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Erasion vs Effacement: Borders as Beings by Shaahin Koohsari








When we talk about something like a border we talk about a signifier. Border signifies "limit". A written signifier itself is a being that signifies another being (signified). A border as a signifier, as a being, as an undeniable existence is not effaceable. Effacement is merely apparent denial of a being so, effacement of a "border" can't efface the limit that border signifies. A signified being , as a being among other beings, is always already ineffaceable. It only can be put "under erasion" by being crossed out because the effacement of signifiers doesn't remove the "problematics" it carries. The difference between a "crossed out" being border, a being border "under erasion" and that of an effaced or removed one is the difference between negation and affirmation. Affirmation of a border is not reception of it, on the contrary, the exigency of affirming the border as the very being of the border predisposes the exigency of putting it under erasion. The claim of "effacing" borders or boundaries without affirmation of its exigencies and implications is naïve. A Border, as a problematic, have to be actively crossed and Effacement only negates it passively in a simple naïve positivist way. The borders can be crossed only in an affirmative way by an affirmative thought considering its being, exigencies, and implications not by an removal attack from outside but, saving and putting it under erasion at the same time. It means both print and deletion of a border by crossing out of it to multiply it, to confront it with "the other" of itself, to push it to the "gray zone", to detour it. The crossed out border then signifies an "inarticulable" border (in a Heideggerian thought) or the "absence of presence of" a border, the "always already" absence of presence of a border (in Derridian thought). The possibility of crossing a border only goes through the impossibility of crossing out of it: The impossibility of both save and putting it under erasion, both print and deletion of it. The impossibility of an erasion by crossing out of something vs naivety of a simple positivist action of effacing becomes apparent here: The impossibility of an artistic active "Yas-saying" to borders from inside (in a Neitzchian way) vs the naivety of positive passive "No-saying" from outside. Let's say "No" to "No-saying.Let's negate the negation, refuse the refusal, and make possible the impossible. Let's do the impossible!

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