Cinematic Space Sessions

Cinematic Space Sessions

Cinematic space

This is a five week series of films that were selected due to a research on how cinematic space is constructed and with which means the filmic space relates and correlates with the construction of social space. This selection of films wants to draw attention to architecture‘s performative aspect and the space that is constructed in visual media. „The space that appears in the image (…) is concrete and not abstract or purely mathematical space. And it is (…) to a certain degree, organised by the bodies that are in it.“ (Roman Ingarden) At the same time, the two-dimensional framing of a setting calls for the narrative potential of the time/space-arrangements in it and also constructs a fragmented space, that searches for its completitions outside the frame. The selected films may point out various aspects of how space acts in film.

The sessions take place R312 RHB tuesdays 4pm

1. (february 23 2010)
We will look at the relation between camera and subject, a relation that might contruct a ‚negative‘ or ‚other‘ space between screen and viewer. The object-oriented camera – a camera that focuses only on catching the object and is eager to objectify – obscures the role of negative space. I don‘t mean the ground behind the filmed subject or the field surrounding it, but rather the space that makes both composition and framing possible, that characterized the way an image breathes. To see negative space as intensely as the figure and the field, instead of subjecting it to the latter in cinematography, mise-en-scene and narrativity, implies a whole different way of looking at and of relating to things. … emptiness here is not merely opposed to fullness or objecthood; it is the very site that makes forms and contents possible…(Trinh T. Minh-Ha: Framer framed p. 142)

2. (march 02 2010)
This session will examine the transformation or translation between image and language and vice versa. Does the gap between original and translation produce a space? Does this space give a possibility to read images differently from their original meaning?
For in its continuing life, which could not be so called if it were not the transformation and renewal of a living thing, the original is changed. (Walter Benjamin: The Translator‘s task, p. 155)

3. (march 09 2010)
Seesion 3 will examine the movement and gesturing of the actor‘s/actress‘s body through and within a setting, assuming that within the gestures of a person in a setting an invisible space is performed and becomes readable for the viewer. Because cinema has its centre in the gesture and not in the image, it belongs essentially to the realm of ethics and politics (and not simply to that of aesthetics). … What characterises gesture is that in it nothing is being produced or acted, but rather something is endured and supported. The gesture, in other words, opens the sphere of ethos as the more proper sphere of that which is human.
Giorgio Agamben, Notes on gesture, p.109f

4. (march 16 2010)
The relation of image and voice/sound is of importantance for the cinematic. The framed image is a limited space, the space of the sound is outside this limitation. What happens if the hierarchy of image over sound is broken? When the sound dominates the image? If sound structures filmic spaces and thereby establishes a space of its own, how does this ‚sound space‘ interfer with the moving image, and in which particular ways?
„The circuit is not only that of sound elements, including musical elements, in relation to the visual image, but the relation of the visual image itself with the musical element par excellence which slips everywhere, in, off, noises, sounds, speeches.“ (Deleuze, Time image, Cinema 2 p237)

5. (march 23 2010)
Counter-narrativity and telling ‚other‘ histories may describe a filmic practice of creating a cinematic space that is both narrative and subversive. „For example, a series of events containing answers to when, where, why, whom, gives way to a series of images, or maybe a single image, which, in its obsessive repetitiveness or prolonged duration or rhythmic predictability or even stillness, becomes disengaged from story and enters this other realm, call it catalogue, demonstration, lyricism, poetry or pure research.“ Yvonne Rainer: Talking pictures, p 138

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