Transfigured Night: A Conversation with Alphonso Lingis

Performance Matters, 2013, DVD, 61 mins

Trade Orders: Central Books, see our Distribution page for more information

Transfigured Night assembles a rich patchwork of fragments taken from a two day dialogue in the philosopher’s house near Baltimore in which Lingis makes dynamic forays into thoughts that have preoccupied him in over forty years as a writer and traveller, drawing on his influences in phenomenology and ethics, and his extensive encounters with many places and cultures.

The discussion moves from questions of the face and gaze of others, the sensual experiences of weight and being touched, through considerations of performance, sculpture and dance, to meditations on mortality and suffering.

Alphonso Lingis is the author of fourteen major works over the last forty years, including The Community of Those Who Have Nothing in Common, The Imperative, Dangerous Emotions, Trust, and Violence and Splendor. He is also the preeminent English translator of the works of Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Emmanuel Levinas. He is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Penn State University.

Capturing thought in the moving image is notoriously difficult. To witness thinking itself is to make something very different from the standard ‘in conversation’, however acclaimed the speaker. Performance Dialogues face this challenge head-on. A series really without precedent, it seeks to present ideas in action, as they unfold in the key sites of their hugely influential protagonists – city apartment, house-museum, contested street. Poised between intellectual narrative and place-work, each film finds a distinctive style and a language suitable to its subject, while remaining always engaged, empathetic and concerned, finally, with the most pressing business: how to live in such times.”
​Gareth Evans, Film Curator, 2013

Directed and Edited by Hugo Glendinning and Adrian Heathfield. Director of Photography: Hugo Glendinning. Written by Adrian Heathfield.

Contains booklet with transcribed text.

Transfigured Night was premiered at Whitechapel Gallery, London on 13 June 2013.

Watch the trailer below.

Transfigured Nights Trailer from Live Art Development Agency on Vimeo.

Part of the Crossovers series of artists’ films, documentaries and dialogues reflecting the potential of marginal artforms and intense ideas within popular media.

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