Re-visions

22Oct11

Lomax, Yve. ‘Re-visions’ Writing the Image (London: I.B.Tauris, 2000) 15-27

p.16

How can I speak of just one history. And anyway, who has the singular authority to say, with all certainty, that there is one story which is, legitimately, the authentic one. I find that one is already many: re-visions in the plural.

Re-visions: a re-making, a making in the sense of a fictioning, something which is constructed. Aren’t we remaking the story each time we tell it? The original, that which is assumed to come before, to be primary: isn’t it already a fiction?

A fracture appears in the seemingly smooth and transparent surface of the photographic image. The fracture (or is it a cut?) draws my attention to the photographic surface; no longer can I look through the photograph as if it were a window, a pane of glass which unobstructively allows a view outside to shine inside; to be plainly and truly seen.

There is a fracture, there is a crack: the window can no longer pass unnoticed. I notice that the window and the view ‘outside’ no longer appear as if they are both on the same plane.

p.17

There is a fracture: the question of rhetoric interrupts the smooth and transparent surface of the photograhic image. A fracture. A break, a crack or perhaps a cut. I think to myself: the photographic image is not a literal representation of reality, the scene is more marked by metaphor than it would seem.

I can no longer overlook he photographic surface. I become aware that the photographic process comes in between, that it intervenes, that it stands in the middle. In the middle … the mediate … the medium … the signifier … the means … mediation. I become aware that the window frames, as it were, constructs, the view seen. Quietly I ask myself: as the spectator am I also framed?

p.18

No longer can I be sure that the image seen will allow me to go ‘outside’ of myself and return to myself, as if I were looking in a mirror. A mirror which seems to return an image of my whole self.

In 1976, Victor Burgin writes:
The first requirements of a socialist art practice is that it should engage those codes and contents which are in the public domain. These present themselves, and thus ideology, as natural and whole; a socialist art practice aims to deconstruct these codes, to unpick the apparently seamless ideological surface they present.

p.22

I construct images. I cut up images. I make assemblages. I make many cuts. As I cut it is revealed that behind one image there is but another image. One representation but refers to another. The situation appears open-ended. The line is the middle, the mediate, the narrative, appears to continually break into another line and I never come to find tha which can be called whole. As I cut it is revealed that there is no proper literal truth which has been masked by the image’s front. Behind the photographic surface there isn’t a sure and whole reality, a substantial depth.

[refers to Lacan]

The issue of the mask, the front of the facade, of that which comes between, becomes suspect. I ask myself: if the mask is removed and it is revealed that there is nothing behind or underneath, except perhaps for another mask, then surely the mask becomes questionable as a mask? Or, is the mask brought into play to cover up for the absence, the lack of, a basic reality – the absence of that presence which had been assumed to be behind, prior, to representation’s front. Am I to lament a loss?

[talks about simulcrum, Baudrillard and religion, possible link to Flusser?]

p.23

There is no essential presence yet is this to be swapped for an essential absence. What is the difference?

p.24

My god! how much longer will we allow ourselves to be tyrannised by the fear of the loss or lack of that which makes us a whole presence?

How strange this story seems. It seems that we are caught up in a scenario where we feel the lack of absolutely nothing. I ask myself: if you say you’re a woman, what have you to lose?

I play upon the difference between the photo and the graphic. I play upon the difference between the surface and the depth. I play upon the difference between the photo and the text. I bring text and image together. I keep them apart. A ‘correct’ way can no longer be assumed. I experiment. I do not know in advance what the outcome will be be. 

p.25

If there is no place where we may oppose or resist a position without being touched by that position, if there is nothing behind the mask, front or facade of the image, if one representational part breaks into another, then are we now completely and totally framed? Am I to say that all is now totally ideological? 

If both sides of the frame (of representation) are posited in one and the same instance, if there is no beyond where things can present themselves ‘unframed’, then the frame begins to warp. Like wood, the frame – the line in the middle – begins to break up.

pp.25-26

Yet, this isn’t a question of a lost and ulocatable reality, nor is it a question of fragmentaion, of a whole that has been shattered to bits; rather, a question of the movement of lines which by way of their partiality continually break and make another line. I ask myself: isn’t reality a fiction, which is the say a line which is made and which can be broken?

p.26

Science is never a matter of literal facts. Think of its metaphors. Think of its rhetoric. Think of those particles which are  fictioned, invented, by such names as ‘strangeness’, ‘charm’ and ‘beauty’. No longer can it be assumed that reality is waiting to be seen, seized and possessed – to be captured.

p.27

We can no longer represent the world in the way that we thought we could. Is there one single image which can represent the world? All those films, videos and photographs are not ‘windows on the world’ (even though they may play at being such windows); they don’t represent the world; they form involvements. Images play a crucial part. Images do change the world.

To interpret the world, to perform the rhetorical exercise of naming things is, in a sense, already to transform it. Nietzsche teaches, if anything in Ecce Homo, the rhetorical nature of the world and the capacity of rhetoric to change it … To debunk rhetoric because it is inauthentic, insincere, a pose and act, is to overlook thefact that the concept of authenticity is itself a rhetorical act. Every pose, even the poseof authenticity … poses something. Every act acts, even if it is only to pose itself as an act. The actor always performs, although you may not know it until later, until after the sun has gone down.

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