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By R. Bruce Elder

Elder examines how artists equivalent to Brakhage, Artaud, Schneemann, Cohen and others have attempted to acknowledge and to exhibit primordial different types of reports. He argues that the try and exhibit those primordial modes of information calls for a distinct notion of inventive that means from any of these that at present dominate modern serious dialogue. by way of transforming theories and speech in hugely unique methods, Elder formulates this new notion. His feedback at the gaps in modern severe practices will most probably develop into the focal point of a lot debate.

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Extra info for A Body of Vision: Representations of the Body in Recent Film and Poetry

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The use of a popular song as a found object extends the idea of the collage form. Its vulgarity further ironizes the discourse on art and on art's transformative power. Conner's film becomes more pleasurable as it accelerates and as the subject matter filmed begins to count for less and less. This correlation adds to the ironies concerning representation. We do take pleasure in the portrayal of human beings, but we take pleasure as well in the speed of the shooting and the montage—and, what is more important, in the development of a holistic, integral form in a collage.

So, generally, individual fragments that constitute a collage do not meld together in a seamless fashion, as they do in most artworks, but clash with one another. Such a process often involves irony in the ordinary sense, for the new meanings are often constructed to controvert the original meaning, with the result that the footage shows one thing and intends another, just as when we use verbal irony we say one thing and mean another. But it also involves irony in the more specialized sense, for the collage fragment's capacity to preserve its original meaning provides us with evidence of its "ordinary" meaning, which we can counterpoise to the meaning it acquires by being incorporated into a nexus of aesthetic relations.

In our culture the self is under duress, however. Ever since the Christian view of nature lost its dominance, we have had few absolutes to which to moor ourselves. We have assigned the self the role of creating the values by which we live, and this task has proved too onerous a burden. For, as Becker points out, when we come to think of ourselves, we seem inevitably to experience massive ambivalence. Similar ambivalence characterizes our thoughts about our bodies. If we are candid, we must admit that the body is something we are bound to perceive in contradictory terms.

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