A Body of Vision: Representations of the Body in Recent Film by R. Bruce Elder

By R. Bruce Elder

Elder examines how artists similar to Brakhage, Artaud, Schneemann, Cohen and others have attempted to acknowledge and to exhibit primordial kinds of reviews. He argues that the try and show those primordial modes of information calls for a distinct notion of inventive that means from any of these that at the moment dominate modern serious dialogue. through transforming theories and speech in hugely unique methods, Elder formulates this new perception. His feedback at the gaps in modern serious practices will most probably turn into the focal point of a lot debate.

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And what is repressed is just the troubling image of the damaged and potentially damaging body. This is what is implied in the image of the woman's body with a skull at her crotch. To be sure, the image appears in the post coitu section of the film, so it could be construed as a petit mort reference; but in the context of the other images of destruction, I think it also invites being interpreted as an image of castration. Marilyn Times Five (1968-73) presents five successive pans along the body of a Marilyn Monroe look alike (Conner created the repetition by looping a shot from a pornographic film and printing it five times, varying it slightly each time).

Barker's epigraph comes from Aristophanes' speech in Plato's Symposium, perhaps the most famous discourse on love that Western civilization has yet produced. Aristophanes' speech offers a myth to explain the mystery of desire. In it, he explains to Eryximachus and his other companions present at the drinking party the real nature of human beings and the changes they have undergone. 17 That name is "hermaphrodite"—a term that was not originally, Aristophanes states, a term of contempt. Originally humans did not have the form that they now have.

Thus collage puts the process or ironization on display. Conner's first film, A Movie (1958), remains one of the greatest achievements in collage cinema. That film presents a vision of doom that is virtually all-encompassing; so the imagery that Conner presses into the service of conveying his vision is extraordinarily diverse. Only one aspect of its imagery is relevant to our purposes. A Movie opens with an image from a 28 A Body of Vision soft-core film, of a woman undressing, and intercuts images of destruction and sex.

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