The Spatiality of Desire in Martin Oesterheld’s La multitud and Luis Ortega’s Dromómanos
Drawing on the traditions of cinéma vérité and direct cinema, Martín Oesterheld’s La multitud (2014) is an observational documentary that depicts the various urban typologies of the south of Buenos Aires. The film deploys exquisite cinematography and progresses with an ethereal lethargy as it follows various residents in the area as they wander through the spaces depicted. In contrast, Dromómanos by Luis Ortega (2014) is an uncomfortable hybrid production which blends documentary and fiction, utilising locations split between the city centre and a deprived neighbourhood at the urban fringe of Buenos Aires. In sharp contrast to La multitud, the aesthetics of Dromómanos are purposely ugly. In this chapter urban marginality will be reconceptualised through the Deleuzoguattarian framework of desiring-production with particular reference to La multitud and Dromómanos. Unlike psychoanalytic (or other) models which propose that desire is the result of a fundamental lack, for Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari desire is a positive affirmation, indeed, they argue that it is the basic unit of productive energy. Crucially, Deleuze and Guattari also contend that society’s fundamental task is to constrain desire. This chapter first spatializes Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of desiring-production through an analysis of La multitud which connects this concept to their later discussion of smooth and striated spaces found in A Thousand Plateaus. The chapter subsequently posits the urban margins as a repository for a form of desire that runs contrary to state control. In turn, it will be shown that Dromómanos focusses on a range of characters suffering from diverse forms of social marginalization. Nonetheless, it will be argued that each of these contains a spatial element. By drawing on the conception of psychogeography elaborated by Guy Debord and the Situationists, it will be argued that Dromómanos reveals what becomes of the liberated form of desire when it is utilised as an affective war-machine directed against the forms of thought that sustain the state.
Citation : Geraghty, N.H.D., Massidda, A.L., (2019) The Spatiality of Desire in Martin Oesterheld’s La multitud and Luis Ortega’s Dromómanos. In: Geraghty, N.H.D., Massidda, A.L. (Eds.), Creative Spaces: Urban Culture and Marginality in Latin America. Institute of Latin American Studies, London, pp. 201–239
ISBN : 9781908857484
Research Institute : Institute of Architecture
Peer Reviewed : Yes