Who’s Afraid of I̶d̶e̶o̶l̶o̶g̶y̶ Tradition?
The father of deconstruction, Jacques Derrida, has once said that the language we use today is still indebted to the theological heritage of the Western tradition. This, of course, is a rephrasing of Derrida – albeit one that is unwittingly misread by many commentators. Contrary to popular readings of Derrida, deconstruction is an offshoot of the philosopher’s realization that we cannot simply throw metaphysics out of the window. Deconstruction is not a critique (a la Immanuel Kant’s). It is not a discursive strategy which denies meaning to a work but, rather, it is a tactic (a la Michel de Certeau’s) which uncovers innocent ostracisms in the use of language. To further qualify: deconstruction is a tactic that is devoid of emancipatory expectation. Deconstruction exhumes dead and marginalized utilities in language-use. It is, therefore, not a threat to tradition. Rather, deconstruction is a thing of beauty and, as such, it helps us realize that traditions are indeed alive in that they permeate our everyday contemporary lives. Deconstruction is consumption, so to say, not production. Philosophy is housekeeping, hence Derrida says. We perform the mundane task of housekeeping, a.k.a. Philosophy, today only to repeat the same task in the succeeding days. In other words, we are fallible and our theologies will always be part of the default features of our everyday lives whether we like it or not. Ivy Marie Apa’s oeuvre offers us a glimpse of this realization.
Ivy takes the cue of Roland Barthes’ Mythologies and rereads it as a work about tradition instead of ideology. Her work is a dialogue with Greco-Judeo-Christian tradition as it is iterated, or survived, rather, by the capitalist system and its critical interlocutors. This dialogue is not an indictment of the West’s follies and limitations, as in Friedrich Nietzsche’s work. Ivy’s rereading of Mythologies, rather, is an exhortation for trans-valuation, as in Nietzsche’s work.
Curator: Nomar Bayog Miano