Gothia, Jezreel Umbro, Sharona discussed on Ideas
Face. How stranger faces kind of challenge the way we think about the relationship between surfaces and depth so i think we have a sense in all of these different parameters beauty intelligence authenticity identity and so on the sense that the surface of the face somehow corresponds to something inside the person you look into someone's eyes and they are the windows to their soul for example. But i wanted to discuss the ways in which the surface and depth of the face and the person respectively don't always correspond in the belief that surface and depth are innately connected has taken society down some dangerous paths antiquity. We have this notion of pellagra. Gothia the more legal best the most beautiful the morally worse the most formed some of our major foundational texts. Like even the bible talks about the snake being sly and that it's not a big leap to try to represent sinus by making a person look snake like right impute his characters into appearance. There's a really long trajectory in history of this. That feels really powerful. Jezreel umbro's ideas about eight of his In italy were basically positing in the nineteenth century. That criminality was an inherited thing. And it would be marked on your bonnie how you look so if you looked a certain way you were having that criminality character and thus you could then you say arrested based on how you look to right. I think it's part and parcel of the the reasons that i find the of of the ideal face to be kind of imprisonment for us. We also allied a whole swathe of people who don't have access to human faces when we suggest that the only way that we can ethically engage with other people as through their face. What do you do. Then with the blind or with people who have pro nesia who don't recognize phases. What you do with people whose faces have been damaged against their their will. So that's in a way what brought me to my second book. I was reading loving awesome. I thought wealthy origin of ethics is the face to face encounter. What's on unsteady have for people who don't face this sharona. Pearls second book is about face. Transplants a rare surgery performed on people whose faces have been injured beyond recognition since the first transplant in two thousand. Five around forty five. Such operations have been performed worldwide. Linda's vision of their face to face encounter makes room for facial difference very strike line the best wave encountering the other is not even to notice the color of his eyes. So the resonance there is that it's not a bell weather. you find. someone's face appealing. It's not about those immediate gut reactions. You have to somebody like them you don't. You're judging them dong. You think they're problematic based on how they look and so on and so forth. It's actually about this incredibly awful intense intimate kind of looking. That isn't in a weird way about the face of having said that it's really hard to know what that means in the real world you now. One of the tensions that i struggle with in transplant work is on the one hand being absolutely one hundred percent clear that it is important from a sense of autonomy and agency for people to be allowed to do what they wish their bodies including getting face transplants and that it solves a very real problem of people not being able to function in a society that does not allow for people to be visible and seen in a meaningful and human way when they have visible differences in that way and at the same time. Let us not allow the face transplant to get off us us off the hook as a society. It's a problem that people who are disfigured somehow become less than human in the eyes of so many let us not allow the fact that we can make people not look disfigured or look more palatable to our own is somehow shift the responsibility as we have always done disabled people and people with other kinds of differences to say. Make yourself acceptable to me right. Make yourself look the way that i would like you to look to make my life easier but sharona argues face. Transplants could still push us into new ways of thinking about self hood and how we relate to other people. We face transplant in way. Decoupled the face from character right it made very real the possibility that the faces that we have are not actually these reflections of who we are on the inside. They couldn't be but perhaps not right and this is a really kind of aggressive. A medical is decoupling but that could raise the possibility that this is true for other people as well so a radical version of this would say. Well let's take lebanon seriously. What does it mean to look an encounter. The face of the other and not recognize the color of their eyes. What does it mean to say. Well actually i want to see what's inside of you which means not looking at the face at all or not imagining the face to be the thing that tells you something about who you are only right again. Our faces are to be celebrated and they are extensions of ourselves but they are not necessary or absolute reflections of who we are and this can be incredibly liberating right. It's an imagination about it anyway. In other words to think of the face as something flexible and creative rather than the static representation of a fixed and unchanging self the easiest way to summarize. My book is to say that we don't actually want to read faces. We want to play with them. Do we don't want to read faces. We want to play with them. What does that mean. We want to be able to read someone's thoughts. We want to be able to read their mind. We want to read their intentions. We want to read their soul whether they're a good person and so on. But actually what you find is that there's a competing impulse that you can mark throughout history which is to alter the face kind of elaborately for its own sake to play with it as though it were itself a work of art. What do you think we can actually gain from treating the face as an aesthetic object even even something to play around with it opens a range of what aesthetic says for one because if we're not thinking of the face simply in its ideal form as symmetrical and beautiful and fixed and frontal than we see the beauty and the profile for example. We see the beauty of faces that we might not have found beautiful. We also see the aesthetic interest of something like monstrosity. Which is something. I get into in one of my chapters. We start to see that the strangeness of face or the 'asymmetry of face the the way the face changes dynamically in time becomes a place for us to to find pleasure. I think and again to sort of lift some of the ethical burden and sort of just start to enjoy the messy -ness of stranger and stranger faces as.