Alison Rowley

Between Les Rendez-vous d’Anna and Demain on Déménage: m(o)ther inscriptions in two films by Chantal Akerman.

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Demain on Déménage is a gloriously comic queering of reproduction that claims as its foundation heterosexual sexuality and the stability of the hetero-normative unit of the couple. Akerman's decision to cast Aurore Clément in the role of a mother in Demain on Déménage, over two decades after playing a daughter in Les Rendez-vous d'Anna, encourages a reading of the 2005 film as a reprise of concerns first explored in 1978. If Les Rendez-vous d'Anna has moments in common with Lee Edelman's uncompromisingly provocative polemic against the ideology of 'reproductive futurism', this paper argues that Demain on Déménage figures the 'matrixial' movement Bracha Ettinger theorises as opening on to a different concept of futurity, symbolised not in post-natal terms by the child or the mother, but rather as a corporeal- psychic imprint of the 'originary prenatal encounter event, with-in pregnancy' common to all human beings, which offers another model of communal relations.

Alison Rowley is Reader in Art and Design at Liverpool John Moores University. She has written about the work of artists AES+F, Willie Doherty, Eva Hesse, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Martha Rosler, Jenny Saville and Dorothea Tanning. I.B. Tauris published her monograph Helen Frankenthaler: Painting History, Writing Painting in 2007.