. The non-normative body and behaviour of Tiresias problematizes the presumed natural demarcation between fluidity and stability, imitation and authenticity, aberration and normality, etc., used to legally segregate bodies, rights, and spaces in society. Desire and transgression affect bodies’ visibility in an attempt to alter the laws that regulate their condition in society, illustrating the disparity of power within the nation-state. Resistance, domination, inequality and injustice become apparent in these highly politicized spaces where opposing groups compete to gain legitimacy. Confirming that the level of citizenship afforded to each individual is interdependent on the relationship between body and space.

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Beugnet, Martine (2008) ‘Cinema and sensation: contemporary French film and cinematic corporeality’, Paragraph 31(2), 173–88. Cinema and sensation: contemporary French film and cinematic corporeality Paragraph 31 173 88 Google Scholar

Bickerton, Emilie (2005) ‘Tiresia’, Sight & Sound 15(8), 74. Tiresia Sight & Sound 15 74 Google Scholar

Bonello, Bertrand (dir.) (2003) Tiresia. Tiresia Google Scholar

Butler, Judith (1993) Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of ‘Sex’ (New York: Routledge). Bodies that Matter: On the Discursive Limits of ‘Sex’ Google Scholar

Cummins Muñoz, Elizabeth (2007) ‘Postnational bodies: Chicana community in Alicia Gaspar de Alba and Graciela Limón’, Letras Femeninas Vol. XXXIII, Núm. 2, Verano, 43–71. Postnational bodies: Chicana community in Alicia Gaspar de Alba and Graciela Limón Letras Femeninas 43 71 Google Scholar

Duncan, Nancy (1996) ‘Renegotiating gender and sexuality in public and private spaces’, in Body Space: Destabilizing Geographies of Gender and Sexuality, ed. Nancy Duncan (New York: Routledge), 127–45. Renegotiating gender and sexuality in public and private spaces Body Space: Destabilizing Geographies of Gender and Sexuality 127 45 Google Scholar

Ebert, Roger (2003) ‘Dogmatic – day – afternoon – audience reacts with confusion, Angerto Lars Von Trier Film’, review of Tiresia, Chicago Sun-Times 20 May, 31. Dogmatic – day – afternoon – audience reacts with confusion, Angerto Lars Von Trier Film Tiresia, Chicago Sun-Times 31 Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel (1977) Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison (New York: Pantheon Books). Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison Google Scholar

Foucault, Michel (1978) The History of Sexuality Volume 1: The Will to Knowledge (New York: Pantheon Books). The History of Sexuality Volume 1: The Will to Knowledge Google Scholar

Herek, Gregory M. (2003) ‘On heterosexual masculinity: some psychical consequences of the social construction of gender and sexuality’, in Psychological Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Male Experiences, ed. Linda D. Garnets and Douglas C. Kimmel (New York: Columbia University Press), 316–31. On heterosexual masculinity: some psychical consequences of the social construction of gender and sexuality Psychological Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Male Experiences 316 31 Google Scholar

Jonsen, Albert R. (1990) The New Medicine and the Old Ethics (Boston: Harvard University Press). The New Medicine and the Old Ethics Google Scholar

Mitchell, Don (1995) ‘The end of public space? People’s Park, definitions of the public and democracy’, in Annals of the Association of American Geographers 85(1), March, 108–33. The end of public space? People’s Park, definitions of the public and democracy Annals of the Association of American Geographers 108 33 Google Scholar

Mouffe, Chantal (1992) ‘Citizenship and political identity’, October 16, Summer, 28–32. Citizenship and political identity October 28 32 Google Scholar

Nesselson, Lisa (2003) ‘Tiresia (Film)’, Variety 391(3), 47. Tiresia (Film) Variety 391 47 Google Scholar

Palmer, Tim (2006) ‘Style and sensation in the contemporary French cinema of the body’, Journal of Film and Video 58(3), 22–32. Style and sensation in the contemporary French cinema of the body Journal of Film and Video 58 22 32 Google Scholar

Sabsay, Leticia (2011) Fronteras sexuales. Espacio urbano, cuerpos y ciudadanía (Buenos Aires: Paidós). Fronteras sexuales. Espacio urbano, cuerpos y ciudadanía Google Scholar

Stephens, Manuel (2013) ‘Palabra Hermafrodita. (Spanish)’, Debate Feminista 47(24), 137–71. Palabra Hermafrodita. (Spanish) Debate Feminista 47 137 71 Google Scholar

Tamayo, Sergio (2010) Crítica a la ciudadanía (Mexico: Siglo XXI). Crítica a la ciudadanía Google Scholar

Valentine, Gill (1996) ‘(Re)negotiating the “heterosexual street”: Lesbian productions of space’, in Body Space: Destabilizing Geographies of Gender and Sexuality, ed. Nancy Duncan (New York: Routledge), 146–55. (Re)negotiating the “heterosexual street”: Lesbian productions of space Body Space: Destabilizing Geographies of Gender and Sexuality 146 55 Google Scholar

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Author details

Romo, Leticia I.