The wounded subject
(Post-human rewritings of the figure of man in David Cronenberg’s Crash)
The article analyses David Cronenberg’s Crash (1996) from a complex theoretical perspective. My starting point is the idea that human subjectivity is open, never finished, in process, something that is always negotiated through a number of signifying practices, such as language, images, and film; therefore different signifying economies produce different kinds of subjectivities. In this article I investigate the ways Crash rewrites some of the fundamental characteristics of humanistic systems of meaning to produce different subjects. I argue that the film produces a post-human world in which meaning is different, the use of the body is different, the forms of subjectivity are different, just like their relation to what Lacan calls the ‘paternal metaphor.’ I think that Crash owes its radicalism (as well as its scandalous reputation) to this displacement of the humanist subject, and it is precisely this displacement that I attempt to investigate. The main focus points of my analysis are the following: the relationship between the body, its image, and subjectivity; non-normative practices of sexuality; violence; repetition; abjection; the relationship between technology and the human body; and the disintegration of the Oedipal subject.