Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 September 2012
Art is never an end in itself. It is only an instrument for tracing lines of lives, that is to say, all these real becomings that are not simply produced in art, all these active flights that do not consist in fleeing into art … but rather sweep it away with them towards the realms of the asignifying, the asubjective.(Deleuze and Guattari 1988: 187)
In Chronicle of a Disappearance (1996) and Divine Intervention (2002), director Elia Suleiman features as one of the main characters. He did not cast himself; rather he was casted by the script that drew him into the film, as he points out in a DVD-interview (A-Film 2003). Although both films are set in his native village, Nazareth, they are not autobiographical in a classic way, representing events in the life of the director when he returns to Palestine. Rather, the films depict an invented self-portrait that is carefully constructed by the director's selection of images, actions and situations and simultaneously completely undetermined by his personal subjectivity. Suleiman's approach can be characterised as a ‘politics of the impersonal’ that is of central importance in Deleuzian philosophy. In this chapter I will address the objections raised against Deleuze by postcolonial and political theory, by focusing on this ‘politics of the impersonal’ and other Deleuzian concepts, such as the nomad, that have stirred many discussions. Through a concrete reading of Suleiman's films I will argue that in order to understand the political accountability of Deleuzian philosophy it is necessary to grasp the paradoxical implications of nomadic thought and immanent philosophy.
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