Film as Film
Film as Film
This chapter explores how film came into its own as an autonomous art practice in installation. It first considers the material, procedural, industrial, psychoanalytic, phenomenological, political and ontological specificities of film, encompassing moving image in both popular culture and art. It then examines how avant-garde film became so heavily academicized that watching films was now understood to be what A. L. Rees called “an act of reading” rather than the opportunity to go on a journey of “visual emotion” as Virginia Woolf suggested. In particular, it discusses the staging of mainstream, illusionist cinema, along with its disassembly by syntactical critique and material interference in the work of avant-garde filmmakers. It also looks at tendencies that carried over into expanded cinema and installation, primarily work that was concerned with the physical presence of the filmic apparatus and artists who undertook the deconstruction of cinematic codes driven by broadly leftist and feminist political convictions. Finally, it analyzes the illusionism of film in relation to the presupposition of indexicality.
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