[trois chanteurs qui rient by Yanyun Chen, 2014]
To remain in authority requires respect for the person or the office. The greatest enemy of authority, therefore, is contempt, and the surest ways to undermine it is laughter.
— Hannah Arendt, On Violence, 45.
For when faced with such a situation, where one must do even when one cannot do (or at least cannot be sure of what one is doing), what else can one do but laugh. This is not a laughter of despair, but a laughter of pure irony, a laughter that recognises that we are always already in singularity, where each situation is a situation in exception to everything but itself; and in fact, since there is no referentiality to a situation, any situation, this is a situation that is in exception to everything, even itself.
This is the laughter of Ubu Roi.
A great belly laughter that accepts everything,
precisely because everything is completely non-sense,
a laughter that does not even pretend
to understand that non-sense.
— Jeremy Fernando, The Suicide Bomber; and her gift of death, 264.
A feminine text cannot fail to be more than subversive. It is volcanic; as it is written it brings about an upheaveal of the old property crust, carrier of masculine investments; there’s no other way. There is no room for her if she is not a he. If she’s a her-she, it’s in order to smash everything, the framework of institutions, to blow up the law, to break up the “truth” with laughter.
— Hélène Cixous, ‘Laugh of the Medusa’, 888.