Attaining the Body

Television is an attribute of superheroes. It is a false promise when made to the body of mortals. Once this promise is accepted as true, everything else is confused. The possibility of “television” does not exist amongst humans. A “television viewer” is a tautological entity, a being that watches itself watching, or, as Paul Valéry said, “watches itself watching itself.” In watching itself watching itself, this paradoxical being, this fictional construct—the television viewer—exerts control over itself and mediates the power of the state and its economic subsidiaries. The model of the subject of sovereign power is the television viewer. To resist television, or to decline the offer to be a “television viewer” (to be, rather, the “television reader,” or the “television seer”) may be, today, a powerful act of resistance.

The “long error of metaphysics” has led to the television viewer. Television is one of the imaginary animals in Metaphysics’s cabinet of wonders. It is the dogmatic belief in the existence of a solid fact, past the mouth of the cavern, behind our backs, of which we are seeing a faraway shadow. The television viewer is a being that observes, in the sense of “viewing” and “abiding by,” the abstract condition of tele vision—that of seeing what is elsewhere. This condition, or rather, the overseeing of this condition, is at the core of the very successful efforts of social control that are in place in modern nation-states. To understand the implications of this reckless promise may be crucial in recovering our body; we are still, as a culture, in the same stage as the boy who, in the 1950s, tried to fly like Superman after having been delivered the promise of television. And although this may be a metaphor, it is through that metaphor that we can find a way to break the glassy surface of a discourse that remains invisible. Following the image to its last consequence, we may find the paradoxical body of the actor who impersonated Superman in the movies and who is now confined to a wheelchair.

At the age of ten, another boy sits for a whole afternoon in front of his television set “somewhere in South America.”1 This takes place in the mid-1980s, which means that he will watch The Dukes of Hazzard at 3 p.m., then something like WKRP in Cincinnati at 4, followed by a sitcom such as the late 1960s That Girl, reheated and dubbed for the Latin American market. At 6, he will watch the long-awaited Love Boat, dubbed in a false, neutralised Mexican Spanish. The program, which in its original form had prerecorded laugh tracks, is transformed, in its new context, from light comedy to romantic adventure at sea. But cultural translation is not the point of this text. Nor are the Third World vicissitudes of the “perverse artifice” called dubbing. Its point is coded in that which takes place in the mind of the boy on that Saturday afternoon when he recognises the voice of the suave, jet-setty captain of the Love Boat as being the same voice as the rural Southern secessionist Uncle Jesse’s in The Dukes of Hazzard (the mystery lingers . . . is it also the same voice as the lethargic New Yorker Archie Bunker’s?—and for that matter, as those of all the dubbed American television characters past the age of fifty?). The moment of the recognition of a third body (in a Third World) floating like a ghost in time over Saturday afternoon is also the site where the body of the boy in question is attained. The massive influx of American culture, almost infallible in its wholeness, develops, all of a sudden, a crack, a dissociation . . . and thought takes place.


“Attaining the body” is an abbreviated description of the practice of Zen Buddhism. It is the question that we should be concerned with when facing television. Precisely so that we may be facing it and not be faced by it. Because the only possible belief left is a belief in the body—not a belief in a transformed world where a moral, open, interactive, or democratic television would exist, but a belief in a body that can face the problem of its own existence, in front of its own images. One that can see the threshold of the screen. One that senses continuously where its limits lie with regard to the image cast into the living room, which casts him or her for good onto the shipwrecked beach of the cigarette commercial.
A body that may be ready to problematise itself over and over, one that does not give into the sense that something was already established. A body that can see television, its degree zero, traverse the reference, the figuration, and see the ideological machine at work. A body that does not find a permanent foundation, a common sense of which it is a part, but which experiences a fracture, a dissociation in a discourse whose very nature is to claim an appearance as whole. A viewer who does not believe in the pause or in the continuum, or in any hierarchical positioning of images—one prepared to expose television just as readily as television is set to continually expose a neutralised version of it. This is the body that can resist the subjection of television. The questions might then be: Why focus on television? Why consider it the problem? What is particular to it?
Jean-Luc Godard puts it very clearly in his dialogue with Anne-Marie Mieville in Soft and Hard: “We receive television, we’re subjected by it, like the subjects of a king. Which is why when I watch television, I feel like the French resistance in front of the Germans.”2 He claims that cinema has a usurper, television, and that we are its accomplices: “Others like us.” Mieville inquires about his disproportionate respect for cinema. Why respect it?
Because it is an image of myself, the only way to know myself, to be able to hear what is said about me and to make the Other exist. Otherwise the relation is too direct. . . . The subject is he who says “I”; projects himself towards the other or towards the world. The cinema understood its projective sense, even more than painting and other arts. The “I” could be lost, but it could be recovered; there was a kind of metaphor. Television doesn’t project; it projects us. We don’t know where the subject is anymore. With cinema there was a screen and a projection.3
The argument is articulated in such a way that we can conclude that even if there is “bad” cinema, it remains the site of a possibility for thought to take place, for a subject to be born and to grow. The fact of a distance, a possible dissociation where the limit of the body is established, where the body finds its position, is what divorces it, as an ideological machine, from television. Television is like the image of the law in the biopolitical horizon, a force that has a hold on the body, an image in the position of pure potentiality (over the body) without significance. It is ultimately an image-machine that produces social control by its sole presence.
Franz Kafka’s In the Penal Colony is a story of a machine, an archaic machine that engraves letters on the backs of guilty men, “piling up the ornaments to the point where the back of the guilty man becomes clairvoyant and is able to decipher the writing from which he must derive the nature of his unknown guilt.”4 As Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guatari wrote in their book about Kafka, “the law as a pure and empty form without content, the object of which remains unknowable: thus the law can be expressed only through a sentence, and the sentence can be learned only through a punishment.”5 And just as a paraphrase of Kant in the same book reads, “the law no longer depends on a preexistent Good that would give it a materiality; it is a pure form on which the good such as it is depends,”6 so we can perform a conceptual reversal with television: Television does not depend on a preexistent image of a people that would give it a materiality: it is a pure form on which the image, such as it is, depends.
On the one hand, the discourse of cinema (the one that died or is always on the verge of dying) posits a place outside, a projection. Outside of the body (behind closed doors)—the subject chooses to go to the image, and the image bears its source. In television’s discourse, on the other hand, no matter what is presented on the screen, there is something/someone with a power over it, a source that is not visible. The image is negotiated behind our backs. The “monopolised word” that television produces is shaped, in the example of the news, from the anchor to the reporter, from the reporter to the witness in the site of the event, creating a truth confirmed by its own depth. Its strategies are elemental, the kind of operation where someone points out something unreal in a context of pure unreality; then everything else acquires a degree of reality.
Television delivers the fiction of a “television viewer” who readily accepts an image of him- or herself, because the viewer is that which is being pictured, so to speak, and he or she has been trained to watch the image, not to see television at work. The body of the television viewer cannot think itself; it is dictated an experience that it can no longer have. Lost in a labyrinth of shifting mirrors, it is a body mediated to itself. “As seen on TV” is a common attractor for the consumer in America. The phrase implies that the individual is to refer back to the moment when one’s self and one’s desire for the product had been fully articulated, so that one does not need to confront one’s image in the void. One will have been spared the difficulty of having a body, spared the difficulty of the world.
“What forces us to think is the ‘inpower of thought’ (impouvoir) of thought’ (Artaud), the figure of nothingness, the inexistence of a whole which could be thought”:7 “Television” stands for a conversation that has never taken place, for a truncated dialogue where nothing is received back from the body (except in the case of the third body in the Third World). All is given to it; it is marinated, softened, tendered, ready to be consumed, paradoxically, as a consumer of products. Television is a discourse of passivity, pacification, the passing of time, abandon. The body that has been taught to be the “television viewer” sinks into the sofa. It cannot read television; if anything, it expects to be read. It expects that the event be elsewhere, it postpones the experience, it postpones thought, suspends it, and attends the normalizing word of television.


In Upper Manhattan, in November or December 2001, there was a bloody street fight on a weekday morning between a group of Irish and Mexican construction workers over a disputed area. The street fight, which left blood on the pavement and one dead Mexican worker, was an outrage in that part of the city where “these things don’t happen.” It seems that the fight was caused by “Hispanics” underselling their services in an area traditionally dominated by Irish workers. When interviewed about the event, a resident repeated many times, “This is just too close to home.” She was without any doubt reciting the credo of television: what you watch is elsewhere, it will not touch your body, it will exist as a spectacle. Three or four months earlier, the September 11 attacks had made downtown Manhattan look like downtown Beirut at its worst. They had reduced uptown Manhattan’s physical distance from the “real” and made the tacit frontier between uptown and downtown acquire new meaning. Uptown residents tried, unsuccessfully, to make downtown appear in their minds as a foreign country. They were assisted by their television sets, which confirmed that it was all happening in another land.
Likewise, anchors and reporters talked over the events, improvising the same epithets over and over, rehearsing the same adjectives, and producing, in record time, a heading in shiny block letters, with multiple variations, that gave the events a full narrative, and the sensation that it had already been thought over, that the story was complete and understood in the mind of television. The tactic was never to stop narrating, never to let the image exist in its powerful dimension as a break in the symbolic order of the world. The shiny, monumentalised block letters read, “America under Attack,” like a historical truth that had replaced the fallen buildings and that could tame the anxiety of their void. And soon the same megalithic font would spell, “America Strikes Back,” as in a narrative that opens up, revealing a conflict, suspends the mind over it, and finally offers a satisfactory closure, a “whole.” With that precedent, the woman who was interviewed was addressing her legitimate complaint to television’s essential promise that what is seen here is elsewhere, that the body of the Mexican worker will not be seen on 96th Street, but watched on a faraway street on the television screen. Unfortunately for her, the inequities of an open market economy have brought that body from the global south too close to her body. But that is another story.


In his book Homo Sacer, Giorgio Agamben recounts the distinction between zoe and bios in place in ancient Greece. It was unthinkable to relate zoe with the political realm because zoe stood for bare life, the “natural sweetness” of bare life. Therefore, “the entry of zoe into the field of politics—the politization of bare life as such—constitutes the decisive event of modernity and signals a radical transformation of the political-philosophical categories of classical thought.”8 Agamben quotes Aristotle’s phrase, “born with regards to life but existing essentially with regard to the good life”9—the “good life” being the one that is considered and taken into account in politics. He traces and retraces throughout his book the need to find this threshold again, where the law may cease to be this “being in force without significance.” The reflection is linked to Kafka’s allegory Before the Law, where we witness the paradoxical triumph of “the man from the country,” who, after a lifetime of being in front of the open doors of the law, which he nevertheless cannot traverse, manages to pose the right question to the guard: “So how does it happen that for all these many years no one but myself has ever begged for admittance?” He gets his answer: “No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it.”10
The allegory signals a moment where a “before” can be sought, where the law ceases to be linked to metaphysical truth, where politics ceases to be “the decision concerning the unpolitical.”11 If we translate, again, to the problem of “that hopeless little screen,”12 this is the moment when the body may see the machine at work. One hopes there could be a body that is not on the verge of death when it experiences this truth.


What comes before the law? Godard asks this question in the scenario for the film Passion: “I didn’t write the scenario. I wanted to see it.”13 He recounts how the script came to be in force, the script being the law of the image. The question is: “Does Moses see the law before he writes it? Can one see the law? Was the law first of all written or seen and then written by Moses? The first writings were from merchants—he says—3 kilograms of carrots, etc. Then writing evolved to something else. And cinema, which comes from life, and which represents life, has the same story. There were no scripts to begin with: someone played the cop, two others played the lovers, etc. But soon the person in charge of the money had to account for the money that had been spent. He/she had to invent a list, a budget. So you had 1 cop = 100 francs; 2 lovers = 200 francs, etc. In short, the scenario came from accounting.”14
To see the law before the law exists is to open the possibility of a world: “The camera will take that possible and make it a probable. To see the invisible if it were visible.”15 This is the kind of cinema that lost the battle. It is what leads Godard to say in the same video that he is exiled from the film world with others, like “Chantal [Akerman] and Wim [Wenders].” And to lament, in the conclusion of Soft and Hard, the fate of the moving image: “Where did it go, this project of growing up and becoming subjects?”16
Television, the usurper, is the antithesis of a project of “growing up and becoming subjects”; it is scripted at all possible levels, too close for us to be able to see it. There is nothing in it that has not been preformulated. The lengths of the commercial, talk show, soap opera, and so on are all determined by a single all-powerful cause: economics. Perception is outlined by money. The improvisation of the reporter on the scene of a catastrophe is far from being an improvisation: it is the exercise of a craft—that of giving the impression of spontaneity while adjusting tightly to the rule of a hegemonic decree; the all-encompassing common sense of television. It is all scripted to the degree that it seems that there is no critical angle beyond television’s critical angle.
Television is not a reflection of the real: it is the reality of a certain reflection, the main organ of sovereign power in modern democracies. It is the “doctrinal system,” as Noam Chomsky called it in his conference Propaganda and the Media War. What is crucial to understand is that whatever progressive, politically pointed, revolutionary image exists in its force field, it is always, in a very real sense, neutralised, unless it fully considers the medium in which it is presented. This is why Godard’s thoughts on the moving image are still unavoidable, because he was able to make of this emphasis the rationale for his whole career. When, in the 1970s, in an interview with L’Express, a journalist asked him if in his position as a militant he should not target immediate efficacy and sacrifice the search for new forms, Godard responded that he was not searching for new forms, but looking for new relations. And in reviewing the film Pravda, he pointed out how “we discover that what has been made is a political film, instead of making a film politically.”17
Translated to the problem of television, this entails that whatever exists within the language of television, whatever address does not consider in its very conception the meta-address of television (its ideological apparatus), will be caught in a paradoxical site where it will be drained of all its power. A “political film” is like a quadriplegic superhero. It is the site where the word political signals a genre and not an active force of contestation. “Giving discourse to the body,” Deleuze writes, to “reach the body before discourses, before things are named: the ‘first name’ and even before the first name.”18 To be in the threshold of thought, to understand that thinking may be a constant discovery, over and again, of the fact that thought itself, especially regarding the image, has not yet started.
“What did Joseph and Mary say to each other, what did they say before? Give the words back to the body, to the flesh.”19 Godard’s motivation to revisit the centerfold of Christianity in Hail Mary is to go to that place, past the threshold of the institutionalized image, where the birth of the image can be seen. Not as if there were a moment before in a strictly chronological sense, but in the sense of a tension that is always present, between the event and its entrance, as an image, to the symbolic order. The undoing of a strictly chronological conception of this event is analogical to Agamben’s revisiting of Thomas Hobbes’s social contract. Here we do not have a society that passes from a natural law to a juridical order in a historical sense, but a conception of sovereignty that is always on that threshold, between an outside and an inside: “All representations of the originary political act as a contract or convention marking the passage from nature to the State in a discrete and definite way must be left wholly behind. Here there is, instead, a much more complicated zone of indiscernability between nomos and physis, in which the State tie, having the form of a ban, is always already also non-State and pseudo-nature and in which nature always already appears as nomos and the state of exception.”20
The failure to understand this notion of atemporality can be seen as one of the reasons that Godard’s efforts were unfruitful in the Mozambique television project of the 1970s. Mozambique’s newly installed revolutionary Marxist government commissioned him and Mieville to advise on the implementation of an entire television infrastructure from scratch. They suggested that Mozambique take advantage of its audiovisual situation to understand television before it existed, before it had taken over the country’s entire social and geographical fabric. By this, they meant searching for the image, especially the desire for the image, the desire to remember, “to make recollection a starting or finishing point, a line of conduct, a moral or political guide, with one single objective in view, that of independence.”21 This meant studying this quest of the image and how to transmit it. “Studying production before distribution arrived on the scene to take it over. Studying programs before fixing them in a mould, and also including in the frame the viewers, who would have no idea that they were behind the television (drawn into it) and not, as they thought, facing it.”22 They suggested to Mozambique the production of a film to be entitled Birth of the Image of a Nation. It would recount the history of all these relations between a country still without television and a European television crew: the birth of a new memory for the people of Mozambique.
Godard’s and Mieville’s idea of picturing Mozambique as an “I” that would utter its first words in a kind of prelapsarian innocence had to fall into the inevitable trap of anthropology, into a kind of caricature of Rousseau’s “noble savage” society. But aside from this familiar diagram, which ensures that there is no jumping over the shadow of being European when taking into account the sociopolitical history of Europe and Africa, the greater problem was to read the situation as a linear chronology projecting an unfolding narrative, instead of understanding the issue as an ongoing one, always already present in the imaging of a culture. The intention, utopian to the last, was clearly that of creating a culture that had a ground from which to stand and present an incomplete, unachieved, dismembered, uncomfortably negotiated image of its desire before it was replaced by television’s image of desire in its perfect wholeness, which is always necessarily outside of the body and finally also outside of desire itself.
The place of an outside or a before is the place of thought that is the detection of the “unthinkable in thought,” which would be both its beginning and its barrier. Television delivers precisely the opposite, the illusion of a whole that is ready and available, a whole whose continuity and comprehension is undeterred and which has already thought the answers to its own epistemological questions.


Recently, the Israeli army performed an operation whose symbolic content is so strong and brutally pointed that probably no artist dealing with television has ever been as successful in speaking about the medium. Their brutal performance could be a third step in Paul Virilio’s account of the relationship of the weapon and the image-making apparatus: “Great Importance was attached to pictorial representation in the Oriental military sects. The warrior’s hand readily passing from brush to sword. Similarly, a pilot’s hand trips the camera shutter with the same gesture that releases the weapon.”23
The action, performed around the same time that one of their soldiers had shitted on a photocopier in Ramallah (“Someone Even Managed to Defecate Into the Photocopier”), denotes a very sophisticated understanding of the psycho–sexual and military powers of the televisual image. A kind of imagistic enlightenment that was used in the most obscure way imaginable: “Soldiers occupied the offices of three local television and radio stations on Saturday morning, and started broadcasting porn clips intermittently on Saturday afternoon on the Al-Watan, Ammwaj, and Al-Sharaq channels, the residents said.”24
It must be added that this act occurred during a curfew—the paradoxical state of exception, as Agamben explains, in which the person who goes out for a walk is breaking the law as much as the soldier who shoots him or her. The Israeli army did not choose to broadcast pro-Israeli propaganda: this would have made them less effective by far. Their operation was much more complex, much more sophisticated in its understanding of the ground on which they stood. Their operation revealed the supreme violence of the curfew—especially a curfew imposed by a foreign state. On the one hand, it neatly drew the diagram of power and on the other, it opened an endless game of perverse possibilities in the space in which it was cast. Yet, these possibilities were not tied to the fact of having the television set on or off. It was not the televisual image that was screened: it was the image of television that was being subliminally broadcast. So the degeneration of minors, or the mythological concept of the diminished strength of the young fighter seduced by the sirens, or the conflict that arises in the family regarding this modern apple of discord—the television set’s on/off switch—are not even the issue. They are extras. The intensity of the operation was ciphered in the reiteration of the penetration of a people, both on the diegetic and the extra-diegetic level, like one perverse metaphor mounted on another. On a different level, another paradox appeared: the timeless subject of censorship—explicit sex and nudity—was now acting as a censoring device itself, covering or screening the information it wanted to suppress.
The shrewd consideration of the curfew as a site for image action, and of the curfew-ridden population as a literally captive audience, is analogical, without being too far-fetched, with the consideration of site that the young tradition of site-specificity carries out. Television was considered at its most fundamental level—as that which can enter the home, the organ of power that can penetrate intimacy. The medium itself was addressed via the broadcast of a generic product (pornography) in a generic situation (the curfew).
There is yet another paradox: the fact that the kind of complexity that the Israeli army was setting forth regarding television, which addresses the body of the viewer itself in its brutal, literal captivity (no longer solely symbolic), was in a sense a fulfillment of what art’s purpose in front of the television viewer could be: to recover the body, to expose the formation of that body that lies inert, unable to speak, unable to address itself, because it has been securely addressed by television’s intricate cables. By the overwhelming “you” that television assigns it.
The paradox, again, is that if art’s sense could be to reverse the body’s subordination to television and to show television for itself, so that there may be a subject ready to think him- or herself in relation to it, the Israeli soldiers did precisely this but to reveal the subjection of the Palestinian body to themselves. Their act performed the metaphor of penetration and inversely metaphorised the military occupation.
So the paradox entails that the same understanding of the body leads on the one hand to a powerful re-ignition of it (to a certain emancipation), while, on the other, the same complexity opens the possibility for a more effective attack on the body. It is a mystery that the war machine and artistic practice touch intimately, but there is a solution to the mystery in the notion that art’s desire is to attain the body. That is clearly the bullet’s same desire.

Paradoxical Body

In 1945, Jorge Luis Borges wrote in an article published in the magazine SUR:
The possibilities for the art of combination are not infinite, but they are apt to be frightening. The Greeks engendered the chimera, a monster with the head of a lion, the head of a dragon, and the head of a goat; the theologians of the second century, the Trinity, in which the father, the son, and the Holy Ghost are inextricably linked; the Chinese zoologists, the ti-yiang, a bright red, supernatural bird equipped with six feet and six wings but neither face nor eyes; the geometrists of the nineteenth century, the hypercube, a four-dimensional figure that encloses an infinite number of cubes and is bounded by eight cubes of twenty-four squares. Hollywood has just enriched this frivolous, teratological museum: by means of a perverse artifice they call dubbing, they offer monsters that combine the well-known features of Greta Garbo with the voice of Aldonza Lorenzo. How can we fail to proclaim our admiration for this distressing prodigy, for these ingenious audio-visual anomalies?25
The audiovisual anomalies that Borges mentions are a crucial site of thought. It is interesting to receive this kind of film analysis from a time when “film analysis” was not in place as a genre. And to receive these fresh observations from an author who, in 1945, was clear-sighted enough to see the paradoxical bodies that audio-vision was forming (like the Third World boy discovering the ghost of a third body on a Saturday afternoon in the mid-1980s). These paradoxical bodies can lead us to a provisional conclusion.
To attain the body may be to understand that the 9-11 catastrophe as seen on television is not to be linked with the Hollywood 35mm catastrophe epic genre, as so many did, but, to be more precise, to feel the path, by way of the memory of the body, to an HBO/Cinemax program aired in the mid-1980s called Behind the Scenes, Beyond the Screen. This program featured video shot by a peripheral camcorder of the explosions, stunts, and dialogues that would find their real place of existence in the 35mm print. What the television viewer saw on the screen on September 11 was an event that was not happening: it was in an unreachable “beyond”; the format of its real existence, the 35mm film, was unavailable.26 The reality that we could not attain lies forever in the 35mm film, the film of the collapsing towers that was not filmed. And perhaps the whole event (and nonevent) entered the symbolic order in that manner. The real did not take place, since the public was behind the scenes, beyond the screen.
In the same way, to attain the body may be to see the assassination of John F. Kennedy as a super 8 assassination; to be like a detective, never to oversee the camera with which the president is shot, again and again. To feel the bodily difference of that material and the 1980s video 8 camcorder footage of Ronald Reagan’s assassination attempt, and to feel, finally without guilt, our body’s deep desire for the image of the catastrophe.
To dissociate the image, to reveal its unwholeness, to undress the paradoxical bodies of the moving image—as Pierre Huyghe does in Blanche-Neige Lucie (Snow White Lucie), where the face of the voice of Snow White returns from a deep sleep to reveal its life-long dispossession. Huyghe reveals, again, the third body that lingers like a phantom. Lucie’s body is the paradoxical body of the voice of Snow White, the body that was supposed to remain hidden, the body whose very visibility is a site of thought. But the paradoxical body is not only found in the “perverse artifice” of dubbing. It is in our experience of our own body when we recover, over and over, the paradoxical sense of the moving image, the sense of being taken over by its spell. Our childhood Snow White falls from her metaphysical cartoon world when we are “faced” with the fact that her voice was negotiated like merchandise. We attain our body in the pendulum of a suspension and an always shifting, self-grounding. And this ground needs to be dismantled over and over, like an ever-present threshold—or like a paradoxical body, like the body of Grace Kelly, “fantasy of the screen, princess of the real.”
Common sense tells us that cinema is one image after another. Godard writes that “cinema is not an image after another, it is an image to which another is added forming a third one, the third being formed by the spectator in the moment when he sees the film.”27 Common sense (the common sense of television) tells us that the image of the commercial is a pause amidst the important matter of the news—that the latest BMW riding towards a blood red sunset is not in contact with the image of the massacre that it succeeded. And this is precisely why and how we are the subjects of the most effective form of social control. But it is in the body that we find the other answer—that what took place was not the passing of one image after another, but the formation of a third image, absolutely contingent to the body and its position in time and space, a site of thought.
An essay on television may be given the license to reach its conclusion in the land of photography and painting. Giulio Paolini, an Arte Povera artist, photographed and reframed a face painted in the sixteenth century by Lorenzo Lotto. He renamed the image, whose original title was Portrait of a Young Man (1505), Young Man Looking at Lorenzo Lotto (1967). In this act of renaming, he transferred to the viewer the vibrations of a third body—that of the man who stood in front of his painting, that of the painter who stood in front of his subject. The paradox stares at the viewer in the present (now). In the same stroke, he is also made aware of his own body. For one instant and, in a few words, he manages to attain the body.