Pop Culture
Feb 13, 2016, 06:54AM

Get to the Real Thing

A 1995 Artforum interview with cultural theorist Homi Bhabha vs. a 1973 Rolling Stone interview with musician Ray Charles.

Moon.jpg?ixlib=rails 2.1

Homi Bhabha: By questioning the terms of generality as they attempt, through a process of dissemination, to embed themselves, one can say with some force that theory has no priority over experience and that experience has no authority over theory.

Ray Charles: In other words, it was a contract within a contract.

Bhabha: Oh yes. Exactly. It's not an art of equanimity.

Charles: We don’t have to lose our identity.

Bhabha: We are in a state of translation between these two.


Charles: You don’t fool around with the truth. So guess if I had to, I would go and buy me some leather.

Bhabha: This is very much in the spirit of my thinking.


Charles: Yesterday. Well, you know, I got a car, a couple of airplanes.

Bhabha: I take the question of accessibility very seriously.

Charles: Why?

Bhabha: I don't think that question can be easily answered.


Charles: I used to love to look at the moon at night. I would go out in the back yard and stare at it. It just fascinated the hell out of me.

Bhabha: That moment of obscurity contains, in some enigmatic way, the limit of what I have thought, the horizon that has not as yet been reached, yet it brings with it an emergent move in the development of a concept that must be marked, even if it can't be elegantly or adequately realized.

Charles: Get to the real thing. [laughter] Come on, now.

Bhabha: I'm delighted by that response.


Register or Login to leave a comment