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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Avant-garde film theory and praxis : an historical analysis of the narrative/anti-narrative debate Insell, Maria Katherine 1988

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A V A N T - G A R D E F I L M T H E O R Y A N D P R A X I S A N H I S T O R I C A L A N A L Y S I S O F T H E N A R R A T I V E / A N T I - N A R R A T I V E D E B A T E b y M A R I A K A T H E R I N E I N S E L L B . A . S i m o n F r a s e r U n i v e r s i t y 1 9 8 1 T H E S I S S U B M I T T E D I N P A R T I A L F U L F I L L M E N T T H E R E Q U I R E M E N T S F O R T H E D E G R E E O F M A S T E R O F A R T S i n T H E F A C U L T Y O F G R A D U A T E S T U D I E S T H E A T R E D E P A R T M E N T , F I L M P R O G R A M M E W e a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s a s c o n f o r m i n g t o t h e r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A • - A t j H 1 '• 1 9 8 8 - - ' ® M a r i a K a t h e r i n e I n s e l l , 1 9 8 8 / In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. / Department of The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) i i ABSTRACT T h i s a n a l y s i s o f the n a r r a t i v e / a n t i - n a r r a t i v e debate i n av a n t - garde f i l m t h e o r y and p r a x i s i s c o n t e x t u a l i z e d i n terms of the developments i n Modernism i n the v i s u a l and p l a s t i c a r t s . The problems r a i s e d by the a e s t h e t i c s t r a t e g i e s formal autonomy versus n a r r a t i v e a p p r o p r i a t i o n are explored by examining s e v e r a l d i s c r e t e h i s t o r i c a l p a r a d i g m s r a t h e r t h a n f o l l o w i n g a s t r i c t l i n e a r h i s t o r i c a l c h r o n o l o g y of the development of Modernism and avant- g a r d e p r a c t i c e s . T h e r e f o r e the l a t e 1930's East/West d e b a t e s between the four w r i t e r s a s s o c i a t e d with the F r a n k f u r t s c h o o l were d i s c u s s e d b e c a u s e t h e i r d i s c o u r s e s r e v e a l a s p e c t r u m o f p o s s i b i l i t i e s w h i c h s p a n e a c h e n d o f t h i s p o l a r i z e d autonomy/efficacy argument. The d i s c o u r s e s look at the i s s u e s of p r o d u c t i o n a e s t h e t i c s and r e c e p t i o n a e s t h e t i c s a l s o . W i t h i n the parameters of East/West debates, the p o s i t i o n i n g of the s u b j e c t i n terms of " d i s t r a c t e d h a b i t " or " p r a x i s " are c r i t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s t o a r e c e p t i o n a e s t h e t i c . Another h i s t o r i c a l paradigm f o r t h i s debate was the w r i t i n g and f i l m p r a c t i c e which emerged from the nexus of the events of May 1968. The East/West debates informed t h i s w r i t i n g and the development of the a e s t h e t i c q u e s t i o n s r a i s e d by P e t e r W o l l e n i n the "Two Avant-Gardes." Here the important i s s u e s o f m a t e r i a l i s m , o n t o l o g y , and the development o f human p e r c e p t i o n are r a i s e d . The r e t u r n to n a r r a t i v e i s rep r e s e n t e d by the "second" avant-garde's f i l m p r a c t i c e (Godard, Straub e t c . ) and in f o r m s the i s s u e s of new n a r r a t i v e i n f e m i n i s t f i l m p r a c t i c e s . T h i s i s n a r r a t i v e with a d i f f e r e n c e however. Here q u e s t i o n s of language and the p r o d u c t i o n of c u l t u r e are c r i t i c a l l y examined and n a t u r a l l y the n a r r a t i v e / a n t i - n a r r a t i v e debate c o n t i n u e s . F i n a l l y , these i s s u e s are brought foreword to the contemporary context and r e l a t e d s p e c i f i c a l l y t o the p r o d u c t i o n of a v a n t - g a r d e f i l m i n Canada. One can see t h i s contemporary debate i n l i g h t of the p a s t , however, the c o n c l u s i o n s drawn by the t h e s i s do not presume t o r e s o l v e t h e n a r r a t i v e / a n t i - n a r r a t i v e d e b a t e or p r e s c r i b e one p a r t i c u l a r approach, s i n c e t h i s w i l l a r i s e from a c t u a l p r a c t i c e . The i n t e n t i o n o f the s t u d y i s t o i n t r o d u c e the c e n t r a l i s s u e s r a i s e d by s o c i a l commitment/artistic autonomy and c o n t r i b u t e to a b e t t e r u n d e r s t a n d i n g of t h e o r e t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of the debate over the use of n a r r a t i v e . CONTENTS i i i C h a p t er I . INTRODUCTION 1 The N a r r a t i v e / A n t i - N a r r a t i v e Problem 3 An Approach t o t h e Problem 4 The Problem L o c a t e d - Avant-Garde and Modernism 5 Community and Sources f o r the Study 8 Notes 17 I I . AVANT-GARDE FILM: THE MODERNIST CONTEXT 20 Modernism: The H i s t o r i c a l C o n t e x t 20 The Avant-Garde and Modernism 29 The Avant-Garde: E l i t e , Mass, or P o p u l a r C u l t u r e 36 P o p u l a r C u l t u r e 36 Mass C u l t u r e 39 On t h e Problem of Autonomy v e r s u s E f f i c a c y 42 Autonomy; P r e - H i s t o r y 43 Autonomy A e s t h e t i c : A P h i l o s o p h i c a l Concept 44 A r t Engage v e r s u s Autonomy; H i s t o r i c a l Paradigms 49 Notes 52 I I I . ART ENGAGE VERSUS AUTONOMY: HISTORICAL PARADIGM 57 Lukacs 60 Lukacs's C l a s s i c i s m v e r s u s B r e c h t ' s A n t i - A r i s t o t e l i a n View. 63 B r e c h t 65 Ben j amin • • • • 71 Adorno 73 Notes 80 IV. CONTEMPORARY DEBATE: CONCLUSION 86 May 1968 - The Two Avant-Gardes - Canada 86 May 1968 88 M a t e r i a l i s m 90 P o l i t i c s / O n t o l o g y - The Two Avant-Gardes 92 Human P e r c e p t i o n 96 New- N a r r a t i v e Avant-Garde: Feminism i n Canada and the U.S.A 101 Notes 114 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 118 I would l i k e to thank my a d v i s o r s Dr. J . Newton, Dr. J . Yamaguchi, and Dr J . Reynertson f o r t h e i r p a t i e n t support and a s s i s t a n c e i n the completion of t h i s manuscript. I would a l s o l i k e to thank Tom I n s e l l , Meg Thornton, and my mother f o r t h e i r constant support and encouragement at each stage of p r o d u c t i o n . Vancouver 1987 Maria Katherine I n s e l l 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION In e v e r y e r a t h e attempt must be made t o w r e s t t r a d i t i o n away from a conformism t h a t i s about t o overpower i t . W a l t e r Benjamin The n a r r a t i v e / a n t i - n a r r a t i v e debate emerging from the c r i t i c a l h i s t o r y of a v a n t - g a r d e f i l m t h e o r y and p r a x i s r a i s e s a number of t h e o r e t i c a l q u e s t i o n s about the p o s i t i o n i n g of the s u b j e c t t h a t r e q u i r e c a r e f u l c o n s i d e r a t i o n . The a e s t h e t i c s t r a t e g i e s of f o r m a l autonomy v e r s u s n a r r a t i v e a p p r o p r i a t i o n w i l l be c o n s i d e r e d i n l i g h t of the h i s t o r i c a l e v o l u t i o n of a v ant-garde a e s t h e t i c s , t h e changes i n c u l t u r a l p o l i t i c s and the v a r i o u s l e v e l s of p r o d u c t i o n . For example i f a f i l m m a k e r adopts an a p p r o p r i a t i o n a l s t r a t e g y , then the i n s t i t u t i o n s of d i s t r i b u t i o n / e x h i b i t i o n and the a u d i e n c e ' s r e c e p t i o n / a p p r o p r i a t i o n of t h e f i l m i c t e x t s h o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d c a r e f u l l y . Audience s u b j e c t p o s i t i o n i n g i s p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p o r t a n t and the r e s p e c t i v e p o s i t i o n s of s e l f - r e f l e x i v i t y v e r s u s d i s t r a c t e d h a b i t pose d i f f e r e n t i d e o l o g i c a l c h o i c e s . The f o c u s of t h i s h i s t o r i c a l a n a l y s i s , however, i s not t o argue f o r or a g a i n s t the r e t u r n to n a r r a t i v e but to focus r a t h e r on the h i s t o r i c a l and i d e o l o g i c a l aspects of t h i s debate. The i n t e n t i o n of t h i s study i s to i n t r o d u c e the c e n t r a l i s s u e s r a i s e d , those focused on s o c i a l commitment and a r t i s t i c autonomy, to c o n t r i b u t e t o a b e t t e r understanding of the t h e o r e t i c a l and p r a c t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of the debate over the use of n a r r a t i v e i n avant-garde cinema. T h i s study w i l l examine, i n c r i t i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l terms, the problems r a i s e d by both the n a r r a t i v e and a n t i - n a r r a t i v e approaches, the advantages/disadvantages of each approach, and w i l l show t h a t e i t h e r i s p o t e n t i a l l y p r o g r e s s i v e or r e g r e s s i v e i n r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l terms. Therefore n e i t h e r approach can be valued more than the o t h e r . The development of new n a r r a t i v e avant-garde f i l m i s i n t e r e s t i n g because the predominant a e s t h e t i c approaches of the past, those of r a d i c a l formal d i f f e r e n c e and autonomy, are being re-examined. New n a r r a t i v e r e p r e s e n t s a c r i t i q u e of the t r a d i t i o n a l o p p o s i t i o n s : c o n v e n t i o n a l versus o r i g i n a l , n a r r a t i v e versus a n t i - n a r r a t i v e , r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l versus n o n - r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l , and the use of language versus i t s e x c l u s i o n . T h i s approach c r i t i q u e s the s e p a r a t i o n between the h i g h , or e l i t e , a r t sphere from the popular c u l t u r a l sphere. I t r e p r e s e n t s an a e s t h e t i c p o p u l i s t p o s i t i o n w i t h i n the avant-garde sphere of c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n . 3 While these o p p o s i t i o n s pose fundamental problems f o r a r t i s t s i n a "post-modern" 1 context, i t i s s t i l l important to c o n s i d e r the r e - a p p r o p r i a t i o n of n a r r a t i v e i n terms of a e s t h e t i c l o s s e s . Does the r e t u r n to n a r r a t i v e imply l o s s e s to the development of a p o e t i c idiom of c i n e m a t i c expression? The idiom of democratic p r i v i l e g e Maya Deren a s s e r t e d no man had the r i g h t t o deny because: I b e l i e v e t h a t , i n every man, there i s an area v h i c h speaks and hears i n the p o e t i c idiom. . .something i n him which can s t i l l s i n g i n the d e s e r t when the t h r o a t i s almost too dry f o r speaking. With t h i s thought i n mind one must ask, what w i l l become of the g r e a t developments i n the c r i t i q u e of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n and human p e r c e p t i o n i t s e l f ? What are the p o l i t i c a l consequences of p o s i t i o n i n g the s u b j e c t i n terms of an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h n a r r a t i v e enigma, c h a r a c t e r f a t e , or d e s t i n y , r a t h e r than engaging i n an o b j e c t i v e examination of the c i n e m a t i c apparatus and s p e c t a c l e i t s e l f ? These are p r e s s i n g q u e s t i o n s which Canadian and f o r e i g n filmmakers must c o n s i d e r i n t h e i r debates on avant-garde f i l m a s t h e t i c s and p r a x i s . The debate over the use of n a r r a t i v e emerges from the h i s t o r i c a l dimensions of the avant-garde, and t h e r e f o r e one must begin by s i t u a t i n g avant-garde f i l m theory and p r a c t i c e w i t h i n a h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t . T h i s w i l l l o c a t e a r e a d i n g of these c u l t u r a l products i n the context of the a e s t h e t i c t r a d i t i o n s which informed the l o g i c of t h e i r p r o d u c t i o n and the s p e c i f i c codes of t h e i r f o r m a t i o n . I t i s u s e f u l here to o u t l i n e the methodological c o n s i d e r a t i o n s f o r t h i s s e t t i n g w i t h i n a h i s t o r i c a l context. An attempt w i l l be made to avoid the p i t f a l l s of P o s i t i v i s t h i s t o r i o g r a p h y , which i s the t r a d i t i o n a l view of h i s t o r y . The t r a d i t i o n a l view, F o u c a u l t says, p o s t u l a t e s a l i n e a r p r o g r e s s i o n implying a c a u s a l f o r c e , between "great men, great c i v i l i z a t i o n s , or g r e a t events or, a l t e r n a t i v e l y , assume a 3 meaningful c o n t i n u i t y founded i n a t r a n s c e n d e n t a l Logos." T h i s c r i t i q u e of h i s t o r y , d e r i v e d from Foucault and o t h e r s , r e f u t e s the n o t i o n t h a t meaningful h i s t o r i c a l events o r i g i n a t e d i r e c t l y i n r e l a t i o n to the t r a n s c e n d e n t a l s u b j e c t . Rather than c a u s a l i t y and c o n t i n u i t y , Foucault proposes the n o t i o n of d i s c o n t i n u i t y and t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . H i s t o r y i s not a "question of progress, but rearrangements i n the r e l a t i o n s among the m u l t i p l e f o r c e s — m a t e r i a l , economic, s o c i a l — t h a t 4 comprise a s o c i a l f o r m a t i o n . " F o u c a u l t ' s c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of h i s t o r i c a l change e x e m p l i f i e s how the n o t i o n of the avant-garde, as an h i s t o r i c a l e n t i t y , has been s u b j e c t e d to t h i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n a l p r o c e s s . The t r a d i t i o n a l n o t i o n of the avant-garde, as i t was h y p o s t a t i z e d i n the burgeoning p o l i t i c a l m i l i e u of French romanticism, f o r example, changed s i g n i f i c a n t l y with i t s l a t e r use i n the romantic and 5 s y m b o l i s t p e r i o d of l ' a r t pour l ' a r t . T h e r e f o r e , we w i l l pursue the a e s t h e t i c d i s c o u r s e which informs the i s s u e s r a i s e d i n the present through an examination of s e v e r a l d i s c r e t e h i s t o r i c a l paradigms as examples from the p a s t . The contemporary debate i s fundamentally rooted i n the h i s t o r i c a l emergence of modernism and the c r i s i s i n modernist a e s t h e t i c s , s i n c e v i r t u a l l y a l l d e f i n i t i o n s of avant-garde f i l m are i m p l i c a t e d i n the development of modernism i n the v i s u a l and p l a s t i c a r t s i n g e n e r a l . So i t i s v a l u a b l e to c o n s i d e r the c o n t e x t of European c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l l i f e where l i t e r a r y and a r t i s t i c modernism f i r s t developed. A c u l t u r a l context w i l l emerge by s e t t i n g t h i s debate a g a i n s t the backdrop of profound change i n E i g h t e e n t h - and Nineteenth-Century l i b e r a l thought. T h i s context informs the d i v e r s e movements of modernism, the s t r a t e g i c e v o l u t i o n of the v a r i o u s avant-gardes, and the reasons f o r the c r i s i s i n modernist a e s t h e t i c s , of which the new-narrative (and the post-modernist) a e s t h e t i c i s a r e s u l t . The a e s t h e t i c d i s c o u r s e on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between avant-garde f i l m and n a r r a t i v e i s informed by the h i s t o r i c a l debate between l ' a r t pour l ' a r t and l ' a r t engage.^ Questions of a e s t h e t i c autonomy versus s o c i a l commitment are s t i l l important i s s u e s to contemporary avant-garde filmmakers, while they are compounded by the a d d i t i o n a l problems t h a t a r t i s t s who d e a l with mass c u l t u r e must s p e c i f i c a l l y address. Understanding t h i s h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t , and a n a l y z i n g how the i n s t i t u t i o n s which mediate the p r o d u c t i o n , d i s t r i b u t i o n , and e x h i b i t i o n of a work a f f e c t i t s r e c e p t i o n and meaning, i s e s s e n t i a l . In chapter I I , the f i r s t task w i l l be t o i n t r o d u c e the reader to the genesis of the term "avant-garde" 7 and to s i t u a t e avant-garde f i l m i n the mainstreams of modernism i n 6 the v i s u a l and p l a s t i c a r t s i n g e n e r a l . However, one cannot assume, as some c r i t i c s have, t h a t the two terms "avant-garde"^ and "modernism,"^ are synonymous. The two t r a d i t i o n s are m u t u a l l y dependant because of t h e i r shared f e a t u r e s , yet they are e s s e n t i a l l y d i f f e r e n t . Furthermore, r a t h e r than f o l l o w i n g a s t r i c t l i n e a r h i s t o r i c a l chronology of the avant-garde, one w i l l probe the key h i s t o r i c a l i s s u e s r a i s e d by the r e l a t i o n s h i p between a r t and l i f e . The chapter examines how the v a r i o u s a e s t h e t i c i d e o l o g i e s of the avant-garde have posed the i s s u e s of a e s t h e t i c autonomy and a e s t h e t i c e f f i c a c y . A f t e r the context which has formed and mediated the present c o n t r o v e r s y i s i s o l a t e d , i t w i l l be u s e f u l i n chapter II to examine the c r i s i s of the avant-garde and modernism i n g e n e r a l . We can analyze why avant-garde a r t i s t s have not adequately t h e o r i z e d t h e i r p o s i t i o n w i t h i n mass c u l t u r e today. The argument cannot be o v e r s t r e s s e d t h a t the importance of theory i s fundamental t o the p r a c t i c e of avant-garde filmmaking, and knowledge of the laws of p r o d u c t i o n i n our present context i s i m p e r a t i v e . Peter Wollen has r i g h t l y s t a t e d t h a t : To t h i n k about the f u t u r e of the avant-garde means t h i n k i n g about i t s p a s t , not as a n t i q u a r i a n i s m or as archaeology, but to understand the mechanisms i n which we are s t i l l caught. T h e r e f o r e , chapter I I w i l l a l s o examine how the legacy 7 of modernism, the s t r e s s on formal i n n o v a t i o n as the p r i n c i p a l means to t r a n s f o r m h a b i t u a t e d p e r c e p t i o n s and c o n s c i o u s n e s s , rendered modernist a r t ( i n the a e s t h e t i c p o p u l i s t view) i n e f f e c t u a l . T h i s problem stems i n p a r t from the m a r g i n a l i z a t i o n of the avant-garde i n the e l i t e c u l t u r a l sphere because of the degree of l i t e r a c y r e q u i r e d to a p p r e c i a t e the e s o t e r i c and formal s i g n i f i c a t i o n of the a r t . T h i s r e q u i s i t e l i t e r a c y i n e f f e c t a l i e n a t e s the avant-garde from the v e r y people the work should reach. Some a r t i s t s argue, however, that through a f i l t e r i n g down p r o c e s s , the new ideas generated i n the h i g h a r t sphere, move v i a c o n c e n t r i c c i r c l e s of i n f l u e n c e , to the other c u l t u r a l arenas. T h e r e f o r e these works e x e r t an i n d i r e c t i n f l u e n c e on those audiences. Rock v i d e o i s both a good and bad example of how the experimental and a r t i s a n a l f i l m a e s t h e t i c i s r e a c h i n g a broader audience. Of course, one must r e c o g n i z e the problems inherent i n t h i s process of a p p r o p r i a t i o n . One must see t h a t the new i d e a s of the avant-garde do indeed f i l t e r down, but i n the p r o c e s s these ideas are a s s i m i l a t e d i n t o the mainstream c u l t u r e without t h e i r t r a n s f o r m a t i v e e f f e c t s . The new i d e a s and techniques become p a r t of mass c u l t u r e , w h ile the a r t i s t has no say i n how, or i n what c o n t e x t , they are 8 received. The central question which has emerged from t h i s s i t u a t i o n ~i"S: tan the avant-garde s t i l l play a s i g n i f i c a n t and meaningful role in combating the elements of hegemony in form and thought to produce a r i c h e r , more heterogeneous p o l i t i c a l and c u l t u r a l r e a l i t y ? Chapter III w i l l refer to an h i s t o r i c a l paradigm for the present debate—the late.1330*s East/West debates. The four writers who were associates of the Frankfurt S c h o o l — Georg Lukacs and Bertolt Brecht (the eastern debate) and Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adprno (the western debate)—represent an aesthetic discourse and a body of c r i t i c a l thought about the autonomy versus e f f i c a c y issues. These discourses reveal a spectrum of p o s s i b i l i t i e s which span each end of th i s polarized autonomy/efficacy argument. Thus each of t h e i r respective positions have provided a set of alternate vantage points and penetrating insights, which may also provide the means to transcend the binarism of an avant-gardiste opposition to narrative per se. However, the opposition does not necessarily r e f l e c t actual avant-garde h i s t o r i c a l practice i n r e l a t i o n to narrative but rather the cl e a r position within the avant-garde to oppose the i l l u s i o n i s m and mimeticism of the dominant or c l a s s i c a l narrative form. P h i l l i p Drummond notes also that t h i s binarism was useful since i t provided the d i s t i n c t i o n s which indicated past p o l i t i c a l / a e s t h e t i c strategies. 9 The debates examined the r e l a t i o n s h i p between h i g h a r t , p o p u l a r c u l t u r e , and mass c u l t u r e . Consequently they have d i s t i l l e d the terms and problems which a r i s e from the m a r g i n a l i z a t i o n or i n t e r p e n e t r a t i o n of these c u l t u r a l spheres. In a d d i t i o n t o the exchanges i n the debates proper, we w i l l r e f e r t o the s p e c i f i c essays by these t h e o r i s t s which are p e r t i n e n t t o the d i s c u s s i o n of autonomy and e f f i c a c y . Walter Benjamin, f o r example, has developed h i s c r i t i c a l i n s i g h t s on p o s t - a u r a l a r t (Benjamin's use of the term "aura" r e f e r s t o the r i t u a l i s t i c - m a g i c a l use of a r t and the Renaissance c u l t of beauty) i n h i s seminal essay, The Work of A r t In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction, and he addresses the i s s u e of autonomy i n The Author as Producer. Adorno's essay, On Commitment, c r i t i q u e s the t e n d e n t i o u s aspects of a r t engage*. His views on autonomous a r t are c o m p e l l i n g because he a s s e r t s t h a t theory cannot be compromised to economic, h i s t o r i c a l , and i d e o l o g i c a l e x i g e n c i e s , otherwise t r u t h and knowledge (here read a e s t h e t i c knowledge) would u l t i m a t e l y be compromised. The ideas i n Georg Lukacs's book, H i s t o r y and C l a s s Consciousness, inform h i s a e s t h e t i c r e a l i s t views, which were then f u l l y developed i n The Meaning of Contemporary Realism. Brecht's a e s t h e t i c views on the "popular" 1^and " r e a l i s t i c " ^ a s p e c t s of E p i c Theatre are important to our p r e s e n t d i s c o u r s e because of the combined p o p u l i s t and s e l f - r e f l e x i v e approach. The i m p l i c a t i o n s of an a p p r o p r i a t i o n a l versus o p p o s i t i o n a l a e s t h e t i c s t r a t e g y are d e a l t w i t h i n t h i s body of t h e o r e t i c a l work. Each of these w r i t e r s ' views on the a e s t h e t i c l o s s e s or gains d e r i v e d by these t a c t i c a l c h o i c e s r a i s e s important q u e s t i o n s regarding the p o s i t i o n i n g of the s u b j e c t . W i thin the terms of the East/West debates, the n o t i o n s of " d i s t r a c t e d h a b i t " 1 3 ( i n t e r p r e t a t i o n v i s - a - v i s a l i e a t o r y technique and apperceptual h a b i t ) and " p r a x i s " 1 4 ( i n t e r p r e t a t i o n informed by theory) have s i g n i f i c a n t a e s t h e t i c i m p l i c a t i o n s and d e f i n e the s u b j e c t d i f f e r e n t l y . Having r a i s e d the i s s u e s of a e s t h e t i c s and the r o l e of the s u b j e c t , chapter IV w i l l continue to develop t h i s d i s c u s s i o n by r e f e r r i n g to another h i s t o r i c a l paradigm f o r t h i s contemporary debate: the w r i t i n g and f i l m p r a c t i c e which emerged from the nexus of the events of May 1968 i n France and the developments i n S t r u c t u r a l i s t - M a t e r i a l i s t f i l m , which Peter Wollen termed "the Co-op movement."!5 We w i l l then focus on the d i f f e r i n g a e s t h e t i c i m p l i c a t i o n s of a m a t e r i a l i s t a e s t h e t i c as i t was understood by the "two a v a n t - g a r d e s u l ^ a n d to the more complex t h e o r e t i c a l apparatus of S e m i o t i c s and S t r u c t u r a l i s m (re the p h i l o s o p h i c a l sense), which informed much of the w r i t i n g at the time. T h i s w i l l broaden the terms of the a e s t h e t i c i s s u e s r a i s e d by Brecht and continued through h i s i n f l u e n c e on Godard and the D z i g a - V e r t o v Group. Peter Wollen says Vertov was the l i n c h p i n t h a t connected the m a t e r i a l i s t a e s t h e t i c of the two avant-gardes d e s p i t e t h e i r d i f f e r i n g conceptions of the meaning of a m a t e r i a l i s t a e s t h e t i c . T h i s a e s t h e t i c concern 11 f o r the m a t e r i a l s of p r o d u c t i o n vas a l s o d e r i v e d from the modernist break from Renaissance a e s t h e t i c s . The h i s t o r i c a l t h r u s t of avant-garde f i l m p r a c t i c e has been to d e f i n e what i s e s s e n t i a l l y cine~matic. T h e r e f o r e , the n a r r a t i v e / a n t i - n a r r a t i v e debate r a i s e s the important a e s t h e t i c i s s u e s which c e n t e r on the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the "image , , 1 '7(re-presentational codes) and the " t e x t " 1 ^ ( l i n g u i s t i c c o d e s ) . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between images, words and the th i n g s they perhaps represent i s a s a l i e n t i s s u e i n the h i s t o r i c a l development of the c i n e m a t i c avant-gardes. Much t h e o r e t i c a l d i s c o u r s e has a l s o focused on questions r e g a r d i n g the cinSma's b a s i c nature o r , as Andre Bazin puts i t , "Qu'est-ce que c'est l e Cinema?" 1 9 When the f i r s t c i n e m a t i c avant-garde (the I m p r e s s i o n i s t movement of 1917, with filmmakers such as Germaine Dula c , L o u i s D e l l a c , Jean E p s t e i n and others) posed the q u e s t i o n : What i s the e s s e n t i a l q u a l i t y of t h i s medium? the answers they gave were based on the movement of the image (the photogene) and the time-based essence which the cinema shares with music ( s y n a e s t h e s i a ) . When Bazin addressed t h i s q u e s t i o n , h i s n o t i o n of a c i n e m a t i c essence was based on the o n t o l o g i c a l nature of the photographic document—the p r o - f i l m i c event th a t the camera m e c h a n i c a l l y r e c o r d e d . However, when a s t r u c t u r a l i s t - m a t e r i a l i s t filmmaker l i k e Peter G i d a l answered t h i s q u e s t i o n he s a i d : 12 The s t r u c t u r a l / m a t e r i a l i s t f i l m must minimize content in i t s overpowering, i m a g i s t i c a l l y seductive sense, in an attempt to get through t h i s miasmic area of 'experience' and proceed with f i l m as f i l m . 2 0 This statement r e f l e c t s how the subject i s positioned in a s e l f - r e f l e x i v e and c r i t i c a l mode. Rather than seeing the cinema as only a form of entertainment, s t r u c t u r a l i s t - m a t e r i a l i s t filmmakers focus on the material aspect of cinema which teaches us how the cinematic apparatus conditions human perception. This subject positioning c r i t i q u e s the id e o l o g i c a l positioning of the subject in the c l a s s i c a l i l l u s i o n i s t narrative form. But i t i s precisely t h i s ontological tautology that avant-garde c r i t i c s i s o l a t e as the l i m i t a t i o n of the f i l m as f i l m approach. The focus on f i l m as f i l m mirrors the modernist h i s t o r i c a l cul-de-sac of l ' a r t pour l ' a r t , p r e c i p i t a t i n g a return to narrative forms in some avant-garde pr a c t i c e s . Yet feminist avant-garde filmmakers are not un i f i e d in th e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to narrative because some argue that women should develop t h e i r own forms of cine'matic expression, since the exis t i n g narrative forms necessarily draw on a pa t r i a r c h a l discourse through the use of language. This view of women's re l a t i o n s h i p to language i s drawn from women's s o c i a l experiences and Lacan psychoanalytic theory of language. He proposed that language i s a "symbolic," 2 1 order which derives i t s significance and structure through the "law" 2 2 of the father. 13 However, f e m i n i s t s who use new n a r r a t i v e forms argue t h a t women have been m a r g i n a l i z e d - e x c l u d e d from c u l t u r a l d i s c o u r s e s l ong enough. The image of women i s used as the ground f o r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n and male s u b j e c t i v i t y , y e t women are denied a v o i c e t o express t h e i r p a r t i c u l a r s u b j e c t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e s . For example, Laura Mulvey's essay, V i s u a l P l e a s u r e In N a r r a t i v e Cine*ma, analyzes the s t r u c t u r e of the male gaze through "primary"23(camera) and "secondary "24 ( c h a r a c t e r ) i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i n c l a s s i c a l n a r r a t i v e cinema. Mulvey uses n a r r a t i v e i n her own f i l m s t o fo r g e a p l a c e f o r the feminine s u b j e c t , and many women use n a r r a t i v e forms to foreground the female v o i c e r a t h e r than the image. When the image i s used, i t i s used i n a s e l f - r e f l e c t i v e and c r i t i c a l manner. The t e x t u a l i s s u e s r a i s e d by n a r r a t i v e are an important p a r t of f e m i n i s t f i l m theory and are l i n k e d to the w r i t e r s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the j o u r n a l s Screen and T e l Quel. The t h e o r e t i c a l i n s i g h t s developed by these p u b l i c a t i o n s were grounded i n p r e v i o u s developments i n s t r u c t u r a l l i n g u i s t i c s , Neo-Freudian p s y c h o a n a l y t i c t h e o r y , s t r u c t u r a l anthropology, Russian f o r m a l i s t theory, and semiology. The o r i g i n a l development of semiology as the s c i e n t i f i c study of s i g n s and s i g n systems began w i t h the work of Ferdinand de Saussure when he f i r s t p u b l i s h e d h i s Course i n General L i n g u i s t i c s (1916). L a t e r , the appearance of the work of Ch a r l e s P i e r c e (1930-5) was a l s o i n f l u e n t i a l . In a d d i t i o n , the other important f i g u r e s who pro v i d e a t h e o r e t i c a l context f o r t h i s d i s c u s s i o n are the French psychoanalyst Jacques 14 Lacan and the s t r u c t u r a l anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss. These prominent figures map or simply indicate the f i e l d s of discourse from which feminist f i l m theory drew. The figures of p a r t i c u l a r interest who emerged from the Tel Quel group to develop the study of cinema and narrative are Roland Barthes, Jean-Louis Baudry, and J u l i a Kristeva. Roland Barthes's deconstructive analysis of narrative provided a greater discursive c l a r i t y of the subject. His structural analysis in S / Z of. the f i v e basic codes that functionally operate in the Balzac novella Sarrasine are invaluable to the study of cinematic narrative. Baudry's Ideological Effects of the Basic Cine~matoqraphic Apparatus i s important to the study of cinSma because he aptly describes how the cine"matic text i s dependent, by i t s very nature, on the cinematographic apparatus. The apparatus establishes the attribute of l i t e r a l succession, which reinforces the fundamental syntagmatic organizational elements (leaving aside the paradigmatic relationships created by e d i t i n g , fades, dissolves, e t c . ) . In addition, the composition of images within the l i t e r a l successive chain also contribute to a s i g n i f i c a n t syntagmatic aspect of the cinematic experience. But Baudry also says that the cinema's psychical apparatus produces "features which are s p e c i f i c to dream: capacity for f i g u r a t i o n , t r a n s l a t i o n of thought into images, r e a l i t y extended to representations." J He 1 5 s u b s t a n t i a t e s t h i s analogy by r e f e r r i n g to Freud's a n a l y s i s i n The I n t e r p r e t a t i o n of Dreams. J u l i a K r i s t e v a ' s experience as an a n a l y s t has c o n t r i b u t e d g r e a t l y to the theory of d e s i r e i n language and to the p s y c h o a n a l y t i c understanding of the " s p l i t s u b j e c t , " ^ ^ t h a t s u b j e c t i v i t y i s not f i x e d , u n i f i e d , and unchanging, but r a t h e r t h a t the s u b j e c t i s a l v a y s a s u b j e c t i n p r o c e s s . Moreover she vas r e s p o n s i b l e f o r c o i n i n g the nov v i d e l y used, however misunderstood, term " i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y . £ h e idea of i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y p l a y s a s i g n i f i c a n t r o l e i n the development of the modern " p o l y p h o n i c " 2 8 l l o v e i a n c j i t s c o n s e q u e n t i a l break from the Nineteenth-Century r e a l i s t "monologic"29novel. The aspect of s i n g u l a r v ersus m u l t i p l e n a r r a t i v e v o i c e s i s i m p l i c a t e d i n the development of t h i s debate on n a r r a t i v e . The s e m i o t i c theory of the cinema, developed by a former student of Barthes, C h r i s t i a n Metz, was a l s o s i g n i f i c a n t to the development of new-narrative because h i s understanding of the cine"ma as a multi-coded system of communication i s perhaps as important as the e s s e n t i a l i s t d i s c o u r s e on the cinema's b a s i c nature. Metz's s t r e s s on the p l u r a l i t y of codes i n the cinema spawned the i n s i g h t t h a t the f i l m t h e o r i s t must be a Renaissance person i n a sense, i f s/he wishes to f u l l y understand the c i n e m a t i c phenomenon. T h e r e f o r e one must take an i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y and p l u r a l i s t i c approach to the a n a l y s i s of the cinema. The c o n c l u d i n g chapter w i l l l o c a l i z e t h i s debate i n terms of the contemporary d i s c u s s i o n s amongst avant-garde filmmakers i n Canada. S p e c i f i c r e f e r e n c e w i l l be made t o the sometimes stormy c r i t i c a l debate i n f i l m j o u r n a l s such as Opsis and Cine~ma Canada. Chapter IV w i l l a l s o r e f e r to two conferences h e l d i n Vancouver/ the New N a r r a t i v e Conference and the panel d i s c u s s i o n organized by the w r i t e r f o r N a t i o n a l F i l m Week t i t l e d Avant-garde F i l m P r a c t i c e s ; S i x Views. Some of these d i s c u s s i o n s are polemic i n nature, but they r e f l e c t many filmmakers' r e a l concerns about a l t e r n a t i v e f i l m forms and the p r e s e r v a t i o n of the p o e t i c idiom i n the cinema. T h i s i s a l s o why some experimental filmmakers ask the q u e s t i o n , "So what i s new about new n a r r a t i v e ? " 3 0 The a e s t h e t i c s t r a t e g i e s of formal autonomy vers u s n a r r a t i v e a p p r o p r i a t i o n , however, s t i l l must address the p o s i t i o n i n g of the s u b j e c t and c o n s i d e r the h i s t o r i c a l e v o l u t i o n of avant-garde a e s t h e t i c s , the changes i n c u l t u r a l p o l i t i c s , and the v a r i o u s l e v e l s of p r o d u c t i o n . There i s value i n both the n a r r a t i v e and a n t i - n a r r a t i v e approaches, however; e i t h e r approach can c o n t a i n p r o g r e s s i v e and/or r e g r e s s i v e elements of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . T h i s i s why i t would be i n a c c u r a t e to v a l o r i z e one approach over another. 17 NOTES TO CHAPTER I ••The term "post-modern" i s used p r o v i s i o n a l l y because many h i s t o r i a n s f i n d the term p r o b l e m a t i c . Here r e f e r t o the Modernism and Modernity Conference Papers ed. Serge G u i l b a u t , Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, and David S o l k i n (Vancouver: U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia P r e s s , 1981). 2Maya Deren, "Statement of P r i n c i p l e s , " F i l m As F i l m (London: Hayvard G a l l e r y p u b l i s h e d e x t r a c t s , c a t a l o g u e , 1979), p.123. 3 C h a r l e s C. Lemert and Garth G i l l a n , M i c h e l F o u c a u l t : S o c i a l Theory as T r a n s g r e s s i o n (Nev York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1982), p. 11. 4 I b i d . , p. 12. ^The anarcho-romantic movement of " a r t - f o r - a r t * s sake" developed from the work of Charles B a u d e l a i r e and the sy m b o l i s t movement durin g the mid-1880s. B a u d e l a i r e and Arthur Rimbaud were both very much i n f l u e n c e d by the R e v o l u t i o n s of 1830, 1948 and the P a r i s Commune i n France. Rimbaud combined B a u d e l a i r e ' s Swedenborgianism w i t h F o u r i e r t o develop h i s v i s i o n a r y idea of a u n i v e r s a l language. The symbolist poets Paul V e r l a i n and Stephane Mallarme developed the Ba u d e l a i r e a n idea of p o e t i c enigma and foreground, the element of chance i n p o e t i c c o m p o s i t i o n . T h i s a n t i c i p a t e d the a n a r c h i c element of chance i n l a t e r dada and s u r r e a l i s t a r t . Some of the B r i t i s h exponents of " a r t - f o r - a r t 1 s sake" ( i n f l u e n c e d by Swinburne) are Oscar Wilde and the p r e - R a p h a e l i t e s Dante G a b r i e l R o s s e t t i and Edward Burne-Jones. 6The r e f e r e n c e to t h i s idea of engaged a r t i s d e r i v e d from Jean-Paul S a r t r e , "Qu'est-ce que l a L i t e r a t u r e ? " , Les Temps Modernes (1947). 7The term i s d e r i v e d from the Utopian s o c i a l i s t Henri de Saint-Simon, who was i n s p i r e d by the idea of progress t h a t developed from the progress i n s c i e n c e and technology l e a d i n g up to the I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n . T h i s was how the id e a of progress was passed on i n t o the a r t s . See chapter I I , note 19. 18 ^ A e s t h e t i c modernism developed i n the l a t e n i n e t e e n t h century as a " r e v o l t a g a i n s t p o s i t i v i s m " and the r e s u l t of the c r i s i s i n e i g h t e e n t h - and n i n e t e e n t h century l i b e r a l thought. Modernism c u l t i v a t e d the formal concerns of s p a t i a l montage, paradox, and the fragmented r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t r e f l e c t e d the " c r i s i s of i n d i v i d u a l i t y . " l u P e t e r Wollen, Readings and W r i t i n g s ; Semiotic C o u n t e r - S t r a t e g i e s (London: Verso E d i t i o n s , 1982), p.36. H-Brecht's use of the terms are d e f i n e d i n chapter I I I and he counterposes those concepts v i t h the d o c t r i n e of s o c i a l r e a l i s m . The a e s t h e t i c i s d e r i v e d from bourgeois c r i t i c a l r e a l i s m . 1 2 I b i d . 1 3 D i s t r acted h a b i t : i n t e r p r e t a t i o n v i s - a - v i s a p p e r c e p t u a l h a b i t . ^ P r a x i s : i n t e r p r e t a t i o n v i s - a - v i s the p r a c t i c a l a p p l i c a t i o n of t h e o r e t i c a l knovledge. l ^ P e t e r Wollen, Readings and W r i t i n g s : Semiotic C o u n t e r - S t r a t e g i e s (London: Verso Editions,.. 1982) , p. 37. 1 6 I b i d . ^Image: r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l codes. i ^ T e x t : l i n g u i s t i c codes. 1 9 T h i s r e f e r s to Andre Bazin's What i s Cinema 4 v o l s . ( B e r k e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1958-65), p. 2. 2 0 P e t e r G i d a l , ed., Standard F i l m Anthology (London: B r i t i s h F i l m I n s t i t u t e P u b l i s h i n g , 1976), p. 2. 21-The symbolic order i s a term d e r i v e d from s e m i o t i c s and theory of s i g n i f i c a t i o n i n language. Lacan and P i e r c e d e f i n e symbolic s i g n s as s p e c i f i c a l l y l i n g u i s t i c s i g n s . 22»p]ie term i s d e r i v e d from Lacan and r e f e r s to the codes or r u l e s v h i c h govern l i n g u i s t i c systems. These r u l e s are r e l a t e d i n p s y c h o a n a l y t i c terms to the Oedipal myth and the r u l e of p a t r i a r c h y i n language and i n s o c i e t y . 19 ^ i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i n the cinema s h i f t s as i t does i n language from the f i r s t person to the second person. Primary i d e n t i f i c a t i o n r e f e r s to the camera p o i n t of view while secondary i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s the s u b j e c t i v e i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h the c h a r a c t e r . 24 Ib i d , 2 5 J e a n - L o u i s Baudry, "The Apparatus: M e t a p s y c h o l o g i c a l Approaches to the Impression of R e a l i t y i n the Cinema," Camera Obscura 1 ( F a l l 1976): 115. 2 ^ l n her book D e s i r e In Language J u l i a K r i s t e v a a n a l y z e s the "speaking s u b j e c t , " which i s sim u l t a n e o u s l y a s p l i t s u b j e c t — d i v i d e d by conscious and unconscious m o t i v a t i o n — b e t w e e n p h y s i o l o g i c a l p rocesses and s o c i a l c o n s t r a i n t s . T h e r e f o r e the a c t i o n s and performances of the speaking s u b j e c t are the r e s u l t of a d i a l e c t i c a l p r o c e s s . J u l i a K r i s t e v a , D e s i r e i n Language (Oxford: B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1977), p. 6. 2 7 K r i s t e v a d e f i n e s i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y "as the t r a n s p o s i t i o n of one or more systems of s i g n s i n t o another, accompanied by a new a r t i c u l a t i o n of the e n u n c i a t i v e and d e n o t a t i v e p o s i t i o n . " T h i s d e f i n i t i o n i s d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from the misapprehension t h a t i n t e r t e x t u a l i t y r e f e r s to the i n f l u e n c e of one w r i t e r on another. I b i d . , p. 15. 28-phe pol y p h o n i c novel has m u l t i p l e n a r r a t i v e v o i c e s and i s a open t e x t . The work of M. M. Bakhtin and V. N . Voloshinov analyze the " d i a l o g i c " q u a l i t y of the v o i c e i n pol y p h o n i c t e x t . Ann Shukman, ed., Bakhtin School Papers (Oxford: Holdan Books, 1983). 2 ^ A l s o d e r i v e d from Bakhtin and Vo l o s h i n o v , the term "monologic" ( m o n o l o q i c h e s k i i ) i s d e f i n e d as the opp o s i t e of d i a l o g i c and i s n e g a t i v e l y valued because the t e x t i s c l o s e d , completed, and t h e r e f o r e not open to response. I b i d , 3°Nina Fo n o r o f f and L i s a C a r t w r i g h t , " N a r r a t i v e i s N a r r a t i v e : So What i s New?", H e r e s i e s 16, v o l . 4, no. 4 (1983), pp. 52-4. 20 CHAPTER II AVANT-GARDE FILM: THE MODERNIST CONTEXT The t h r u s t of modernism i s "the d r i v e to g i v e works of a r t the i n t e g r i t y of o b j e c t s , and to l i b e r a t e them from the burden of human mimesis." Ortega y Gasset L i t e r a r y and a r t i s t i c modernism was born of the profound changes i n E i g h t e e n t h - and Nineteenth-Century l i b e r a l thought. T h i s context of European c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l l i f e informed the d i v e r s e movements of modernism and the s t r a t e g i c e v o l u t i o n of the v a r i o u s avant-gardes. The modernists' break with n e o - c l a s s i c a l , r e a l i s t , and n a t u r a l i s t a e s t h e t i c s i s a product of a p e r i o d which saw an unprecedented e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l c r i t i q u e . Modernist p a i n t i n g p l a y e d an important r o l e i n the a e s t h e t i c d i s c o u r s e of avant-garde cin6ma and, c o n v e r s e l y , the advent of mechanical r e p r o d u c t i o n a l s o r e v o l u t i o n i z e d the codes and conventions i n the p i c t o r i a l a r t s . The t u r n of the cent u r y , t h e r e f o r e , r a i s e d s e r i o u s q u e s t i o n s r e g a r d i n g the f u n c t i o n of a r t i n the age of mechanical mass r e p r o d u c t i o n . T h i s h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t s e t the stage f o r the modern/post-modern i s s u e w i t h n a r r a t i v e today. Modernism: The H i s t o r i c a l Context The two major s o c i a l f o r c e s t h a t p r e c i p i t a t e d the s h i f t from one problem paradigm to the other were the dual 21 r e v o l u t i o n s — t h e i n d u s t r i a l r e v o l u t i o n i n England and the p o l i t i c a l r e v o l u t i o n i n France. The profound impact of i n d u s t r y and democracy produced r a d i c a l changes i n c o n s c i o u s n e s s , which i n t u r n were r e f l e c t e d i n the a r t s . With the i n v e n t i o n of the steam engine and the development of modern c i t i e s , man f e l t a ble to master the n a t u r a l environment f o r the f i r s t time. Along with the p o p u l a t i o n s h i f t from country to c i t y , however, came unforeseen s o c i a l consequences such as the sense of a l i e n a t i o n i n the impersonal atmosphere of the c i t y and f a c t o r y work. As man became separated from the support of small communities and c o n t a c t w i t h the n a t u r a l t e m p o r a l i t y of farm l i f e , he f e l t an i n c r e a s e d sense of a n x i e t y and fragmentation. In t h i s new age, man a l s o f e l t unable t o c o n t r o l the dehumanizing e f f e c t s of the technology which he had invented because the c e n t r a l focus of h i s world seemed to s h i f t from man to machine. P a r a d o x i c a l l y , as s o c i e t y appeared more r a t i o n a l , u t i l i t a r i a n , d emocratic, and the sense of u n l i m i t e d p rogress and m a t e r i a l wealth was f e l t by some, the sense of homelessness and a l i e n a t i o n i n t e n s i f i e d f o r many. Thus the b u r e a u c r a t i c and impersonal mass s o c i e t y of the g a s l i g h t c i t i e s produced the extreme p o l a r i t i e s between harsh f a c t o r y worker slums on the one hand and the decadence of the e l i t e i n d u s t r i a l i s t ' s suburbs on the other. These were the c o n d i t i o n s t h a t gave r i s e t o the p o l i t i c s of c l a s s c o n s c i o u s n e s s . Man's predetermined, c o s m o l o g i c a l p o s i t i o n a l s o changed s i g n i f i c a n t l y with the d e c l i n e of the t r a d i t i o n a l a u t h o r i t y of s t a t e and church d u r i n g the t r a n s i t i o n from a b s o l u t i s t t o democratic e r a s . T h i s d e c e n t e r i n g of world view and d e c l i n e i n r e l i g i o u s and p o l i t i c a l f a i t h s i g n a l l e d an end to a b s o l u t e f i e l d s of thought. New e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l q u e s t i o n s were r a i s e d about the nature of the knowledge t h a t had been the b a s i s of p o l i t i c a l d i s c o u r s e . Then, because those questions r a d i c a l l y undermined a l l p r e v i o u s e p i s t e m i c premises, p o l i t i c a l t h i n k e r s came to q u e s t i o n the l e g i t i m a c y of the powerful, to pe n e t r a t e the facades of the powerful e l i t e s . P o l i t i c a l t h i n k e r s such as S o r e l explored the "myths,"ipareto the " d e r i v a t i o n s , " 2 a n d Mosca the " p o l i t i c a l f ormulas," 3which the r a t i o n a l i z e r s and a p o l o g i s t s f o r the powerful had promulgated. One r e s u l t of t h i s e p i s t e m i c and p h i l o s o p h i c a l q u e s t i o n i n g i n the a r t s was the modernist c r i t i q u e of language, r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , and meaning p r e v i o u s l y accepted i n the p r o d u c t i o n of t e x t s and images. In p h i l o s o p h i c a l terms, Clement Greenberg e x p l a i n s i n h i s a r t i c l e on modernist p a i n t i n g that the imminent s e l f - c r i t i c a l tendency of modernism was i n f l u e n c e d by Kant, but he d i s t i n g u i s h e s t h a t : The s e l f - c r i t i c i s m of modernism grows out of but i s not the same t h i n g as the c r i t i c i s m of the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment c r i t i c i z e d from the o u t s i d e , the way c r i t i c i s m i n i t s accepted sense does: modernism c r i t i c i z e d from i n s i d e through the procedures themselves of t h a t which i s being c r i t i c i z e d . . . . r e a l i s t i c , n a t u r a l i s t i c a r t had dissembled the medium, using a r t to co n c e a l a r t ; modernism used a r t to c a l l .attention to a r t . 23 A e s t h e t i c modernism f i r s t began to develop i n P a r i s as an i c o n o c l a s t i c r e j e c t i o n of the academic t r a d i t i o n of p a i n t i n g a s s o c i a t e d v i t h Bourbon a b s o l u t i s m i n France. The p a i n t e r Jacques L o u i s David e x e m p l i f i e d t h i s estrangement from the Royal Academy of P a i n t i n g and S c u l p t u r e although h i s p a i n t i n g was very much i n f l u e n c e d by c l a s s i c a l a e s t h e t i c s . Peter Wollen notes t h a t c l a s s i c a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n a l codes "always p o s i t e d an e s s e n t i a l u n i t y and coherence to every work, which p e r m i t t e d a uniform and e xhaustive decoding. I f 5 Modernism decentered the u n i t y of meaning and t h e r e f o r e t h i s fragmentation caused a r t to become e x t r a - r e f e r e n t i a l . As Wollen e x p l a i n e d , modernist a r t became c e n t r i f u g a l (throwing the reader out of the work to other works) r a t h e r than c e n t r i p e d a l (held together by the work's own c e n t e r ) . T h i s s h i f t i n reader and s u b j e c t p o s i t i o n i n g i s important to note because of the change i n t r a d i t i o n a l a u t h o r i t y . F o u c a u l t analyzed the h i e r a r c h i c a l p o s i t i o n i n g of the s u b j e c t , e s t a b l i s h e d through the codes of p e r s p e c t i v e , i n c l a s s i c a l p a i n t i n g such as i n the Velasquez Las Meninas. A t r i a d i c system of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s i s e s t a b l i s h e d through the power of the gaze i n t h i s p a i n t i n g . F o u c a u l t saw i n the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the s p e c t a t i n g s u b j e c t , the o s t e n s i b l e s u b j e c t and model (the Spanish monarchy on whom the p a i n t e r ' s gaze i s f i x e d ) t h a t : . . . the p a i n t e r ' s s o v e r e i g n gaze commands a v i r t u a l t r i a n g l e whose o u t l i n e d e f i n e s t h i s p i c t u r e of a p i c t u r e : at the t o p — t h e only v i s i b l e c o r n e r — t h e p a i n t e r ' s eyes; at one of the base angles, the i n v i s i b l e p l a c e occupied by the model; at the other 24 base angle, the f i g u r e probably sketched out on the i n v i s i b l e s u r f a c e of the canvas. As soon as they place the s p e c t a t o r i n the f i e l d of t h e i r gaze, the p a i n t e r ' s eyes s e i z e h o l d of him, f o r c e him to enter the p i c t u r e , a s s i g n him a p l a c e at once p r i v i l e g e d and i n e s c a p a b l e , l e v y t h e i r luminous and v i s i b l e t r i b u t e from him, and p r o j e c t i t upon the i n a c c e s s i b l e s u r f a c e of the canvas w i t h i n the p i c t u r e . He sees h i s i n v i s i b i l i t y made v i s i b l e t o the p a i n t e r and transposed i n t o an image f o r e v e r i n v i s i b l e t o h i m s e l f . The p a i n t e r s such as Courbet, Manet, Degas and others who succeeded David, e x e m p l i f i e d t h i s modernist r e j e c t i o n of the v i s u a l codes p e r s p e c t i v e d e f i n i t i v e l y e s t a b l i s h e d d u r i n g the Renaissance. There was a c l e a r departure from Nineteenth-Century r e a l i s m d u r i n g the e a r l y decades of the T h i r d Republic i n the p a i n t i n g of the i m p r e s s i o n i s t s and then l a t e r with the c u b i s t , e x p r e s s i o n i s t , and s u r r e a l i s t movements. The i n f l u e n c e of Japanese composition and p l a n a r p e r s p e c t i v e on the p a i n t e r s i n these movements r e f l e c t e d the b a s i c c r i t i q u e of a Western e p i s t e m i c cosmology. Malcom Le G r i c e a s t u t e l y connected the d e c l i n e i n r e l i g i o u s f a i t h with the development of s c i e n c e through h i s deduction t h a t : The Nineteenth Century saw the d e c l i n e of a r e l i g i o u s view of the world, with i t s b a s i s i n f a i t h and u n d e r l y i n g q u i e t r e p l a c e d by a s c i e n t i f i c m a t e r i a l i s m , with i t s b a s i s i n o b s e r v a t i o n , experiment and t e c h n o l o g i c a l d e t e r m i n a t i o n . Photography was a r e s u l t of t h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l t r a n s i t i o n , and, as an o b s e r v a t i o n a l instrument, s t i l l s i g n i f i c a n t l y a i d s s c i e n t i f i c r e s e a r c h . 7 The t e c h n o l o g i c a l development of cinematography and s c i e n t i f i c m a t e r i a l i s m i n the a r t s d u r i n g the cinema's e a r l y decades combined w e l l . Impressionism was born, f o r example, from a p o s i t i v i s t d e s i r e to s c i e n t i f i c a l l y capture and a c c u r a t e l y r e c o r d the e f f e c t s of i n s t a n c e s of l i g h t on c o l o r and hue i n the n a t u r a l environment. The a e s t h e t i c i n f l u e n c e of photography was c o n s i d e r a b l e s i n c e i t c o n t r i b u t e d to the "snapshot"** q u a l i t y of impressionism. Chronophotography a l s o p r o v i d e d the image base f o r p a i n t i n g s such as M a r c e l Duchamp's B r i d e Descending the S t a i r c a s e (1911) and Giacomo B a l l a ' s Dog On A Leash (1912). In h i s book A b s t r a c t F i l m And Beyond, Le G r i c e a l s o notes t h a t i m p r e s s i o n i s t p a i n t e r s such as Monet produced works which were " i n t r i n s i c a l l y more 'cinematic' than anything which was achieved i n cinema as s u c h . " 9 Of i n t e r e s t i s the manner i n which a r t i s t s working i n a v a r i e t y of media were i n f l u e n c e d by one another. The advent of photography d i s p l a c e d the p a i n t e r ' s r o l e i n mimetic r e p r o d u c t i o n and t h i s i n i t i a t e d an a e s t h e t i c d i s c o u r s e among p a i n t e r s , the d i s c o u r s e c u l m i n a t i n g i n the c u b i s t a e s t h e t i c a s s e r t i o n of the f l a t canvas s u r f a c e . T h i s s e l f - r e f l e x i v e concern with the f l a t aspect of the p a i n t e d s u r f a c e i s a l s o f e a t u r e d i n the a b s t r a c t e x p r e s s i o n i s t p a i n t i n g of Jackson P o l l o c k and the work of m i n i m a l i s t p a i n t e r s such as Don Judd and Robert M o r r i s . Then, as each of the a r t s began to examine the processes and e f f e c t s unique to each r e s p e c t i v e medium, Greenberg a l s o shows how the modernist methodology, as e x e m p l i f i e d by K a n t i a n s e l f - c r i t i c i s m , was f u l l y expressed i n s c i e n c e r a t h e r than p h i l o s o p h y : 26 That v i s u a l a r t should c o n f i n e i t s e l f e x c l u s i v e l y to what i s given i n v i s u a l experience, i s a n o t i o n whose only j u s t i f i c a t i o n l i e s i n s c i e n t i f i c c o n s i s t e n c y . S c i e n t i f i c method alone asks, or might ask, that a s i t u a t i o n be r e s o l v e d i n e x a c t l y the same terms as that i n which i t i s presented. The r a d i c a l s h i f t i n consciousness d u r i n g the l a t e n i n e t e e n t h - and e a r l y t w e n t i e t h century i s manifest i n the a e s t h e t i c form of modernist a r t i n a number of s p e c i f i c ways. The f i r s t f e a t u r e of modernism i s m a n i f e s t through the a e s t h e t i c of s e l f - c o n s c i o u s n e s s or s e l f - r e f l e x i v e n e s s . M odernists draw a t t e n t i o n to the media and m a t e r i a l s with which they work. Thus the very processes of c r e a t i o n and c r a f t are foregrounded. In avant-garde cin§"ma, t h i s i s c l e a r l y seen i n George Landow's F i l m i n Which There Appears Sprocket Holes, Edge L e t t e r i n g , D i r t P a r t i c l e s , E t c . (1966). The a l t e r e d temporal s t r u c t u r e s of modern a r t and l i t e r a t u r e e x e m p l i f i e d the second f e a t u r e of modernism. The new temporal approaches were p r e c i p i t a t e d by a r a d i c a l l y transformed modernist context t h a t a l t e r e d the p s y c h o l o g i c a l e x p e r i e n c e of time. The i m p r e s s i o n i s t ' s emphasis on the temporal moment i n a d d i t i o n t o the advent of the cinema f u r t h e r c o n t r i b u t e d to t h i s new p e r c e p t i o n of time. Henri Bergson's p h i l o s o p h y and h i s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of time was very i n f l u e n t i a l because he thought t h a t time was a t r u l y c r e a t i v e f o r c e , which was animated with the s p i r i t u a l content of the p r e s e n t . In the l i t e r a t u r e of t h i s p e r i o d , t e m p o r a l i t y was based on the e x p e r i e n c e of s i m u l t a n e i t y , j u x t a p o s i t i o n , and montage. For example, symb o l i s t p o e t r y and the l i t e r a t u r e of Joyce and Proust r e p r e s e n t t h i s temporal experience i n c o n t r a s t to the l i n e a r o r d e r i n g of n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e and s e q u e n t i a l p r e s e n t a t i o n of events common to the n i n e t e e n t h century r e a l i s t n o v e l . T h e r e f o r e avant-garde f i l m s such as A l a i n Resnais's L 1Annee Derniere a Marienbad (1961) or S t r a u b / H u i l l e t ' s Not R e c o n c i l e d (1965) broke •with the l i n e a r o r d e r i n g of n a r r a t i v e . The t h i r d f e a t u r e of modernism i s the c u l t i v a t i o n of paradox and ambiguity as a r e s u l t of the p r e v i o u s l y d i s c u s s e d d e c l i n e i n t r a d i t i o n a l a u t h o r i t y . For example, the d i a l o g i c novel of modern l i t e r a t u r e r e p l a c e s the p r e v i o u s monologic n o v e l . The monologic novel f e a t u r e s an omniscient n a r r a t o r , v h i l e the d i a l o g i c novel e i t h e r e x e m p l i f i e s a l i m i t e d and f a l l i b l e p e r s p e c t i v e or p r o v i d e s a number of p e r s p e c t i v e s f o r one event. Three avant-garde f i l m s which f e a t u r e m u l t i p l e p e r s p e c t i v e s are Maya Daren's Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), Oshima's Death by Hanging (1968), and L o u i s Bunuel's Un Chien Andalou (1928). These f i l m s a l s o r e f l e c t e d N i e t z s c h e ' s and Freud's s i g n i f i c a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n s to the development of modernist c u l t u r e . T h e i r r e s e a r c h and c r i t i c a l thought began to e x p l a i n how the unconscious d r i v e s of man are o f t e n the m o t i v a t i o n a l b a s i s f o r an i n d i v i d u a l ' s , as w e l l as a c i v i l i z a t i o n ' s , r e a l human a t t i t u d e s and a c t i o n s . Freud, a r a t i o n a l i s t i n the age of i r r a t i o n a l i s m , f e l t t h a t unconscious d r i v e s c o u l d be c a n a l i z e d by the c o n s c i o u s i n t e l l e c t and t h a t t h i s was the r e a l hope f o r mankind. N i e t z s c h e , on the other 28 hand, e x e m p l i f i e d the pessimism of h i s age. The n o t i o n of a f i x e d v iewpoint was not p o s s i b l e i n t h a t g e n e r a l atmosphere of c r i s i s , economic i n s t a b i l i t y , pessimism, d e c l i n e i n r e l i g i o u s and p o l i t i c a l f a i t h , and e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l c r i t i q u e . Thus r e f l e c t e d i n the artworks of a more complex and enigmatic c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t , these elements f i n a l l y c o n t r i b u t e d to the f o u r t h f e a t u r e of modernism, the movement away from the d e p i c t i o n of the i n t e g r a t e d s u b j e c t . The h i g h l y developed p e r s o n a l i t y or c h a r a c t e r i n the n o v e l , f o r example, gave way to a stream of consciousness or the d e p i c t i o n of the s u b j e c t as a p s y c h i c b a t t l e f i e l d . T h i s was represented i n p a i n t i n g by the fragmentation or complete a b s t r a c t i o n of the f i g u r e . Weimar e x p r e s s i o n i s t cinema f e a t u r e d a fragmentation of the s u b j e c t i n f i l m s l i k e The Cabinet of Dr. C a l i q a r i and M e t r o p o l i s . In an atomized, a l i e n a t e d mass s o c i e t y , the demise of i n d i v i d u a l i t y and the l o s s of b e l i e f i n p o s i t i v i s t progress was p i c t u r e d v i v i d l y i n these f i l m s . The l o s s of f a i t h i n t e c h n o l o g i c a l progress was r e f l e c t e d i n f i l m s such as M e t r o p o l i s , where machines are a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the dehumanization of man. The l o s s of i n d i v i d u a l i t y i s a l s o seen i n the l i t e r a r y and h i s t o r i c a l antecedents of t h i s f i l m . Works such as V i l l i e r s de l ' l s l e Adam Hadaly's L'eve f u t u r e (1886) and J u l i e n O f f r a y de l a M e t t r i e ' s L'homme machine (1748), are examples of t h i s motif of man and machine. The r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the r o b o t - a n d r o i d was d e s c r i b e d by Andreas Huyssen i n t h i s manner: The an d r o i d i s no l o n g e r seen as testimony to the genius of mechanical i n v e n t i o n ; i t r a t h e r becomes a nightmare, a t h r e a t to human l i f e . In the machine- man w r i t e r s begin to d i s c o v e r h o r r i f y i n g t r a i t s which resemble those of r e a l people. T h e i r theme i s not so much the m e c h a n i c a l l y c o n s t r u c t e d automaton i t s e l f , but r a t h e r the t h r e a t i t poses to l i v e human b e i n g s . I t i s not hard to see t h a t t h i s l i t e r a r y phenomenon r e f l e c t s the i n c r e a s i n g t e c h n o l o g i z a t i b n of human nature and the human body which reached a new stage i n the e a r l y 19th c e n t u r y . 1 1 Contemporary a r t i s t s d e a l w i t h man's dehumanization i n an i r o n i c manner as does Andy Warhol when he says "I want to be a m a c h i n e . " 1 2 T h i s statement i s r e l a t e d to the h i s t o r i c a l a v a n t - g a r d i s t e c r i t i c i s m of the i n s t i t u t i o n of a r t and the n o t i o n of the a r t i s t as genius who c r e a t e s an o r i g i n a l and s i n g u l a r work of a r t . The Avant-Garde and Modernism T h i s h i s t o r i c a l and a e s t h e t i c c o n t e x t u a l i z a t i o n of modernism shows how the a r t s were i n f l u e n c e d by the s o c i a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l c o n t e x t and i n d i c a t e s how the v a r i o u s avant-garde movements have been i m p l i c a t e d i n the development of modernism. But the two terms modernism and avant-garde should not be c o n f l a t e d . The meaning of the term avant-garde has been i m p l i c a t e d i n , yet i s d i s t i n c t from, the term modernism i n a number of s i g n i f i c a n t ways. 30 T r a d i t i o n a l l y , the avant-garde has s i g n i f i e d a p o s i t i o n of a r t i s t i c and s o c i a l r a d i c a l i s m by s m a l l , p r o g r e s s i v e groups a g a i n s t a b s o l u t i s t and bourgeois a u t h o r i t y . The avant-garde h e l d t h i s a u t h o r i t y r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the s o c i a l i n j u s t i c e s c r e a t e d by c l a s s d i f f e r e n c e s t h a t r e s u l t i n the l i m i t a t i o n of the s o c i a l development of i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t s and workers; t h e r e f o r e the c u l t u r a l h i s t o r i a n Donald Egbert says t h a t the response of the avant-garde has been: . . . to express i n some way outrage at the " r u l e s " imposed by a u t h o r i t y , whether the r u l e s of the academic t r a d i t i o n i n a r t developed under a b s o l u t i s m and taken over by a P h i l i s t i n e b o u r g e o i s i e or the r u l e s determining the economic development of s o c i e t y under the c o n t r o l of bourgeois c a p i t a l i s m s i n c e the I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n . 1 ^ The i n t e l l e c t u a l h e i r of Rousseau and the enlightenment, Henri De S a i n t Simon (1760-1825), was the f i r s t to use the term "avant-garde." Simon was a Utopian s o c i a l i s t and the product of p o s i t i v i s t thought; thus he b e l i e v e d that mankind would ev o l v e through the development of s c i e n t i f i c p r o g r e s s . His thoughts r e g a r d i n g the avant-garde were rooted i n these i d e a l s when he f i r s t wrote: I t i s we, a r t i s t s , who w i l l serve you as avant-garde: the power of the a r t s i s i n f a c t most immediate and most r a p i d : when we wish to spread new ideas among men, we i n s c r i b e them on marble or on canvas; . . . and i n t h a t way above a l l we exert an e l e c t r i c and v i c t o r i o u s i n f l u e n c e . We address o u r s e l v e s to the i m a g i n a t i o n and to the sentiments of mankind; we should t h e r e f o r e always e x e r c i s e the l i v e l i e s t and most d e c i s i v e a c t i o n ; and i f today our r o l e appears n i l or at l e a s t very secondary, what i s l a c k i n g t o the a r t s i s t h a t which i s e s s e n t i a l to t h e i r energy and to t h e i r success, namely, a common d r i v e and a g e n e r a l i d e a l . 1 4 . The term avant-garde, from the m i l i t a r y genesis of the 15 word f o r the vangard of an army, has been c r i t i c i z e d by many h i s t o r i a n s because the m i l i t a r y i n t e r p r e t a t i o n has no h i s t o r i c a l r e l e v a n c e t o the f i n e a r t s . T h e r e f o r e the term should be understood i n the metaphoric sense r a t h e r than the l i t e r a l . Furthermore, with r e s p e c t to the f i l m i c avant-gardes, Janet Bergstrom c h a r a c t e r i z e d these a r t i s t i c movements as 16 1*7 "apart from" r a t h e r than "ahead o f " 1 ' t h e t r a d i t i o n of commercial cinema. N e v e r t h e l e s s , the term avant-garde has p r i m a r i l y r e f e r r e d to new ideas and works t h a t are temporally and i n t e l l e c t u a l l y ahead of t h e i r time. Matei C a l i n e s c u notes t h a t t h e r e are b a s i c a l l y two etymologic c o n d i t i o n s fundamental to the meaningful e x i s t e n c e of a s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , or c u l t u r a l avant-garde. C a l i n e s c u e x p l a i n e d t h a t they are: . . . o n e — t h e p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t i t s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s be conceived o f , or con c e i v e themselves as being i n advance of t h e i r time . . . and t w o — t h e idea t h a t there i s a b i t t e r s t r u g g l e to be fought a g a i n s t an enemy s y m b o l i z i n g the f o r c e s of s t a g n a t i o n , the tyranny of the p a s t , the o l d forms and ways of t h i n k i n g t h a t t r a d i t i o n imposes on us l i k e f e t t e r s to keep us from moving forward. In Theory of the Avant-Garde, Peter Burger pointed out t h a t the a c t u a l h i s t o r i c a l p r e c o n d i t i o n f o r the avant-garde took p l a c e at the beginning of our century when the " h i s t o r i c a l " 1 9 o r " c l a s s i c a l " 2 1 a v a n t - g a r d e , the European avant-garde movements of dadaism, s u r r e a l i s m , and f u t u r i s m i n the 1920s, c r i t i c i z e d the autonomous p o s i t i o n of a e s t h e t i c i s m . Burger e x p l a i n e d why a r t i s t s f e l t a sense of a r t i s t i c i n c o n s e q u e n t i a l i t y : 32 A e s t h e t i c i s m ' s i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of a r t i s t i c autonomy and i t s e f f e c t on the f o u n d a t i o n of a s p e c i a l realm c a l l e d a e s t h e t i c experience permitted the avant-garde to c l e a r l y r e c o g n i z e the s o c i a l i n c o n s e q u e n t i a l i t y of autonomous a r t and, as the l o g i c a l consequence of t h i s r e c o g n i t i o n , to attempt to l e a d a r t back i n t o s o c i a l p r a x i s . 2 1 Burger notes t h a t at the p o i n t where a r t i s t s began to comprehend the s o c i a l s t a t u s of a r t i n i n d u s t r i a l bourgeois s o c i e t y , the avant-garde s t a r t e d q u e s t i o n i n g the nature of the i n s t i t u t i o n s which mediated t h e i r work. The h i s t o r i c a l meaning of the term avant-garde, then, i m p l i e s an a r t i s t i c and s o c i a l l y r a d i c a l p o s i t i o n , w h i le the term modernism does not n e c e s s a r i l y imply t h i s . Burger compared, f o r example, the c o n s e r v a t i v e modernist Thomas Mann and the c l a s s i c a l a v a n t - g a r d i s t e , Andre Breton. T h e i r a e s t h e t i c i d e o l o g i e s are d i f f e r e n t because Breton wanted to merge a r t and l i f e by l i b e r a t i n g the unconcious from s o c i a l r e p r e s s i o n - o p r e s s i o n , w h i l e Mann was not i n t e r e s t e d i n s o c i a l change. To understand why the avant-garde has developed t h i s antagonism towards s o c i a l and a r t i s t i c t r a d i t i o n (or as i n the dada performances towards the p u b l i c a l s o ) , one must r e f e r t o the economic c o n t e x t . In Renato P o g g i o l i ' s book The Theory of the Avant-Garde, the avant-garde i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d i n terms such as " a c t i v i s m / ' 2 2 and "antagonism," 2 - but t h e r e i s no e x p l a n a t i o n of what c r e a t e d those a t t i t u d e s . For i n s t a n c e , i f one examines the p r o f e s s i o n a l p o s i t i o n of the a r t i s t i n the l a t e n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , one sees a s i g n i f i c a n t change a f t e r the d e c l i n e of patronage and the r i s e of the market system. The s i t u a t i o n developed where a r t i s t s were f o r c e d to compete i n an u n s t a b l e marketplace. They f e l t a l i e n a t e d from the uneducated and i n d i f f e r e n t m i d d l e - c l a s s p u b l i c on whom they depended f o r t h e i r l i v e l i h o o d . T h i s e n f o r c e d dependence on an o f t e n P h i l i s t i n e and c r a s s p u b l i c a l i e n a t e d the a r t i s t from the s o c i a l e s t a b l i s h m e n t . I t i s understandable why avant-garde a r t c h a l l e n g e d and q u e s t i o n e d the i n s t i t u t i o n s which mediated a r t because i t was r e c o g n i z e d t h a t the market undermined that quest f o r a e s t h e t i c and s o c i a l t r u t h . Andre Breton a l s o a s s e r t e d t h a t the quest f o r a r t i s t i c and s o c i a l t r u t h could not be subsumed to p a r t i s a n p o l i t i c s or o v e r t propaganda as was suggested by the "Aragon Af f a i r . " 24<rheref ore , while bourgeois l i b e r a l i s m and c a p i t a l i s m d i d p r o v i d e the c o n d i t i o n s which brought the avant-garde i n t o e x i s t e n c e (the a r t i s t i s t h e o r e t i c a l l y " f r e e " 2 $ t o express him or h e r s e l f r a t h e r than r e p r e s e n t i n g the i n t e r e s t s of c o u r t l y n o b i l i t y or the c h u r c h ) , a g r e a t e r r e l i a n c e on the marketplace r e s u l t s i n a p r o s c r i b e d freedom t h a t o v e r - s t r e s s e s o r i g i n a l i t y and i n n o v a t i o n . T h i s i n t u r n has c r e a t e d a s i t u a t i o n where the new and o r i g i n a l ideas produced by the avant-garde are co-opted i n t o the marketplace f o r c o r p o r a t e g a i n , y e t a r t i s t s are s t i l l m a r g i n a l i z e d . While European a r t i s t s d e a l t w i t h the o b j e c t i v e s u p p r e s s i o n of t h e i r freedom of e x p r e s s i o n by the documented 34 h i s t o r i c a l a d j u d i c a t i o n of a e s t h e t i c q u e s t i o n s by the s t a t e (e.g., by Goebbels i n Germany or Zhdanov i n R u s s i a ) , a r t i s t s i n the West deal v i t h hidden c o n s t r a i n t s on t h e i r c r e a t i v e freedom. Reac t i o n a r y a t t i t u d e s , l i k e the above, r a i s e the important d i s t i n c t i o n s between a p r o g r e s s i v e and a r e a c t i o n a r y view of a r t . The p r o g r e s s i v e a t t i t u d e towards a r t e x e m p l i f i e s a r e a d i n e s s to r e v i s e and q u e s t i o n s the premises f o r judgments, while the r e a c t i o n a r y a t t i t u d e complacently c o n s i d e r s i t s e l f n a t u r a l l y and e v e r l a s t i n g l y r i g h t . One of the f u n c t i o n s of the avant-garde i s d i d a c t i c , i n the best e d u c a t i o n a l sense, i n order to perhaps change the r e a c t i o n a r y ' s complacent a t t i t u d e . Hans Enzensberger d e s c r i b e d how the r e a c t i o n a r y expects the a r t s to supply " l i f e l i k e r e a l i s m " 2 6 a n c j "all-embracing p o s i t i v i s m " 2 7 a n ( 3 "to f a s h i o n man's f u t u r e from within."28 These e x p e c t a t i o n s , he says, are bound up i n the d e s i r e to c o d i f y r e a l i t y and c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e n o t i o n s of s o c i a l h e a l t h and s i c k n e s s . T h e r e f o r e the r e a c t i o n a r y a t t i t u d e i s a u t h o r i t a r i a n i n nature because he says: . . . "From t h a t t h e r e f o l l o w s " — v e r b a t i m ! — "such a h e i g h t e n i n g of the watchtower" t h a t i t can no longer be doubted what s o r t of s t r a i t j a c k e t the watchman intends f o r the a r t s ; the avant-garde, whatever t h a t term means to him i s "decadent," "perverse," " c y n i c a l , " " n i h i l i s t i c , " and " s i c k l y . " T h i s vocabulary w i l l be w e l l remembered from the V o l k i s c h e Beobachter and t h a t the s t a t e of mind i t expresses has not d i e d i n our land i s demonstrated by every second glance i n t o the newspapers. . .29 35 C r i t i c s such as Enzensberger have a l s o concluded t h a t the avant-garde has been reduced to mere market r e s e a r c h f o r c o r p o r a t e g a i n . T h e r e f o r e i t i s v o r t h p u r s u i n g t h i s r e c o g n i t i o n of the economic hard f a c t s and the artwork's r e l a t i o n s h i p to the marketplace. In h i s a r t i c l e , The A p o r i a s of the Avant-Garde, Enzensberger c o g e n t l y argues: I t thus e n t e r s i n t o a s t a t e of c o m p e t i t i o n not o n l y w i t h other merchandise but a l s o w i t h every other work of a r t . The h i s t o r i c c o n t e s t f o r f u t u r e r e c o g n i t i o n becomes a c o m p e t i t i o n f o r present purchase. The mechanics of the market i m i t a t e s the devouring course of h i s t o r y on a s m a l l e r s c a l e : i t i s geared to a r a p i d t u rnover i n accord with the scant b r e a t h and crude eye of planned economy. The a n t i c i p a t o r y moment of a r t i s c u t down to a mere s p e c u l a t i o n ; i t s f u t u r e i s c h a r t e d l i k e t h a t of s t o c k s and shares. H i s t o r i c movement i s observed, comprehended, and d i s c o u n t e d — a market t r e n d upon whose c o r r e c t p r e d i c t i o n economic success depends.30 F r e d r i c Jameson a l s o c r i t i c i z e s the " a e s t h e t i c of n o v e l t y " - 3 1 because he says i t i s the "dominant c r i t i c a l and formal i d e o l o g y " 3 2 w h i c h must then "seek d e s p e r a t e l y to renew i t s e l f by ever more r a p i d r o t a t i o n of i t s own axis."33 T h i s u n s t a b l e context of a r t i s t i c p r o d u c t i o n and the p r o b l e m a t i c i s s u e s of formal ontology c o n s t i t u t e the " c r i s i s of modernism."3 4 The avant-garde was i m p l i c a t e d i n the modernist h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t even w h i l e the avant-garde c r i t i c i z e d the i n s t i t u t i o n s of a r t and s u c c e s s f u l l y c h a l l e n g e d many pr e c o n c e p t i o n s about a r t . The h i s t o r i c a l avant-garde i s d i s t i n g u i s h e d from modernism by an attempt to l e a d a r t back i n t o s o c i a l p r a x i s . The avant-garde c h a l l e n g e s the n o t i o n of the a r t i s t as genius and the a e s t h e t i c i s t e f f o r t t o develop an autonomous form of a r t . 36 N e v e r t h e l e s s , because a r t i s t i c energy i s co-opted by the c u l t u r e i n d u s t r y , c u l t u r a l c r i t i c s are prompted to conclude t h a t the avant-garde has been reduced to another form of " a f f i r m a t i v e c u l t u r e . " 3 5 T h i s term was o r i g i n a l l y used by Herbert Marcuse to d e s c r i b e c u l t u r a l a r t i f a c t s t h a t a f f i r m e x i s t i n g s o c i a l r e a l i t i e s where i n e q u i t y and human s u f f e r i n g s t i l l abound, whereas the avant-garde was t r a d i t i o n a l l y / i n A l e x Comfort's words, a "v o i c e f o r the v o i c e l e s s v i c t i m s . " 3 ^ A f f i r m a t i v e c u l t u r e prematurely r e s o l v e s c o n f l i c t through c a t h a r t i c c l o s u r e . What are the i d e o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of p r o v i d i n g l i m i t e d o p t i o n s and c h o i c e s to c h a r a c t e r f a t e ? Brecht s a i d i t produces a p o l i t i c a l acquiescence. A f f i r m a t i v e c u l t u r e does not promote c r i t i c a l thought, nor does i t , i n Benjamin's words, "brush h i s t o r y a g a i n s t the g r a i n . " 3 7 The Avant-Garde: E l i t e , Mass, or Popular C u l t u r e To examine the r e l a t i o n between a r t and p o l i t i c a l economy, we must f i r s t d e f i n e our terms. The h i s t o r i c a l meanings of the terms "popular" or " f o l k " c u l t u r e are o f t e n confused with the N i n e t e e n t h - and Twentieth-Century phenomenon "mass c u l t u r e ; " t h e r e f o r e c o n s i d e r the s p e c i f i c c o n d i t i o n s t h a t r e l a t e to the a l t e r n a t i v e , a r t i s a n a l f i l m p r a c t i c e i n the context of modern mass r e p r o d u c t i o n . Popular C u l t u r e E s s e n t i a l l y popular c u l t u r e r e f e r s to a system of shared v a l u e s and meanings which are common to a m a j o r i t y of people i n a given s o c i e t y . These val u e s are made t a n g i b l e through the p r o d u c t i o n of o b j e c t s or performances so that they can be experienced by other members of t h a t s o c i e t y . S c h o l a r s of popular c u l t u r e such as Herder s a i d t h a t the term "popular c u l t u r e " r e f e r s to the n a t u r a l , genuine, and spontaneous concerns of the people, hence the terms " V o l k s g e i s t " ( f o l k s o u l ) and "K u l t u r des Vo l k e s " (popular c u l t u r e ) . He a l s o made the c l e a r d i s t i n c t i o n between popular c u l t u r e and "Kultur der G e l e h r e n " ^ ( c u l t u r e of the educated). From the beginning of c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y , the human s u b j e c t has been at i t s c e n t e r . Evident i n mankind's c u l t u r a l a r t i f a c t s i s the e x p r e s s i o n of an i n d i v i d u a l and c o l l e c t i v e consciousness or " p r e v a i l i n g v a l u e system,"^which u n d e r g r i d s the a r t i f a c t ' s i n n e r meanings. For example, when modern man f i r s t uncovered the w a l l s of A l t a m i r a (1879), the p r i m i t i v e b e l i e f system or the r e l i g i o u s views of p a l e o l i t h i c man were a l s o r e v e a l e d . Those p a i n t e d images of b i s o n s were designed t o capture the beast's s p i r i t , which i n t u r n would ensure the s u r v i v a l of the s p e c i e s through a s u c c e s s f u l hunt. Before the w r i t t e n word was known, Greek bards sang of the accounts of b a t t l e s t o commemorate the s t r u g g l e s of past g e n e r a t i o n s . C l a s s i c a l s c h o l a r s s t a t e , f o r example, t h a t Homer's I l i a d was a combination of f o l k l o r e , legend, and f i c t i o n t h a t was then fused together i n t o u n i f i e d poems. L a t e r the Romans and Venetians (1500-1800) held c a r n i v a l s where p l e b e i a n dramas, the Commedia d e l l ' A r t e , r e p l e t e with stoc k c h a r a c t e r s and coups de t h e a t r e 4 2 ( s e n s a t i o n a l stage e f f e c t s ) , were r e c e i v e d w i t h f a v o r throughout Europe. The s i g n i f i c a n c e of popular c u l t u r e — t h e f o l k e ntertainments, f e s t i v a l s , songs and b a l l a d s , b r o a d s i d e s , and f o l k a r t — w a s d e r i v e d from the l o c a l nuances and a l l u s i o n s which were spoken i n a v e r n a c u l a r . These entertainments o b v i o u s l y appealed t o a peasant working c l a s s because they presented the r e l e v a n t themes and the e s s e n t i a l concerns of the people who produced them. They a l s o r e f l e c t e d the s p i r i t , or Weltanschauung, of t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e times. H i s t o r i c a l l y , popular c u l t u r e has been viewed n e g a t i v e l y because of i t s t r a d i t i o n a l o p p o s i t i o n to h i g h c u l t u r e . Two hundred years ago i t was h a r d l y considered a s e r i o u s s u b j e c t f o r i n v e s t i g a t i o n and only by the seventeenth century d i d the term a c q u i r e l e g i t i m a c y . Popular c u l t u r e was c o n s i d e r e d i n f e r i o r throughout the n i n e t e e n t h century by middle c l a s s i n t e l l e c t u a l s such as Matthew Ar n o l d because i t was not deemed s u f f i c i e n t l y u p l i f t i n g to the bourgeois t a s t e . However people such as Shakespeare and R a b e l a i s managed to " c r o s s over" 4 3between the h i g h c u l t u r a l arenas and the commoners, t h e r e f o r e g i v i n g the common man the experience of s e e i n g the s t r u g g l e of mankind i n a profound yet comprehensible l i g h t . 39 Mass C u l t u r e Mass c u l t u r e i s o f t e n confused with popular c u l t u r e ; however, i t i s an h i s t o r i c a l l y s p e c i f i c and d i s t i n c t phenomena t h a t f i r s t appeared as a product of the n i n e t e e n t h - and e a r l y twentieth cantury I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n . During t h i s p e r i o d , f o l k , c r a f t , and a r t i s a n p r o d u c t i o n was d i s p l a c e d w i t h the advent of mechanized p r o d u c t i o n . T h i s new phenomenon of mass c u l t u r e was a l s o a product of the r e v o l u t i o n i n d i s t r i b u t i o n and marketing. The terms of s u b j e c t i v i t y present i n the p r e v i o u s popular and f o l k c u l t u r e s s h i f t e d as a r e s u l t of the I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n because the c u l t u r a l o b j e c t s produced f o r mass c u l t u r e were not the spontaneous e x p r e s s i o n s , the l i f e e x p e riences or shared i n t e r - s u b j e c t i v i t y of people i n p a r t i c u l a r communities. But r a t h e r , as Raymond W i l l i a m s puts i t i n h i s essay On High and Popular C u l t u r e , a f t e r the I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n " c u l t u r e g r a d u a l l y became something f o r people and not by them." 4 5 Mass c u l t u r e was produced, as a r u l e , not by l o c a l a r t i s a n s , but by businessmen who produced c u l t u r e s t r i c t l y w i t h the p r o f i t motive i n mind r a t h e r than out of the d e s i r e t o address the p a r t i c u l a r needs and i n t e r e s t s of s p e c i f i c c u l t u r a l communities. T h e r e f o r e mass c u l t u r e has posed new problems f o r c u l t u r a l c r i t i c s because the only i n t e r a c t i o n people have with these c u l t u r a l products i s by owning or consuming them. W i l l i a m s c o n s i d e r e d the i m p l i c a t i o n s of a c u l t u r e imposed on people r a t h e r than produced by them. Canada's c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y and s o v e r e i g n t y , f o r example, have concerned prominent Canadians such as P i e r r e Berton and P i e r r e Trudeau. The Canadian i d e n t i t y problem stemmed i n i t i a l l y from the s t r o n g i n f l u e n c e of B r i t i s h C o l o n i a l i s m . In terms of c u l t u r a l i n d u s t r i e s , Canada has not f a r e d v e i l . The Canadian f e a t u r e f i l m i n d u s t r y vas hindered f i r s t by the i m p o s i t i o n of American patent c o n t r o l s . The Canadian government sealed the f a t e of an indigenous f i l m i n d u s t r y when i t signed the The Canadian Cooperation P r o j e c t of 1948. We agreed not to s t i m u l a t e Canadian f e a t u r e f i l m s , as other c o u n t r i e s had done a f t e r the v a r , through laws t h a t would r e s t r i c t the e x p o r t a t i o n of f o r e i g n c u r r e n c y , p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r f i l m r e n t a l s . The advent of t e l e v i s i o n i n the 1950s i l l u s t r a t e d the powerful i n f l u e n c e of American mass c u l t u r e as Canadians came to i d e n t i f y more with American c u l t u r e than with t h e i r own. So w h i l e M a r s h a l l McLuhan e x t o l l e d the v i r t u e s of a g l o b a l v i l l a g e through media messages, some Canadians c o n s i d e r e d the r e p e r c u s s i o n s of mass c u l t u r e i n terms of the development of a 45 Canadian i d e n t i t y . The Winnipeg M a n i f e s t o of 1974 was signed by Canadian filmmakers and i t represented the s p e c i f i c concerns of c u l t u r a l producers to the Canadian p u b l i c . Raymond W i l l i a m s vas a l s o c r i t i c a l of McLuhan's media message theory because: . . . the e s s e n t i a l l y a b s t r a c t m a t e r i a l i s m of i t s s p e c i f i c a t i o n of media, r e s t s on the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y r h e t o r i c a l i s o l a t i o n of "mass communications" from the complex h i s t o r i c a l development of the means of communication as i n t r i n s i c , r e l a t e d and determined p a r t s of the whole h i s t o r i c a l s o c i a l and m a t e r i a l p r o c e s s . 4 ^ Furthermore, v i t h i n Canada i t s e l f the debates on r e g i o n a l i s m v e rsus c e n t r a l i s m have a l s o spurred a c u l t u r a l i n q u i r y i n t o the i s s u e s of c u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n as w e l l . T h i s i s why c u l t u r a l c r i t i c s q u e s t i o n the i m p l i c a t i o n s of mass c u l t u r e i n 47 . . . 48 terms such as " c o l o n i z a t i o n , " - and " c u l t u r a l i m p e r i a l i s m , " and 48 " c e n t r a l i s m . " In a d d i t i o n to the i d e o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y , mass c u l t u r e r a i s e s the i s s u e of s o c i a l hegemony and t h i s i s s u e i s p a r t i c u l a r l y important t o the avant-garde. Many a r t i s t s and c r i t i c s t h i n k t h a t the powerful i n s o c i e t y e s t a b l i s h the v a l u e s , g o a l s , r o l e models, and norms deemed d e s i r a b l e through the m o d a l i t i e s of mass c u l t u r e because — the c u l t u r a l sphere i s where a m a j o r i t y of i n d i v i d u a l s of a l l c l a s s e s and backgrounds are i n t e g r a t e d i n t o the s t a t u s quo. Faced with the problems of u n i v e r s a l s t a n d a r d i z a t i o n and the subsequent normative l e v e l i n g e f f e c t s of mass c u l t u r e , c u l t u r a l c r i t i c s such as T. W. Adorno are concerned that mass c u l t u r e f o s t e r s t o t a l i t a r i a n r a t h e r than independent forms of thought. Leo Lowenthal and Adorno say t h a t even though c u l t u r a l entrepreneurs appear t o g i v e people what they want, they are concerned t h a t t a s t e may be not onl y f ed but bred as w e l l . Leo Lowenthal expressed i t thus when he s a i d t h a t t a s t e may be "fed to the consumer as a s p e c i f i c outgrowth of the t e c h n o l o g i c a l , p o l i t i c a l , and economic c o n d i t i o n s and i n t e r e s t s of the masters i n the sphere of production."^0 Furthermore, t h i s r a i s e s the q u e s t i o n t h a t i f the 42 media manager's va l u e system i s imposed on o r d i n a r y people, do these v a l u e s become second nature or are they c a s t o f f l i g h t l y at w i l l ? The avant-garde has been concerned wi t h the d e c o n s t r u c t i o n of t h i s omnipresent value system and to f i n d the p o s s i b l e p o i n t s of r e s i s t a n c e or l i b e r a t i o n which might be opened up w i t h i n the i n t e r s t i c e s of modern mass c u l t u r e . Now t h a t popular, f o l k , and mass c u l t u r e s have been d e f i n e d i n h i s t o r i c a l terms and the importance of m a i n t a i n i n g and s u p p o r t i n g a l t e r n a t i v e c u l t u r a l forms i n the f a c e of the c u l t u r a l dominance of mass media i s a l s o r e c o g n i z e d , i t i s p o s s i b l e to examine the h i s t o r i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between the t r a d i t i o n a l f i n e a r t s and the mass media as i t s p e c i f i c a l l y r e l a t e s to the new n a r r a t i v e debate. On the Problem of Autonomy versus E f f i c a c y One of the u n d e r l y i n g i s s u e s of the a n t i - n a r r a t i v e / n e w - n a r r a t i v e debate of avant-garde f i l m p r a c t i c e c e n t e r s on the modernist i s s u e s of a r t i s t i c autonomy versus a r t i s t i c e f f i c a c y . Jean-Paul S a r t r e ' s L i t e r a t u r e Engage, f o r example, argues f o r an a r t d i r e c t l y i n v o l v e d w i t h l i f e and t h e r e f o r e one t h a t has a p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e . Some h i s t o r i c a l examples of engaged a r t are David's Oath of the H o r a t i i , G e r i c a u l t ' s R a f t of the Medusa, D e l a c r o i x ' s L i b e r t y Defending the People, and Courbet's The Stone Breakers. On the other hand, c r i i t i c s such as Adorno t h i n k t h a t only autonomous forms a l l o w c r i t i c a l t r u t h 43 to emerge, s i n c e t r u t h and a e s t h e t i c knowledge are compromised by " i n s t r u m e n t a l r e a s o n " 5 1 ( t h e Kantian term here r e f e r s to the c r i t i q u e of i n s t r u m e n t a l u t i l i t a r i a n i s m which permeated v u l g a r Marxism). T h e r e f o r e i t i s important t o d i s c u s s the n o t i o n of autonomy and i t s p r e - h i s t o r y and e v o l u t i o n through the h i s t o r i c a l development of a e s t h e t i c i d e a s . By doing so, i t can be e s t a b l i s h e d t h a t the idea of autonomy i s a h i s t o r i c a l l y s p e c i f i c phenomenon and i t can be seen t h a t the a e s t h e t i c of autonomy developed i n r e l a t i o n t o i s s u e s of a e s t h e t i c e f f i c a c y . Autonomy: P r e - H i s t o r y The Renaissance t r a n s i t i o n from Medieval to Modern times brought with i t a marked change i n the a r t i s t ' s s o c i a l s t a t u s because the Quattrocento and Cinquecento ushered i n a s i g n i f i c a n t s h i f t i n a r t i s t i c patronage, from the p r e v i o u s e c c l e s i a s t i c a l b a s i s to a patronage by a c o u r t l y n o b i l i t y (e.g., the de M e d i c i i n F l o r e n c e ) . During t h i s p e r i o d , the g u i l d t i e s of the past were d i s s o l v i n g under the i n c r e a s e d demand f o r a r t i s t s with experience to execute the important commissions f o r t h i s n o b i l i t y . When a r t i s t s began to work p r i n c i p a l l y f o r the c o u r t s , a r t i s t i c achievement tended to be measured not i n terms of c r a f t as i t had been i n the past but i n p u r e l y i n t e l l e c t u a l terms. The Renaissance i d e a l of an autonomous, v e r s a t i l e , c r e a t i v e i n d i v i d u a l whose i n t e r e s t centered on the nature of e x p e r i e n c e was e s s e n t i a l to the a e s t h e t i c d i s c o u r s e of the p e r i o d (and p a r e n t h e t i c a l l y i s s t i l l p e r t i n e n t to developments i n contemporary f i l m ) . T h i s d e v e l o p i n g sense of a r t i s t i c autonomy i n Renaissance a r t a l s o stemmed from the emphasis on a knowledge of c l a s s i c a l l i t e r a t u r e , which was the mark of the educated. In e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l terms, c r i t i c s such as Raymond W i l l i a m s , Leo Lowenthal, and Peter Burger s a i d a l a y and i n t e r n a t i o n a l sphere of c u l t u r a l knowledge was f o s t e r e d t h a t was independent o f , even i n i m i c a l t o , the church. The emancipation of a r t from the d i r e c t t i e to s a c r a l and e c c l e s i a s t i c a l r i t u a l was a l s o p r e c i p i t a t e d by the r e l a t i o n s h i p t h a t developed between the a r t s and s c i e n c e s d u r i n g the Renaissance. The process of f r e e i n g p e r c e p t i o n p r e v i o u s l y subjected to r i t u a l i s t i c ends allowed a r t i s t s to take more i n t e r e s t i n the techniques of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n and the formal q u a l i t i e s of composition and c o l o r . T h e r e f o r e the concept of a f r e e and autonomous a r t began to f l o u r i s h . Autonomy A e s t h e t i c : A P h i l o s o p h i c a l Concept At the end of the eighteenth century, a f t e r the b o u r g e o i s i e s e i z e d p o l i t i c a l power i n France, a new c o n c e p t i o n of autonomy as a systemic a e s t h e t i c and p h i l o s o p h i c a l d i s c i p l i n e was f u l l y e s t a b l i s h e d . At t h i s p o i n t there was another economic s h i f t i n the a r t market from the o l d commission market of the n o b i l i t y to a new market e s t a b l i s h e d by the appearance of the c o l l e c t o r , who a c q u i r e d s e l e c t e d works of an independent and notable a r t i s t (hence an investment i n the concept of a r t i s t i c g e n i u s ) . The gr a d u a l emancipation of a r t from r i t u a l , from the c o n s t r a i n t s of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , and from the r e p r o d u c t i o n of the i d e o l o g i c a l i n t e r e s t s of the n o b i l i t y allowed f o r the emergence of new forms of p e r c e p t i o n not determined by a means-end r a t i o n a l i t y . V i c t o r Cousin f i r s t used the phrase l ' a r t pour l ' a r t i n h i s l e c t u r e s Le V r a i l e Beau et l e Bien (1818) . 5 2<rhe n o t i o n t h a t the value of a work of a r t would be damaged by s e r v i n g other v a l u e s was a r t i c u l a t e d by T h e o p h i l e G a u t i e r i n h i s p r e f a c e to Madamoiselle Maupin (1835) when he s a i d : " I I n'y a de vraiment beau que ce qui ne peut s e r v i r e a r i e n . " During the nineteenth century a e s t h e t i c i s t movement, the a e s t h e t i c d i s c o u r s e among a r t i s t s e x e m p l i f i e d a d e s i r e to e s t a b l i s h an autonomous concept of a r t as a realm of a c t i v i t y independent of the p r a x i s of everyday l i f e - - independent of an i n s t r u m e n t a l reason motivated by a r a t i o n a l e centered on s t r i c t l y d e f i n a b l e , a d a p t a t i o n a l ends. T h i s c onception of a r t i s t i c autonomy i s l i n k e d to Kant's n o t i o n of d i s i n t e r e s t e d beauty. For Kant, a e s t h e t i c judgment i s d i s i n t e r e s t e d because "the d e l i g h t which determines the judgment of t a s t e i s independent of a l l i n t e r e s t .ant f e l t t h a t a e s t h e t i c judgment should be independent of p r a c t i c a l reason and the r e a l i z a t i o n of moral law. Furthermore, Kant f e l t t h a t t h i s c o n c e p t i o n of a e s t h e t i c s was u n i v e r s a l 46 because he thought t h a t s u b j e c t i v e experience i s f i l t e r e d through the imagin a t i o n and understanding. But t h i s u n i v e r s a l n o t i o n of a e s t h e t i c judgment i s a c o n t e n t i o u s p r o p o s i t i o n f o r some c r i t i c s who r e c o g n i z e that an a e s t h e t i c completely independent of p r a c t i c a l reason r e f l e c t s o n l y a bourgeois v o r l d view and does not n e c e s s a r i l y r e p r e s e n t the views of the other c l a s s e s . Furthermore, the demand t h a t a e s t h e t i c judgment has a u n i v e r s a l v a l i d i t y a c t u a l l y r e p r e s e n t s the h i s t o r i c a l i n t e r e s t s of the b o u r g e o i s i e i n t h e i r s t r u g g l e a g a i n s t the f e u d a l n o b i l i t y . T h i s h i s t o r i c a l d i s c o u r s e continued i n England when W i l l i a m M o r r i s and the a r t s and c r a f t s movement developed an a e s t h e t i c of autonomy. T h i s a e s t h e t i c was f i r s t c r i t i c i z e d by Sainte-Beuve i n 1829 when he r e f e r r e d to i t as the "Ivory Tower."55 The c o n f l i c t caused by the h o r r o r s of the e a r l y f a c t o r i e s during the I n d u s t r i a l R e v o l u t i o n and the C h a r t i s t workers' gr e a t N a t i o n a l P e t i t i o n to B r i t i s h Parliament c e r t a i n l y gave A l f r e d Lord Tennyson's poetry a d i s t i n c t l y r e a c t i o n a r y edge, as he came to f i e r c e l y l o a t h democracy. For example, i n 1842 (the year of the worker's p e t i t i o n ) , Tennyson composed The Palace of A r t . His sentiment t h a t a r t should r e t r e a t from l i f e i s conveyed by h i s d e p i c t i o n of the a r t i s t ' s s o u l . In the poem the a r t i s t ' s s o u l i s c a s t i n a " l o r d l y p l e a s u r e h o u s e " 5 6 o n a "huge c r a g - p l a t f o r m towering above mankind " S p h e r e she laments: 47 0 g o d - l i k e i s o l a t i o n which a r t mine, I can but count thee p e r f e c t g a i n , What time I watch the darkening droves of swine That range on yonder p l a i n . In f i l t h y sloughs they r o l l a p r u r i e n t s k i n , They gaze and wallow, breed and s l e e p ; And o f t some b r a i n l e s s d e v i l e n t e r s i n , And d r i v e s them to the deep. . . 5 8 The d o c t r i n e of a r t f o r a r t ' s sake vas a c t i v e l y debated i n the famous c o n t r o v e r s y betveen W h i s t l e r and Ruskin. Wilde's The P i c t u r e of Dorian Gray (1891) a l s o grappled v i t h these a e s t h e t i c i s s u e s . The French s y m b o l i s t poets B a u d e l a i r e and Mallarme e a r l i e r wanted to f r e e t h e i r p e r c e p t u a l c a p a c i t i e s i n order to emphasize the l o c a t i o n of a e s t h e t i c value i n the realm of non-purposive c r e a t i o n . Yet B a u d e l a i r e did f e e l t h a t an a e s t h e t i c s c h o o l based p u r e l y on l ' a r t pour l ' a r t , and which r u l e d out moral content, was " c h i l d i s h u t o p i a n i s m . " ^ N e v e r t h e l e s s , Kant's argument f o r an autonomous a r t not wholly d i c t a t e d to by m a t e r i a l r e a l i t y or " i n s t r u m e n t a l reason" was w e l l taken. H i s t o r i a n s such as Arn o l d Hauser and Peter Burger r e c o g n i z e t h a t Kant's theory was t h e r e f o r e : . . . conceived as a sphere t h a t does not f a l l under the p r i n c i p l e of the maximization of p r o f i t p r e v a i l i n g i n a l l spheres of l i f e . 1 M o r r i s was s e n s i t i v e t o t h i s dilemma of i n s t r u m e n t a l i t y , which i m p l i e d a r e t r e a t of a r t from l i f e i n the n i n e t e e n t h century when he s a i d : 48 I r e p e a t , t h a t every scrap of genuine a r t w i l l f a l l by the same hands ( i . e . , the hands of those actuated by the greed f o r Commercial P r o f i t ) i f the matter only goes on long enough, although a sham a r t may be l e f t i n i t s p l a c e , by d i l e t t a n t i f i n e gentlemen and l a d i e s without any h e l p from below;. . Burger a l s o noted t h a t f o r S c h i l l e r the p o s i t i v e s o c i a l f u n c t i o n of autonomous a r t i s found p r e c i s e l y i n i t s fundamental p r e m i s e — t h e d i s i n t e r e s t which need not serve immediate ends. T h e r e f o r e the s o c i a l f u n c t i o n of autonomous a r t i s i n d i r e c t because those forms f a c i l i t a t e the e x p r e s s i o n of a e s t h e t i c and s o c i a l t r u t h s which otherwise might be censored. T h i s i s why Adorno thought t h a t t r u t h and a e s t h e t i c knowledge would be compromised by i n s t r u m e n t a l reason. T h i s concept i s a l s o d e r i v e d from Kant's t r a n s c e n d e n t a l p h i l o s o p h y , which e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l l y recognized t h a t the p r e c o n d i t i o n of knowledge i s not merely found w i t h i n the c o n s t r a i n t s of p r a c t i c a l reason and o b j e c t i v e r e a l i t y but i n s u b j e c t i v e knowledge a l s o . W i t h i n the modernist debate between formalism's 1 ' a r t pour l ' a r t and a c o n t e x t u a l i s t 1 s l ' a r t engage, there are works of a r t which combine both a modern formal concern with the c r e a t i o n of an a b s t r a c t language to communicate s i g n i f i c a n t s o c i a l i s s u e s which otherwise might be censored. A case i n p o i n t i s Pablo P i c a s s o ' s Guernica• A r n o l d Hauser i n t e r p r e t s P i c a s s o ' s e c l e c t i c i s m in, p r o g r e s s i v e terms because the work i m p l i c i t l y c r i t i c i z e s the u n i t y of p e r s o n a l i t y and the n o t i o n of the a l i e n a t e d genius thus: 49 P i c a s s o ' s e c l e c t i c i s m s i g n i f i e s the d e l i b e r a t e d e s t r u c t i o n of the u n i t y of the p e r s o n a l i t y ; h i s i m i t a t i o n s are .protests a g a i n s t the c u l t of o r i g i n a l i t y ; h i s deformation of r e a l i t y , which i s always c l o t h i n g i t s e l f i n new forms, i n order to more f o r c i b l y demonstrate t h e i r a r b i t r a r i n e s s , i s intended, above a l l , to c o n f i r m the t h e s i s t h a t "nature and a r t are two e n t i r e l y d i s s i m i l a r phenomena." P i c a s s o t u r n s h i m s e l f i n t o a c o n j u r e r , a j u g g l e r , a p a r o d i s t , out of o p p o s i t i o n to the romantic with h i s " i n n e r v o i c e , " h i s "take i t or l e a v e i t , " s e l f - e s t e e m and s e l f - w o r s h i p . And he disavows not only romanticism, but even the Renaissance, which, w i t h i t s concept of genius and i t s i d e a of the u n i t y of work and s t y l e , a n t i c i p a t e s romanticism to some e x t e n t . He r e p r e s e n t s a complete break w i t h i n d i v i d u a l i s m and s u b j e c t i v i s m , the a b s o l u t e d e n i a l of a r t as the e x p r e s s i o n of an unmistakable p e r s o n a l i t y . His works are notes and commentaries on r e a l i t y ; they make no c l a i m to be regarded as a p i c t u r e of a world and a t o t a l i t y , as a s y n t h e s i s and epitome of e x i s t e n c e . P i c a s s o compromises the a r t i s t i c means of e x p r e s s i o n by h i s i n d i s c r i m i n a t e use of d i f f e r e n t a r t i s t i c s t y l e s j u s t as thoroughly and w i l l f u l l y as do the s u r r e a l i s t s by t h e i r r e n u n c i a t i o n of t r a d i t i o n a l forms .63 A r t Engage Versus Autonomy: H i s t o r i c a l Paradigms An h i s t o r i c a l paradigm, which addressed the autonomy versus e f f i c a c y i s s u e s , was the p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y decade c a l l e d the c l a s s i c a l p e r i o d of Russian c u l t u r a l h i s t o r y . During t h i s p e r i o d t h e r e was a g r e a t f l o u r i s h of a e s t h e t i c debate among f o r m a l i s t and f u t u r i s t a r t i s t s , w r i t e r s , and filmmakers. I t was a r i c h and f e r t i l e p e r i o d d u r i n g which v a r i o u s p r o l e t a r i a n c u l t u r a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s formed the P r o l e t k u l t 1917). They proposed p o l i c i e s to r e t a i n an autonomous r e l a t i o n s h i p between the c u l t u r a l sphere and the s t a t e . The P r o l e t k u l t F i r s t A i l - R u s s i a n Conference65pf 1918 recommended "that the c u l t u r a l movement among the p r o l e t a r i a t should have an independent p l a c e 50 a l o n g s i d e the p o l i t i c a l and economic movement."66 L e n i n opposed t h i s and l a t e r merged the P r o l e t k u l t 6 w i t h the organ of the S o v i e t s t a t e , the Commissariat of Education (NARKOMPROS). Yet the new d i r e c t o r of the Commissariat, A n a t o l y Lunacharsky (1917-29), encouraged experimental modes of p r o d u c t i o n and t h e r e f o r e d i d not pose a g r e a t t h r e a t to the a r t s . However, by the 1930s, the B o l s h e v i k P a r t y o f f i c i a l l y promulgated S o v i e t s o c i a l i s t r e a l i s m . One of the reasons f o r t h i s was i n h e r e n t l y connected to the problems of c u l t u r a l development i n R u s s i a . T h i s acute awareness of the problem of mass i l l i t e r a c y caused L e n i n to t e l l C l a r a Z e t k i n t h a t : . . . i t does not matter what a r t means to some hundreds or even thousands i n a n a t i o n , l i k e our own, of many m i l l i o n s . A r t belongs to the people. I t s r o o t s should p e n e t r a t e deeply i n t o the very t h i c k of the masses of the people. I t should be comprehensible to these masses and loved by them. I t should u n i t e the emotions, the thoughts and the w i l l of these masses and r a i s e them to a h i g h e r l e v e l . I t should awaken a r t i s t s i n these masses and f o s t e r t h e i r development.68 T h i s argument was fundamental to the s o c i a l r e a l i s t a e s t h e t i c p o s i t i o n r e g a r d i n g the a e s t h e t i c i s s u e s of a r t i s t i c autonomy versus engagement wi t h s o c i e t y . The next chapter w i l l examine another h i s t o r i c a l paradigm, the East/West debates, which continued to develop the a e s t h e t i c d i s c o u r s e on the problems of a r t i s t i c autonomy ve r s u s engagement wi t h s o c i e t y . The e a s t e r n debate between B r e t o l t Brecht and Georg Lukacs i s c o n s t i t u t e d by t h e i r opposing c o n c e p t i o n s of the a e s t h e t i c nature of a r t i n r e l a t i o n to the framework of s o c i a l i s t s o c i e t y , while the western debate between 51 Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno i s concerned with the r e l a t i o n s h i p between avant-garde and commercial a r t i n c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y . The spectrum of a e s t h e t i c views to emerge from th e s e debates then became i n c o r p o r a t e d i n the l a t e r d i s c o u r s e s of May 1968. The May 1968 h i s t o r i c a l paradigm i n t u r n has a l s o informed the p r e s e n t contemporary n a r r a t i v e / a n t i - n a r r a t i v e debate. Consequently, these e l l i p t i c a l h i s t o r i c a l paradigms develop an a e s t h e t i c d i s c o u r s e or c o n v e r s a t i o n which i s s t i l l r e l e v a n t t o the debate on n a r r a t i v e today. 52 NOTES TO CHAPTER II iGeorge Lichthem, Europe i n the Twentieth Century (New York: A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1972), pp. 209-20 and 243. 2 I b i d . 3 I b i d . 4Clement Greenberg, "Modernist P a i n t i n g , " A r t s Yearbook 4 (1961): 103. Speter w o l l e n , Signs and Meaning i n the Cinema (Bloomington: Indiana U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1969), p. 162. •^Michel F o u c a u l t , The Order of T h i n g s : An Archaeology of the Human Scie n c e s (New York: Vintage Books, 1970), p. 5. . 7Malcolm Le G r i c e , A b s t r a c t F i l m and Beyond (London: MIT P r e s s , 1977) , p. 7. 8 I b i d . , p. 103. 9 I b i d . , p. 104. 1 0 C l e m e n t Greenberg, "Modernist P a i n t i n g , " A r t s Yearbook 4 (1961): 9. 1 1 A n d r e a s Huyssen, "The Vamp and the Machine: Technology and S e x u a l i t y i n F r i t z Lang's M e t r o p o l i s , " New German C r i t i g u e 24-5 ( F a l l / W i n t e r 1981-2): 225. 1 2 W a r h o l has made t h i s statement i n a number of p u b l i c i n t e r v i e w s and t h i s idea i s connected to h i s s i l k s c reen "machine a e s t h e t i c . " 1 3 D o n a l d Drew Egbert, S o c i a l R a d i c a l i s m and The A r t s (New York: A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1970), p. 741. 1 4 I b i d . , p. 121. 53 1 5 i j n e Oxford E n g l i s h D i c t i o n a r y d e f i n e s "vanguard" as "the foremost p a r t of an army or f l e e t advancing" and t h i s vas the l i t e r a l meaning. In 1831 C a r l y l e f i r s t used the term "vanguard" w i t h r e f e r e n c e t o the Oxford d e f i n i t i o n of the word "van" t o t r a n s l a t e the French word "avant-garde," which Saint-Simon had used f i g u r a t i v e l y t o d e s c r i b e the r o l e of the a r t i s t as the s o c i a l vanguard. But Simon and C a r l y l e d i f f e r e d i n t h e i r s o c i a l views because the neo- p l a t o n i s t C a r l y l e b e l i e v e d t h a t l i f e and h i s t o r y are s u p e r i o r to a r t . H is Tory b e l i e f i n the Great Chain of Being where "a man has h i s s u p e r i o r s , a r e g u l a r h i e r a r c h y above him: extending up . . .to Heaven I t s e l f . . Thomas C a r l y l e , C r i t i c a l and M i s c e l l a n e o u s Essays 5 v o l s . (London: Chapman and H a l l , 1899) , p. 189. i G j a n e t Bergstrom and Constance Penley, "The Avant-Garde H i s t o r i e s and T h e o r i e s , " Screen, v o l . 19, no. 3 (Autumm 1978): 123. 1 7 I b i d . , p. 123. 1 8 M a t e i C a l i n e s c u , "Avant-Garde, Neo-Avant-Garde, Postmodernism: The C u l t u r e of C r i s i s , " C l i o v o l . IV, no. I l l (1975): 19. 1 9 P e t e r Burger, Theory of the Avant-garde ( M i n n e a p o l i s : U n i v e r s i t y of Minnesota Press, 1974), p. 67. 2 0 I b i d . 2 1 I b i d . , p. 51 . 2 2 R e n a t o P o g g i o l i , The Theory of the Avant-Garde (London: Harvard U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1962), p. 30. 2 3 I b i d . o 2 4 M a l c o l m Haslam, The Real World of the S u r r e a l i s t s (New York: G a l l e y P r e s s , 1978), pp. 205-6 . 2 5 I n a democracy one does not have t o abide by the a e s t h e t i c d i c t a t e s of the s t a t e . 26 Hans Magnus Ensensberger, "The Aporia s of the Avant-Garde," Raids and R e c o n s t r u c t i o n s : Essays i n P o l i t i c s , Crime and C u l t u r e (London: P l u t o Press, 1970), p. 23. I b i d . 2 8 I b i d . , p. 25. 2 9 I b i d . , p. 20. 54 3 0 I b i d . 3 1 F r e d r i c Jameson, "The Ideology of the Text," Salmagundi 31/32 (1975-6): 240. 3 2 I b i d . 3 3 I b i d . 3 4 I b i d . 3 5 H e r b e r t Marcuse, Negations: Essays i n C r i t i c a l Theory (Boston: 1970), p. 95; see a l s o Eros and C i v i l i z a t i o n (Boston: Beacon P r e s s , 1955), v h i c h focuses on an a n a l y s i s of the s o c i a l psychology of a f f i r m a t i v e c u l t u r e . 3 ^ A l e x Comfort, A r t and S o c i a l R e s p o n s i b i l i t y (London: Fal c o n P r e s s , 1946), p. 16. 3 7 W a l t e r Benjamin, "Thesis on the Philosophy of H i s t o r y " I l l u m i n a t i o n s , ed. Hannah Arendt (New York: Schocken Books, 1969), p. 257. 3 8 V o l k s g e i s t means " f o l k s o u l . " 3 9 K u l t u r e des Volkes i s the German term f o r popular c u l t u r e . 4 0 K u l t u r e der Gelehren r e f e r s to the c u l t u r e of the educated. ^ P r e v a i l i n g v alue system, or i d e o l o g y . 4 2 T h e French term f o r s e n s a t i o n a l stage e f f e c t s . 4 3 T h i s t r a n g r e s s i o n of c u l t u r a l arenas i s the model f o r the a p p r o p r i a t i o n a l a e s t h e t i c approach. 4 4Raymond W i l l i a m s , "On High and Popular C u l t u r e , " New R e p u b l i c , v o l . 171, no. 21 (November 23, 1974): 15. 4 5 K i r w a n Cox, "Hollywood's Empire i n Canada," S e l f P o r t r a i t s (Canada: Mutual P r e s s , 1978), p. 38 46Raymond W i l l i a m s , Problems i n M a t e r i a l i s m and C u l t u r e (London: Verso Press, 1980), p. 52. 55 ^^These terms r e f e r t o the p r o d u c t i o n and d i s s e m i n a t i o n of c u l t u r e . 4 8 i b i d . 49l-bid. 5 0 L e o Lowenthal, L i t e r a t u r e , Popular C u l t u r e , and S o c i e t y (New J e r s e y : P r e n t i c e H a l l , 1961), p. 12. S l T h i s usage r e f e r s t o the M a r x i s t a e s t h e t i c framework. 52in t r a n s l a t i o n t h i s means, the t r u e , the b e a u t i f u l and the good. 53ln t r a n s l a t i o n t h i s statement says, "The t h i n g s that are r e a l l y b e a u t i f u l are u s e l e s s . " T h e o p h i l e G a u t i e r , Madamoiselle Maupin ( P a r i s : B i b l i o t h e q u e C a r p e n t i r e , 1907), p. 22, o r i g i n a l l y p u b l i s h e d i n 1835. S^immanuel Kant, The C r i t i q u e of Judgement, t r a n s . James Creed "Meredith (Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1957), p.42, o r i g i n a l l y p u b l i s h e d i n 1790. S^Saint-Beuve w a s a p a r t of the famous l i t e r a r y and a r t i s t i c Ce^nacle, which was connected to V i c t o r Hugo. Romantic p a i n t e r s such as D e l a c r o i x , A l f r e d De Vigny and David d 1Angers were a s s o c i a t e d with t h i s Cenacle. 5 6A. M. D. Hughes, Tennyson, Poems P u b l i s h e d i n 1842 (Oxford: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1914), p. 13. 5 7 I b i d . 5 8 I b i d . S^idem, note, 63. &°Idem, note, 66. G l p e t e r Burger, Theory of the Avant-Garde (M i n n e a p o l i s : U n i v e r s i t y o f Minnesota P r e s s , 1974), p. 42. 6 2 W i l l i a m M o r r i s , The A r t of t h e People (Nonesuch Pr e s s , 1942), p. 527. ^ A r n o l d Hauser, The S o c i a l H i s t o r y of A r t , v o l . 4 (New York: Vintage Books, n.d.), p. 234. 56 b 4 T h e P r o l e t k u l t , an amalgamation of v a r i o u s p r o l e t a r i a n c u l t u r a l o r g a n i z a t i o n s , was founded i n 1917. A year l a t e r the P r o l e t k u l t F i r s t A l l - R u s s i a n Conference was h e l d during which they proposed t h a t the c u l t u r a l spheres remain independent of the p o l i t i c a l and economic sphere and that the p r o l e t a r i a t develop new c u l t u r a l forms which d i f f e r from the bourgeois c u l t u r e of the p a s t . L e n i n opposed these motions. In 1920 the P r o l e t k u l t e s t a b l i s h e d the A l l - U n i o n A s s o c i a t i o n of P r o l e t a r i a n W r i t e r s (VAPP), which was l a t e r r e o r g a n i s e d as RAPP (Russian A s s o c i a t i o n of P r o l e t a r i a n W r i t e r s ) . T h i s new group then s t r i c t l y upheld the " c o r r e c t p a r t y l i n e . " 6 5 I b i d . 6 6 I b i d . 6 7 I b i d . 6 8 V l a d i m i r L e n i n , L e n i n and the C u l t u r a l R e v o l u t i o n (Hassock: Carmen Claudin-Urondo, Harvester P r e s s , 1977), pp. 60-1. 57 CHAPTER I I I ART ENGAGE VERSUS AUTONOMY: HISTORICAL PARADIGM Once the l i f e of the mind renounces duty and l i b e r t y of i t s own pure o b j e c t i f i c a t i o n , i t has ab d i c a t e d . T. W. Adorno The East/West debates of the 1930s r e p r e s e n t an important h i s t o r i c a l paradigm, which d e l i n e a t e s the i s s u e s of a r t i s t i c engagement versus autonomy i n r e l a t i o n to s u b j e c t p o s i t i o n i n g . The f o u r w r i t e r s i n v o l v e d a r e : the Hungarian c u l t u r a l c r i t i c Georg Lukacs ( " r e a l i s m " ) 1 and the dra m a t i s t B e r t o l t Brecht ("popular r e a l i s m " ) , 2 r e p r e s e n t i n g the e a s t e r n debate on one hand, and the F r a n k f u r t School a e s t h e t i c p h i l o s o p h e r s Walter 3 Benjamin ("popular realism/modernism") and T. W. Adorno 4 ("modernism/formalism"), r e p r e s e n t i n g the western debate on the ot h e r . A l l four w r i t e r s f u r t h e r r e p r e s e n t an i n t e l l e c t u a l f i e l d of p o s s i b i l i t y t h a t expands the parameters of the form/content aspect of t h i s d i s c u s s i o n . In a d d i t i o n , F r a n k f u r t School " c r i t i c a l t h e o r y " 5 analyzes the p o s i t i o n of the author-producer and the " s u b j e c t " ^ as producer i n terms of the a p p r o p r i a t i o n a l and o p p o s i t i o n a l a e s t h e t i c s t r a t e g i e s . F i n a l l y , c r i t i c a l t heory u t i l i z e s M a r x i s t d i a l e t i c a l thought as a c r i t i c a l methodology r a t h e r than as a cosmology. The i n t e l l e c t u a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s of these w r i t e r s should be c l a r i f i e d i n order to understand why t h e i r d i s c o u r s e s are c a l l e d the "East/West" 7 debates. By 1938, Adorno had f l e d Nazi Germany 58 and moved t o Nev York C i t y , where he was working with the " I n s t i t u t e f o r S o c i a l R e s e a r c h . " 8 At the same time, Lukacs was o f f i c i a l l y i n s t a l l e d i n the USSR as C u l t u r a l Commmissar. Meanwhile, both Benjamin and Brecht were i n e x i l e i n France and Denmark r e s p e c t i v e l y . The s t r o n g i n t e l l e c t u a l bond between Brecht and Benjamin was based on f r i e n d s h i p , while t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p s t o Adorno and Lukacs were i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y mediated. The e a s t e r n debate between B e r t o l t Brecht and Georg Lukacs i n v o l v e d t h e i r opposing c o n c e p t i o n s of the a e s t h e t i c nature of a r t i n r e l a t i o n to the f a b r i c of s o c i a l i s t s o c i e t y , w h i le the western debate between Walter Benjamin and Theodor Adorno was concerned with the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the avant-garde and commercial a r t i n a c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t y . Lukacs and Adorno r e p r e s e n t e d each end of the a e s t h e t i c spectrum and t h e i r d i f f e r e n c e s have been c o n t r a s t e d i n t h i s way. Lukacs's a e s t h e t i c p o s i t i o n was e s s e n t i a l l y A r i s t o t e l i a n and produced a p e t r i f a c t i o n of the s u b j e c t by h e r / h i s " c a t h a r t i c " 9 p o s i t i o n i n g , while Adorno, at the other extreme of p r a x i s , p rovided a sound i n t e l l e c t u a l argument but h i s extreme pessimism p o t e n t i a l l y l e d t o a p a r a l y s i s of p r o d u c t i o n . In terms of s i g n i f i c a n t c u l t u r a l change, Adorno's p o s i t i o n i s untenable i n p r a c t i c e i f avant-garde f i l m i s t o r a i s e the l e v e l of c u l t u r a l l i t e r a c y and reduce the h i e r a r c h i c a l d i f f e r e n c e between author/producer and s u b j e c t . B r echt and Benjamin's o b j e c t i v e was p r e c i s e l y t h i s : to develop an informed, s t i m u l a t i n g , and c r i t i c a l c u l t u r a l environment. In the debates on the problem of s u b j e c t i v i t y , Adorno was working w i t h i n a Kan t i a n p h i l o s o p h i c a l framework when he made r e f e r e n c e t o the s u b j e c t / o b j e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p . The Kantian view p o s i t e d t h a t the s u b j e c t , i n d i v i d u a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s , i s d i a l e c t i c a l l y r e l a t e d t o the o b j e c t , s p e c i f i c phenomena of e x p e r i e n c e . T h i s i s d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from the H e g e l i a n framework, which Lukacs, Brecht, and Benjamin a l l shared. The H e g e l i a n view p o s i t e d t h a t the s u b j e c t , c l a s s conciousness, i s d i a l e c t i c a l l y r e l a t e d to the o b j e c t , s o c i o - h i s t o r i c a l t o t a l i t y . Lukacs at one end of the spectrum was an o p t i m i s t because he s t i l l maintained f a i t h i n a p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y n o t i o n of p r o l e t a r i a n c l a s s c o n s c i o u s n e s s . Meanwhile Adorno took an extremely dim view of the p o t e n t i a l emancipation and e d i f i c a t i o n of mass consciousness and t h e r e f o r e had no f a i t h i n the n o t i o n of an Heg e l i a n s u b j e c t c o n s c i o u s n e s s . During the course of the debates, Adorno was very c r i t i c a l of Benjamin because he accepted Brecht's H e g e l i a n p e r s p e c t i v e . There was an a f f i n i t y i n terms of h i s t o r i c a l i m a g i n a t i o n between Brecht and Benjamin, because t h e i r sense of pessimism was shaped by the h i s t o r i c a l knowledge of c u l t u r a l barbarism and p a r t i c u l a r l y by the development of Fascism i n Germany. But t h e i r s was a "Pessimism of the I n t e l l e c t , Optimism of W i l l . " 1 0 B r e c h t and Benjamin's a e s t h e t i c views are c o n s i d e r e d v i t a l today because t h e i r arguments p r o v i d e o p t i o n s while r e c o g n i z i n g the s i t u a t i o n a l l i m i t a t i o n s of a mass c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t . 60 Lukacs Lukacs's H i s t o r y and C l a s s Consciousness (1923) deals v i t h the concept of " r e i f i c a t i o n , n 1 1 t h e impoverishment of the i n n e r l i f e , and the meaning of a e s t h e t i c forms and ideas through the f e t i s h i z a t i o n of commodities. T h i s impoverishment i s s i m i l a r t o the way k i t s c h a r t empties the o r i g i n a l a e s t h e t i c import and meaning of c u l t u r a l a r t i f a c t s . Lukacs became an i n f l u e n t i a l c r i t i c among German l i t e r a r y c i r c l e s a f t e r he l e f t h i s p o l i t i c a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s i n the Hungarian Communist P a r t y . H i s a e s t h e t i c views were p u b l i s h e d i n the p a r t y p e r i o d i c a l L i n k s c u r v e and gained c o n s i d e r a b l e a t t e n t i o n because of h i s b i t i n g c r i t i c i s m of W i l l i B r e d e l , a worker n o v e l i s t , and E r n s t O t t w a l t , a c l o s e f r i e n d and a s s o c i a t e of B r e c h t . In 1938, Lukacs was appointed C u l t u r a l Commissar i n the USSR. He then had t o r e c o n c i l e h i s M a r x i s t p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i s m to a s p e c i f i c a l l y p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y c o n t e x t — o n e which proclaimed a premature r e s o l u t i o n t o p r o l e t a r i a n a l i e n a t i o n from p o l i t i c a l d i s c o u r s e . T h i s i s why he was pressured both i n t o r e c a n t i n g h i s i d e a s about the development of a c l a s s consciousness and a c c e p t i n g the r e a l i t y of p a r t y c o n t r o l . He had to address the R u s s i a n c u l t u r a l context where mass i l l i t e r a c y was a problem; t h e r e f o r e , he accepted the pragmatic need f o r the s o - c a l l e d " c o r r e c t " 1 2 p a r t y a e s t h e t i c p o l i c y . The s o c i a l - r e a l i s t , a e s t h e t i c p a r t y l i n e profoundly a f f e c t e d a r t i s t i c p r o d u c t i o n i n the most adverse ways and hindered c u l t u r a l development. For i n s t a n c e , the purges of the 1930s caused the 61 v i c t i m i z a t i o n of Mayokofsky and other a r t i s t s . C u l t u r a l p r o d u c t i o n i n Russia a f t e r t h i s p o i n t became exceedingly p e d a n t i c ; however, a f t e r the Nazis s e i z e d power i n Germany, L e n i n i n s i s t e d t h a t the F a s c i s t t h r e a t r e q u i r e d "the a c t i v e engagement of the t o t a l p e r s o n a l i t y , " 1 3 a n d t h i s c e r t a i n l y i n f l u e n c e d Lukac's c o n s e r v a t i v e p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n . But h i s e q u a l l y c o n s e r v a t i v e a e s t h e t i c p o s i t i o n was not d i r e c t l y l i n k e d to h i s p o l i t i c a l p o s i t i o n . Rather i t was i n h e r i t e d from a bourgeois background, which c u l t i v a t e d an e a r l y a p p r e c i a t i o n of C l a s s i c i s m and nineteenth century humanist, h i g h c u l t u r e . Lukacs thought that modernism represented the u l t i m a t e decay of the harmonious t o t a l i t y embodied i n the c l a s s i c a l Greek Weltanschauung. His c a u s t i c c r i t i c i s m at t h i s time e x e m p l i f i e d a l i m i t e d , r e t a r d a t a i r e a e s t h e t i c , which was perhaps a p p l i c a b l e to the n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , but was not a p p l i c a b l e to the t w e n t i e t h . Lukacs c r i t i c i z e d Brecht h a r s h l y f o r e i t h e r e x e m p l i f y i n g n a t u r a l i s t t r a i t s through techniques of j o u r n a l i s t i c reportage or accused him of formalism because of h i s a n t i - A r i s t o t e l i a n a e s t h e t i c , the n o n - c l a s s i c a l r e n d i t i o n of c h a r a c t e r . Lukacs's c r i t i q u e of Brecht was r e l a t e d to h i s d i s l i k e of expressionism, o u t l i n e d i n Lukacs's Grosse und V e r f a l l des Expressionismus (1934). Brecht was i n f l u e n c e d by e x p r e s s i o n i s m when he began h i s c a r e e r i n the e a r l y 1920s; t h e r e f o r e Lukacs attacked Brecht f o r h i s r e t r o s p e c t i v e a r t i s t i c development. Lukacs's E r z a b l e n oder Beschreiben? (1936) o u t l i n e s the main p r i n c i p l e s 62 of h i s d o c t r i n e of l i t e r a r y r e a l i s m . Here he r e i t e r a t e s h i s c r i t i q u e of n a t u r a l i s m , suggests t h a t the t y p i c a l c h a r a c t e r should be the nexus of the s o c i e t y and i n d i v i d u a l , and r e j e c t s both e x t e r n a l reportage and i n t e r n a l psychologism. He t h e r e f o r e a l s o d i s t i n g u i s h e s between p a s s i v e d e s c r i p t i o n and a c t i v e n a r r a t i o n . Lukacs thought t h a t the " c r i t i c a l r e a l i s m " 1 4 o f t r a d i t i o n a l bourgeois c u l t u r e was j u s t i f i a b l e because i t d e p i c t e d the world i n the process of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and the way i n which d i f f e r e n t groups i n s o c i e t y responded to those changes. He r e i t e r a t e d h i s p r a i s e of the Greek c l a s s i c a l models and the bourgeois c r i t i c a l r e a l i s t novels of B a l z a c and T o l s t o y , while he p i l l o r i e d the modernists, who contravened the r e g u l a t i v e norms of c l a s s i c l i t e r a r y canon. Lukacs d i f f e r e n t i a t e d between " c r i t i c a l realism"V^and " s o c i a l r e a l i s m , " ^ b e c a u s e " s o c i a l r e a l i s m " 1 7 i m p l i c i t l y c o n f r o n t e d s o c i e t y from an i n t e r n a l i z e d , s o c i a l i s t p e r s p e c t i v e . O f f i c i a l l y , s o c i a l i s t r e a l i s m was d e f i n e d as: . . . a r t i s t i c method whose b a s i c p r i n c i p l e i s the t r u t h f u l , h i s t o r i c a l l y concrete d e p i c t i o n of r e a l i t y i n i t s r e v o l u t i o n a r y development, and whose most important task i s the Communist education of the m a s s e s . 1 8 Lukacs c r i t i c i z e d , as much as p o s s i b l e , the b u r e a u c r a t i c narrowness and dogmatism of S t a l i n ' s c u l t u r a l p o l i c i e s . In t h i s r e s p e c t the more l i b e r a l i z e d c u l t u r a l p o l i c i e s of Lukacs and Lunacharsky are c o n t r a s t e d to those of Shumayatsky, Yezhov, and Zhadanov. The l a t t e r t r i e d i n f a c t to d e s t r o y a l l the v e s t i g e s of the avant-garde c i n e m a t i c h e r i t a g e by t h r e a t e n i n g a r t i s t s w i t h p r i s o n or death. 63 Lukacs's C l a s s i c i s m versus Brecht's A n t i - A r i s t o t e l i a n View Lukacs owed h i s c o n c e p t i o n of the dramatic hero to Hegel and conceived of the p r o t a g o n i s t as the exponent of w i l l who f a c e s a c o n f l i c t between two mutually e x c l u s i v e e t h i c a l demands. Here l i f e ' s p o t e n t i a l i t y r e v e a l s i t s e l f i n the act of c h o i c e as the hero i n s t a n t i a t e s h i s w i l l and s o l e aim a g a i n s t a l l o b s t a c l e s . T h i s i s h i s f a t e , g l o r y , and t r a g i c end, depending on the p o t e n t i a l i t y i n q u e s t i o n . Lukacs s a i d these p o t e n t i a l i t i e s are represented by " o b j e c t i v i t y i n n a r r a t i v e " 1 9 and not i n " e x p r e s s i o n i s t schematism" 2 0or " s u b j e c t i v i t y . " 2 1 The surrender to s u b j e c t i v i t y and to the d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of the p e r s o n a l i t y a l s o r e p r e s e n t s the d i s i n t e g r a t i o n ' of the d i a l e c t i c a l u n i t y of the i n d i v i d u a l i n a c o n t r a d i c t o r y r e a l i t y . When examining L u k a c s 1 s and Brecht's argument over the " s u b j e c t ' s " p o s s e s s i o n / d i s p o s s e s s i o n of " t r u t h " i n the f i c t i o n a l mode versus the s e l f - r e f l e x i v e f i c t i o n a l mode, c o n s i d e r the c r u c i a l q u e s t i o n of c a t h a r s i s and f a t e . Lukacs's view of the s u b j e c t i s t h a t through c a t h a r s i s s/he f e e l s : A sorrow, and even a s o r t of shame, at never having p e r c e i v e d i n r e a l i t y , i n h i s own l i f e , something which i s given so " n a t u r a l l y " i n the work. I t i s not necessary to go i n t o d e t a i l how an i n i t i a l f e t i s h i z i n g c o n s i d e r a t i o n , i t s d e s t r u c t i o n by an u n f e t i s h i z e d image i n a work of a r t , and the a u t o - c r i t i c i s m of s u b j e c t i v i t y are c o n t a i n e d i n t h i s s e t t i n g up of a c o n t r a s t of t h i s p e r t u r b a t i o n . R i l k e g i v e s a p o e t i c d e s c r i p t i o n of a n c i e n t A p o l l o . The poem culminates e x a c t l y i n the l i n e with our d i s c u s s i o n with an appeal by the s t a t u e to the person contemplating i t : "you must change your l i f e " ? 2 B r e c h t , thought t h a t Lukacs was m i s s i n g (or perhaps could not make) the p o i n t . Brecht makes r e f e r e n c e to the E l e v e n t h T h e s i s on Feuerbach to p o i n t out t h a t one should not simply "change one's l i f e , but attempt to change the w o r l d " 2 3 a i s o . p o r B r e c h t , the f a l l a c y of c a t h a r t i c theory i s the t o t a l i z i n g attempt to e s s e n t i a l i z e the s u b j e c t i v i t y of humanity through a c o n f l i c t i n the hero's c o n s c i o u s n e s s . B r e c h t i a n theory suggests t h a t c a t h a r s i s r e s u l t s i n a s e p a r a t i o n (which i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t from d i s t a n c i a t i o n ) and an a b s o l u t i o n from human s u f f e r i n g . Brecht's e p i c t h e a t r e t h e r e f o r e owed more to t h a t p e r i o d of Greek tragedy which concluded i n the " r a t i o n a l i s t " 2 4 d r a m a of E u r i p i d e s , than to A r i s t o t e l i a n drama. Benjamin d e s c r i b e d Brecht as a S o c r a t i c d r a m a t i s t because h i s p l a y s f e a t u r e d a d i s p a s s i o n a t e , P l a t o n i c hero who i s l i k e n e d to an "empty stage on which the c o n t r a d i c t i o n s of our s o c i e t y are acted out."25 The c o n t r a d i c t o r y nature of t h i s c h a r a c t e r a l s o embodied the B r e c h t i a n p r i n c i p l e s of Verfemdunq26(alienation) and montage. Br e c h t ' s p l a y P u n t i l i a , f o r i n s t a n c e , has Herr P u n t i l l a exchange r o l e s to become a p l i a n t , i n f i n i t e l y c o n s e n t i n g , and adaptable c h a r a c t e r . In h i s essay Lessons from Brecht, Stephen Heath e x p l a i n s the B r e c h t i a n (and P l a t o n i c ) c r i t i q u e of A r i s t o t e l i a n tragedy thus: In tragedy, t h a t i s , s u f f e r i n g i s e s s e n t i a l i z e d and so, as i t were, redeemed, the s p e c t a t o r absolved i n the l a y i n g bare of an a b s o l u t e p a t t e r n of meaning, s e p a r a t i o n , i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , the p i t y and f e a r of c a t h a r s i s . 2 7 Brecht thought t h i s e s s e n t i a l i z a t i o n i m p l i e d a f a t a l i s m about the human c o n d i t i o n — " t h i s i s how i t i s " — which n a t u r a l l y leads to a p a s s i v i t y , acceptance, and thus a p e t r i f a c t i o n of the s u b j e c t . I f one examines the a e s t h e t i c debate between Lukacs and Brecht, the crux of t h e i r d i f f e r i n g d e f i n i t i o n s of " r e a l i s m " c e n t e r s on the i s s u e of the p o s i t i o n i n g of the s u b j e c t . The s t r i c t formal codes of Lukacs's nineteenth c e n t u r y , r e a l i s t , l i t e r a r y a e s t h e t i c s i t u a t e d the s u b j e c t i n a h i e r a r c h i c a l manner through the use of c a t h a r s i s and f a t e . Here the a e s t h e t i c i m p l i c a t i o n s of "mimesis"^ ( i n cinema " d i e g e s i s " J 2 9 c o n t r i b u t e to t h i s h i e r a r c h i c a l p o s i t i o n i n g of the s u b j e c t (Hegelian and K a n t i a n ) . I f we d e s c r i b e t h i s i n s e m i o t i c terms of the two components of the s i g n , the " s i g n i f ier'^° d i r e c t s the s u b j e c t to the t h i n g ' s i g n i f i e d ' 3 1 i n an unquestioned manner. In cinema, the o n t o l o g i c a l q u a l i t y of photographic r e a l i s m r e a d i l y secures the "suspension of d i s b e l i e f . " In the dominant n a r r a t i v e f i l m form, the screen i s a "window on the world" 3 3 r a t h e r than "a [frame] through which the world i s seen." 34 Brecht Brecht o b j e c t e d to the a e s t h e t i c and p o l i t i c a l consequences of Lukacs's h o s t i l i t y t o a l l forms of modernism and the a f f i n i t y f o r bourgeois r e a l i s m . In a c o n v e r s a t i o n w i t h Walter Benjamin, Brecht complained b i t t e r l y about the profound consequences of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p to the Russian 66 l i t e r a r y p o l i c y of Lukacs, Gabor, and K u r e l l a . Benjamin responded to him by s a y i n g , "These people j u s t a r en't anything to v r i t e home about ( l i t e r a l l y : w i t h these people you can't make a s t a t e B r e c h t r e p l i e d : Or r a t h e r , a S t a t e i s a l l you can make w i t h them, but not a community. They are, to put i t b l u n t l y , enemies of p r o d u c t i o n . P r o d u c t i o n makes them uncomfortable. You never know where you are w i t h p r o d u c t i o n ; p r o d u c t i o n i s the u n f o r e s e e a b l e . You never know what i s going t o come out. And they themselves don't want to produce. They want to p l a y a p p a r a t i c h i k and e x e r c i s e c o n t r o l over other people. Every one of t h e i r c r i t i c i s m s c o n t a i n s a t h r e a t . ° Brecht fought a g a i n s t the dogmatic demand f o r "human i n t e r e s t " 3 ? r o m the extreme r i g h t and the l e f t . In the e a r l y 1930s, dur i n g the p e r i o d of Fascism i n Germany, he was a t a r g e t f o r s t a t e c o n t r o l and c e n s o r s h i p . When he wrote about the "three-penny l a w s u i t , " 3 8 a n d h i s adamant o p p o s i t i o n to the moribund p o s i t i o n of the s u b j e c t as p r e s c r i b e d by f a t e , he p o i n t e d out: I t i s they who want to see the element of " f a t e " emphasized i n a l l d e a l i n g s between people. Fate which used [once] to be among the great concepts, has long s i n c e become a v u l g a r one, where the d e s i r e d " t r a n s f i g u r a t i o n " and " i l l u m i n a t i o n " are achieved by r e c o n c i l i n g o n e s e l f t o circumstances and a p u r e l y c l a s s warfare one, where one c l a s s f i x e s the f a t e of another. As u s u a l , one metaphysician's demands are not hard t o f u l f i l l . 3 9 Yet f o r Brecht they were hard to f u l f i l l . During the next year (1931), h i s f i l m Kuhle Wampe was banned by the German censor i n t h a t the s u i c i d e of the young unemployed worker was not d e p i c t e d i n a "humane enough"^manner. Brecht and company s a i d they had "esteem f o r the acute censor"41in t h a t 67 he saw t h e i d e o l o g i c a l a s p e c t of t h e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of s u b j e c t . The c e n s o r e x p l a i n e d t h e d e c i s i o n t o ban i n t h i s way: We l e a r n t o o l i t t l e about him [ t h e w o r k e r ] , but the consequences a r e of a p o l i t i c a l n a t u r e and t h i s f o r c e s me t o p r o t e s t a g a i n s t t h e r e l e a s e of your f i l m . Your f i l m has t h e tendency t o p r e s e n t s u i c i d e as t y p i c a l , as a m a t t e r not of t h i s o r t h a t [ m o r b i d l y i n c l i n e d ! i n d i v i d u a l , but as t h e f a t e o f a whole c l a s s T h i s sense of f a t e s h i f t i n g from i n d i v i d u a l t o c l a s s was i m p o r t a n t because B r e c h t s a i d t h e c e n s o r "had r e a d us a l i t t l e l e c t u r e on r e a l i s m from the s t a n d p o i n t of the 43 p o l i c e . " B r e c h t 1 s p r e d i l e c t i o n f o r the r a t i o n a l was a d i r e c t r e s ponse t o the g r o t e s q u e s t r e s s on t h e i r r a t i o n a l d u r i n g and a f t e r the p e r i o d of H i t l e r ' s a c c e s s i o n . D u r i n g B r e c h t ' s l i f e t i m e i t was (as i n o u r s ) i m p o r t a n t t o u n d e r s t a n d and decode t h e way r e p r e s e n t a t i o n and i d e o l o g y f u n c t i o n i n a s y m b i o t i c manner t o form and de-form c o n s c i o u s n e s s . C e r t a i n l y Goebbels u n d e r s t o o d t h a t e n t e r t a i n m e n t f i l m s were e s s e n t i a l t o a comprehensive i d e o l o g i c a l program because they l u l l e d a u d i e n c e s , gave them a f a l s e sense of s e c u r i t y , and, most i m p o r t a n t l y , brought them back f o r more. I n 1941 Goebbels s a i d , "Even e n t e r t a i n m e n t can from t i m e t o time p e r f o r m t h e f u n c t i o n of e q u i p p i n g a n a t i o n f o r i t s s t r u g g l e f o r e x i s t e n c e . " 4 4 We must t h e r e f o r e weigh c a r e f u l l y B r e c h t ' s s t a t e m e n t i n Das Wort, " C o n s i d e r l i t e r a r y phenomenon as e v e n t s and as s o c i a l e v e n t s . " 4 5 I n o r d e r t o f u l l y comprehend what B r e c h t means, we s h o u l d f i r s t c o n s i d e r the terms " s u b j e c t " and " i d e o l o g y . " C o l i n McCabe 68 noted in Realism and Cinema that the problem with the use of the term "subject" i s that i t i s an i d e o l o g i c a l notion which i s l a r g e l y derived from modern European philosophy. The term "subject" i s often used as a descriptive s c i e n t i f i c concept. McCabe proposed an a h i s t o r i c a l view of ideology because, even though s p e c i f i c ideologies have a history involving both i n t e r n a l and external features, the actual form of ideology i s the same. In reference to Althusser's essay Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses, McCabe explained: Althusser argues that the central and unvarying feature of ideology i s that i t represents the imaginary r e l a t i o n s h i p of individuals to t h e i r r e a l conditions of existence. Ideology i s always "imaginary" because these representations place the subject in position i n his/her society. In other words ideology always has a place for a founding source outside of re a l a r t i c u l a t i o n . Here McCabe also makes the important d i s t i n c t i o n between Descartes's cogito, "I think therefore I am," 47and Lacan's rewritten version (in l i g h t of Freud), "I think where I am not and I am where I do not think." 4 8Lacan's rewritten version exemplifies how the pronoun "I" 4 9has been constructed/deconstructed through the i n t e r s u b j e c t i v i t y of language. Su b j e c t i v i t y i s shaped by the desire to communicate through language and continues to be informed by the unconscious and language. Further, s u b j e c t i v i t y i s complicated by the fact that the "I"^present does not recognize the moment in continuum. McCabe therefore says: 69 The ego i s constantly caught in t h i s fundamental misunderstanding (meconnaissance) about language in which from an i l l u s o r y present i t attempts to read only one s i g n i f i e d as present in the metaphor and attempts to bring the signifying, chain to an end in a perpetually deferred present. To recapitulate, the subject's previous imaginary s o c i a l d e f i n i t i o n in language corresponds to the structure of representation in c l a s s i c r e a l i s t text and cinema. The dominant form reminds the reader/viewer that they are denied a prominent place i n the compositional process of the production of meaning due to the unquestioned status of r e a l i s t representation. The subject p o s i t i o n was s i m i l a r l y analyzed by Foucault in the painting Las Meninas when he said, "He [the subject] sees his i n v i s i b i l i t y made v i s i b l e to the painter and 52 transposed into an image forever i n v i s i b l e to himself." 53 Through the "suspension of d i s b e l i e f " (a mimetic process), the subject i s asked to i d e n t i f y with the ind i v i d u a l characters while s/he i s proffered a position of pseudo-knowledge and " t r u t h " ^ 4 ( s o c i a l truth) v i s - a - v i s the various n a r r a t o l o g i c a l discourses. Yet an understanding of the larger s o c i a l truths of the characters i s given only in 55 so far as the "closed text," narrative framework (beginning, middle, and end) w i l l allow. The nature of the "closed text" 5^with i t s formal structure of l o g i c a l l i n e a r coherence and b e l i e v a b l i t y cannot tolerate contradiction; therefore the "real,"-"which exposes an horizon of polyvalence and contradiction, must be channelled into a narrow spectrum 70 of choices (both for f i c t i o n a l characters and viewing/reading subjects). The subject must be placed outside the production while continuing to i d e n t i f y with the character fate and narrative enigma. In the closed text, the subject must defer to the divine, h i e r a r c h i c a l authority of the producer's t r u t h . F i n a l l y , the closed text must rel y on catharsis to end, but not disrupt, the ontology of t h i s dominant form of truth. Russian formalism influenced Brecht's m a t e r i a l i s t aesthetic. The formalists' interest in exposing the process of production rather than mystifying i t appealed to Brecht because he wanted to create a " p o p u l a r - r e a l i s t " ^ a r t that was accessible to the working class and not only to an a r t i s t i c - i n t e l l e c t u a l e l i t e . He wanted the working class to know that " h i s t o r i c a l conditions may not be conceived . . . as inscrutable forces . . . they are created and maintained by man."59 Brecht's desire to merge form and content in theatre was demonstrated by the fact that the focus of his theatre was not the stage but rather the audience. His main objective was to e l i c i t an active c r i t i c a l audience response. This i s why he said i t i s important to "learn the art of seeing. "^He sought to serve the interests of the populace with the theatre's capacity to reveal by contradiction in the epic s t y l e . 71 B r e c h t 1 s thoughts are s t i l l c o n s i d e r e d important to contemporary f i l m p r o d u c t i o n and c r i t i c i s m f o r these reasons. He gave a c l e a r d e f i n i t i o n of what he meant by popular and r e a l i s t i c i n the f o l l o w i n g statement: Our concept of what i s popular r e f e r s t o a people who not only p l a y a f u l l p a r t i n h i s t o r i c a l development but a c t i v e l y usurp i t , f o r c e i t s pace, determine i t s d i r e c t i o n . We have a people i n mind who make h i s t o r y , change the world and themselves. We have i n mind a f i g h t i n g people and t h e r e f o r e an a g g r e s s i v e concept of what i s p o p u l a r . R e a l i s t i c means: d i s c o v e r i n g the c a u s a l complexes of society/unmasking the p r e v a i l i n g view of t h i n g s as the view of those who r u l e i t / w r i t i n g from the s t a n d - p o i n t of the c l a s s which o f f e r s the broadest s o l u t i o n s f o r the p r e s s i n g d i f f i c u l t i e s i n which human s o c i e t y i s caught/emphasizing the element of development/making p o s s i b l e the c o n c r e t e , and making p o s s i b l e a b s t r a c t i o n from i t . ^ l B r e cht's work always p r a c t i c a l l y s t a t e d i t s p o s i t i o n as p o l i t i c a l l y committed a r t i n an a e s t h e t i c form t h a t was e x p e r i m e n t a l , p o e t i c , and d i d a c t i c . A g a i n s t a l l odds he maintained an i r r e p r e s s i b l e optimism about our c a p a c i t y to t h i n k c r e a t i v e l y and to p l a n f o r a b e t t e r s o c i e t y . In a d d i t i o n , h i s honest p o l i t i c a l s e l f - r e f l e x i v i t y produced g r e a t s o c i a l i n s i g h t s t h a t document h i s c r i t i c a l responses to the h i s t o r i c and a e s t h e t i c events which a f f e c t e d him most p r o f o u n d l y . Benjamin Benjamin and Brecht shared an h i s t o r i c a l imagination t h a t was n e v e r t h e l e s s informed by the experience of e x i l e and c u l t u r a l barbarism. Yet they shared an h i s t o r i c a l v i s i o n v h i c h h e l d t h a t the mass audience's c r i t i c a l awareness c o u l d be awakened through a process of " d i s t r a c t e d h a b i t " 6 2 i n the view i n g of entertainment. Brecht's g e s t i c music was e n t e r t a i n i n g and was a form of montage t h a t broke the t h e a t r i c a l i l l u s i o n . T h i s combination of entertainment and montage " o b l i g e d the s p e c t a t o r t o take a p o s i t i o n toward the a c t i o n " ^ t h r o u g h t h i s process of apperceptual h a b i t ; t h e r e f o r e , r a t h e r than the work of a r t absorbing you, you absorb i t . Brecht c h a r a c t e r i z e d Verf r e m d u n s e f f e k t 6 4 b y d i s t i n g u i s h i n g c a t h a r s i s from the emotional responses engendered by moral outrage at s o c i a l i n j u s t i c e s or the sorrow which produces c r i t i c a l thought. To Adorno's lament t h a t the masses do not c o n c e n t r a t e on a r t , r a t h e r seek d i s t r a c t i o n o n l y , Benjamin answered: The f i l m with i t s shock e f f e c t meets t h i s mode of p e r c e p t i o n h a l f way. The f i l m makes the c u l t v alue recede i n t o the background not only by p u t t i n g the p u b l i c i n the p o s i t i o n of the c r i t i c , but a l s o by the f a c t t h a t at the movies t h i s p o s i t i o n r e q u i r e s no a t t e n t i o n . The p u b l i c i s an examiner, but an almost absent-minded one.^5 The " c u l t v a l u e " ^ w h i c h Benjamin speaks of r e f e r s to the n o t i o n of the decay of the "aura" the work of a r t a f t e r the advent of mechanical r e p r o d u c t i o n . The concept of the aura, Benjamin s a i d , was d e r i v e d o r i g i n a l l y from the p r o d u c t i o n of a r t i n a r i t u a l i s t i c and magical c o n t e x t . Benjamin r e f e r r e d t o the "Renaissance s e c u l a r c u l t of b e a u t y " 6 l o show how the aura's d e c l i n e produced a c r i s i s r e g a r d i n g the f u n c t i o n or p l a c e of a r t . L ' a r t pour l ' a r t was one 73 response to t h i s c r i s i s . Because the a u t h e n t i c i t y of the o r i g i n a l vork of a r t , the h i e e t n u n c 6 9 ( t h e here and now), was the crux of the i s s u e , Benjamin came to the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t : From a photographic n e g a t i v e , f o r example, one can make any number of p r i n t s ; t o ask f o r the " a u t h e n t i c " p r i n t makes no sense. But the i n s t a n t the c r i t e r i o n of a u t h e n t i c i t y ceases t o be a p p l i c a b l e t o a r t i s t i c p r o d u c t i o n , the t o t a l f u n c t i o n of a r t i s r e v e r s e d . Instead of being based on r i t u a l , i t begins to be based on another p r a c t i c e — p o l i t i c s . 7 0 Benjamin and Brecht thought t h a t there was a p o s i t i v e p o t e n t i a l i n the t e c h n o l o g i c a l advent of mechanical r e p r o d u c t i o n f o r the a r t s . Here Benjamin proposed that the: Mechanical r e p r o d u c t i o n of a r t changes the r e a c t i o n of the masses toward a r t . The r e a c t i o n a r y a t t i t u d e toward a P i c a s s o p a i n t i n g changes^jnto a p r o g r e s s i v e r e a c t i o n towards a C h a p l i n movie. Adorno While i n London i n 1936 Adorno wrote a l e t t e r to Benjamin c r i t i c i z i n g h i s p o s i t i o n . Adorno s t a t e d that "the idea t h a t a r e a c t i o n a r y i s turned i n t o a member of the avant-garde by an expert knowledge of C h a p l i n f i l m s s t r i k e s 72 me as out-and-out r o m a n t i c i z a t i o n . " Adorno continued c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y w i t h the method of c r i t i c a l theory to pr o v i d e the concrete " p a r t i c u l a r " 7 3 f o r t h i s " a b s t r a c t " 7 4 understanding of the whole by c i t i n g an example from h i s own ex p e r i e n c e . Adorno recounted h i s experience i n t h i s way: 74 When I spent a day i n the s t u d i o s of Neubabelsberg two years ago, what impressed me most was how [ l i t t l e ] montage and a l l the advanced techniques t h a t you e x a l t are a c t u a l l y used; r a t h e r , r e a l i t y i s everywhere [ c o n s t r u c t e d ] with an i n f a n t i l e mimetism and then 'photographed •" You under-estimate the t e c h n i c a l i t y of autonomous a r t and over estimate t h a t of the dependent a r t ; t h i s , i n p l a i n terms, would be my main o b j e c t i o n . 7 5 H i s t o r i a n s note t h a t a f t e r 1933, when Jo s e f Goebbels took c o n t r o l of the German f i l m i n d u s t r y , he focused on the p r o d u c t i o n of mass l i g h t entertainment. I t was a l s o r e v e a l e d l a t e r that he not only c o n t r o l l e d UFA, Germany's massive p r o d u c t i o n complex, but s e c r e t l y c o n t r o l l e d p r i v a t e companies as w e l l . During t h i s p e r i o d , the Nazis were not i n t e r e s t e d i n awakening the n a t i o n s c r i t i c a l c o nsciousness. Goebbels s a i d t h at the newsreels were "used to wage war, not convey i n f o r m a t i o n " 7 ^ a n d , t h e r e f o r e , set out to censor " u n d e s i r a b l e " 7 7 a n d " u n h e a l t h y " 7 8 f i l m s such as the k a m m e r s p i e l f i l m . 7 9 T h i s was c o n s i s t e n t with the p e r i o d of book burn i n g . The Nazi's were i n t e r e s t e d i n keeping people p a s s i v e l y e n t e r t a i n e d by f u l f i l l i n g t h e i r e s c a p i s t d e s i r e s r a t h e r than awakening t h e i r c r i t i c a l c a p a c i t i e s . The problem which Adorno d e s c r i b e d and which Benjamin a l s o foresaw, but could not a n t i c i p a t e the extent to which i t could dominate experience, was the degree to which a f f i r m a t i v e c u l t u r e usurps any p o s s i b i l i t y of Erfahrunqen ( a u t h e n t i c e x p e r i e n c e ) . Adorno's p e r c e p t i o n was t h a t Benjamin promoted k i t s c h r a t h e r than q u a l i t y f i l m s . In c o n t r a s t , Adorno promoted autonomous, non-bourgeois a r t . He made the p o i n t t h a t , w h i l e he agreed t h a t the aura of the work of a r t had d e c l i n e d , he a l s o a s s e r t e d "the autonomy of the work of a r t , and t h e r e f o r e i t s m a t e r i a l form, i s not i d e n t i c a l with the magical element i n i t . " 8 0 F u r t h e r , he and h i s c o l l e a g u e Max Horkheimer had always rec o g n i z e d the p o l i t i c a l aspect of a r t ( p r e - a u r a l d e c l i n e ) i n the p r o g r e s s i v e sense. T h i s p o l i t i c a l aspect of a r t expressed "a f o r c e of p r o t e s t of the humane a g a i n s t the pressure of domineering i n s t i t u t i o n s , r e l i g i o u s and otherwise, no l e s s t h a t i t r e f l e c t e d t h e i r o b j e c t i v e s u b s t a n c e . " 0 ± The o b j e c t i o n Adorno v o i c e d r e g a r d i n g the a f f i r m a t i v e c h a r a c t e r of mass f i l m c u l t u r e hinged on the f a c t t h a t he d i d not share Brecht's and Benjamin's " b l i n d c o n f i d e n c e i n the spontaneous power of the p r o l e t a r i a t which i s i t s e l f a 8 2 product of bourgeois s o c i e t y . " In f a c t , he c o n s i d e r e d B r e c h t ' s i n f l u e n c e on Benjamin to be u n f o r t u n a t e . He 8 3 c h a s t i s e d both men f o r what he c a l l e d "crude t h i n k i n g " and was p a r t i c u l a r l y c r i t i c a l of Brecht's " p o l i t i c a l 84 n a i v e t y . " Some c r i t i c s agree with Adorno's p o l i t i c a l c r i t i c i s m s ; however, Brecht was experimenting with new forms and perhaps i t i s not p o s s i b l e to f u l f i l l every e x p e c t a t i o n of h i s t o r i c a l accuracy. N e v e r t h e l e s s , the i m p l i c a t i o n of Adorno 1s concern w i t h the hegemonic e f f e c t s of " a f f i r m a t i v e c u l t u r e " 8 ^ i s important to pursue. Raymond W i l l i a m s d e f i n e d the d i f f e r e n c e between the i n f l u e n c e of i d e o l o g y and the p e r v a s i v e i n f l u e n c e s of hegemony thus: 76 Hegemony supposed the e x i s t e n c e of something which i s t r u l y t o t a l , which i s not merely secondary or s u p e r s t r u c t u r a l , l i k e the weak sense of i d e o l o g y , but which i s l i v e d at such a depth, which s a t u r a t e s the s o c i e t y to such an e x t e n t , and which, as Gramsci put i t , even c o n s t i t u t e s the substance and l i m i t of common sense f o r most people under i t s sway. . . . For i f i d e o l o g y were merely some a b s t r a c t , imposed s e t of n o t i o n s , i f our s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l and c u l t u r a l ideas and assumptions and h a b i t s were merely the r e s u l t of s p e c i f i c t r a i n i n g which might be simply ended or withdrawn, then the s o c i e t y would be very much e a s i e r t o move and to change than i n p r a c t i c e i t i s . 6 T h e r e f o r e , Adorno d i d agree with Brecht and Benjamin's 8 7 a s s e r t i o n t h a t the " t r a g i c mode" i n modern mass c u l t u r e i s reduced to a t h r e a t to anyone who does not comply with the i d e o l o g y framed w i t h i n the parameters of the mass media text/image. The D i a l e c t i c of Enlightenment (which Adorno co-authored with Max Horkheimer) i n f a c t r e f e r r e d to t h a t element of t h r e a t i n tragedy. The f o l l o w i n g passage d e s c r i b e s the f a t e of the female s u b j e c t : Tragedy i s reduced to a t h r e a t to d e s t r o y anyone who does not co-operate, whereas i t s p a r a d o x i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e once l a y i n a hopeless r e s i s t a n c e to mythic d e s t i n y . T r a g i c f a t e becomes j u s t punishment, which i s what bourgeois a e s t h e t i c s always t r i e d to t u r n i n t o . The m o r a l i t y of mass c u l t u r e i s the cheap form of yes t e r d a y ' s c h i l d r e n ' s books. In f i r s t c l a s s p r o d u c t i o n s , f o r example, the v i l l a i n o u s c h a r a c t e r appears as a h y s t e r i c a l woman who (with presumed c l i n i c a l accuracy) t r i e s t o r u i n the happiness of her o p p o s i t e number, who i s t r u e r t o r e a l i t y , and h e r s e l f s u f f e r s a q u i t e u n t h e a t r i c a l death. ° To conclude, the d i s c o r d between Adorno and Benjamin r e p r e s e n t e d a fundamental p o l i t i c a l break d u r i n g the debates of the 1930s. A h y p o t h e t i c a l realm of a f u t u r e imputed and c o r r e c t p r o l e t a r i a n consciousness was something Adorno 77 r e f u s e d to r e c o g n i z e and found completely untenable as a p r o p o s i t i o n on which to r e s t theory. Consequently, Adorno f e l t t h a t Benjamin had betrayed t h e i r e a r l i e r c o n c l u s i o n s d u r i n g the K o n i g s t e i n t a l k s i n 1929. At t h a t time they had agreed w i t h the a n t i - m e t a p h y s i c a l aspect of the Kantian r u l e to keep w i t h i n the data of e x p e r i e n c e . T h i s i n s i s t e n c e t h a t knowledge remain w i t h i n the realm of e m p i r i c a l experience was the element t h a t d e f i n e d t h e i r immanent approach. T h e o r i s t s , however f i n d Adorno's a e s t h e t i c theory p r o b l e m a t i c because of a fundamental d i f f i c u l t y with h i s theory of n e g a t i v e d i a l e c t i c s and the p r i n c i p l e of the " n o n - i d e n t i c a l " 8 9 t h a t i s p i v o t a l to h i s p h i l o s o p h i c a l framework. The problem which Susan Buck-Morss noted i n her book, The O r i g i n of Negative D i a l e c t i c s , i s t h a t the l o g i c and p r i n c i p l e of the n o n - i d e n t i c a l i s i n the end q u i t e p r e d i c t a b l e , dogmatic, and t h e r e f o r e e v e r - i d e n t i c a l . The c o n c e p t u a l wholeness of h i s a e s t h e t i c theory m i r r o r e d the c o n c e p t u a l wholeness of Scho'nberg's twelve-tone row. Negative d i a l e c t i c a l theory became a prima d i a l e c t i c a 9 0 ( a p h i l o s o p h i c a l f i r s t p r i n c i p l e ) when Adorno h i m s e l f had o b j e c t e d to a l l p h i l o s o p h i c f i r s t p r i n c i p l e s . Furthermore, the consequences of h i s theory took the l o g i c of c r i t i c a l n e g a t i o n to the p o i n t of e x t i n c t i o n — t o ask the fundamental q u e s t i o n : Does a r t have the r i g h t t o e x i s t a f t e r Auschwitz? T h i s l i n e of l o g i c , which q u e s t i o n s the e f f e c t and meaning of a r t or l a c k t h e r e o f a f t e r the h o l o c a u s t , only leads to a l o s s of nerve 78 vhose end p o i n t i s p a r a l y z e d angst. T h e r e f o r e , the very c r i t i c i s m of "stasis"91which Adorno invoked a g a i n s t Benjamin was h i s own. Hans Ensensberg's r e p l y to Adorno's q u e s t i o n r e c t i f i e d h i s l o g i c of c r i t i c a l n i h i l i s m . In terms of the p r o d u c t i o n of a r t , Ensensberg s a i d : . . . we must r e s i s t t h i s v e r d i c t . In other words, be such t h a t i t s mere e x i s t e n c e a f t e r Auschwitz i s not to surrender to c y n i c i s m ? 9 2 Adorno's pessimism r e g a r d i n g the p r o d u c t i o n of c u l t u r e , or i t s a b i l i t y to evoke an adequate response to s o c i a l barbarism, must be viewed i n the context of a damaged l i f e a f t e r Auschwitz. His c h i l l i n g thought t h a t "no u n i v e r s a l h i s t o r y leads from savagery to humanitarianism, but there i s one l e a d i n g from the s l i n g s h o t to the megaton bomb," 9?is s o b e r i n g . H i s t o r y i s t r a n s g r e s s e d i n t h i s view. The experience of b r u t a l i t y i s seen from an a h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t c u t s across c u l t u r a l boundaries. The pessimism and r i g o r of Adorno's thought i s important to comprehend, a l l the while working toward a p r o g r e s s i v e , e n l i g h t e n e d s o c i e t y . In p a r t , t h i s i s why the East/West debates are r e l e v a n t to the d i s c o u r s e s on cinema duri n g the events of May 1968 and to the contemporary d i s c o u r s e on the a p p l i c a t i o n of n a r r a t i v e i n avant-garde f i l m p r a c t i c e today. These d i s c o u r s e s developed the i s s u e s r e g a r d i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p between autonomous a r t and engaged a r t ( i n p a r t i c u l a r the c i n e m a t i c a r t s ) and s o c i e t y . The d i s c u s s i o n s of May 1968 then moved those debates onto a d i f f e r e n t plane s i n c e they were informed by an h i s t o r i c a l understanding of the past and by the May 1968 c r i t i c a l c o ntext, which i n v o l v e d a l l s e c t o r s of s o c i e t y . 80 NOTES TO CHAPTER I I I ^-These terms re p r e s e n t the a e s t h e t i c p o s i t i o n s of the four w r i t e r s t h a t are e x p l a i n e d f u r t h e r i n t h i s c h a p t e r . 2 I b i d . 3 I b i d . 4 I b i d . 5 F o r a thorough e x p l a n a t i o n of the F r a n k f u r t School's c r i t i c a l theory, see John O n e l l , On C r i t i c a l Theory (New York: Seabury Press, 1976). ^Here r e f e r to the Kantian and H e g e l i a n d e f i n i t i o n i n chapter I. 7See d e f i n i t i o n i n t e x t . 8The I n s t i t u t e f o r S o c i a l Research was o r i g i n a l l y e s t a b l i s h e d i n F r a n k f u r t a f t e r F e l i x Weil approached h i s f a t h e r f o r the i n i t i a l endowment i n 1914. A f t e r H i t l e r rose to power, the i n s t i t u t e moved to New York. 9The c l i m a c t i c o u t l e t to emotion through drama or a s o c i a l e x perience. lOThis motto i s Hegelian i n o r i g i n . ^ L u k a c s ' s o r i g i n a l c o n t r i b u t i o n to the study of c u l t u r e was h i s focus on the concept of r e i f i c a t i o n i n h i s chapter " R e i f i c a t i o n and C l a s s Consciousness." Here he analyzed that the fundamental problem with the t r a d i t i o n of bourgeois p h i l o s o p h y i s the problem of i d e a l i s m and d u a l i s t i c s e p a r a t i o n i n the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s u b j e c t - o b j e c t . T h i s i s why commodities are r e i f i e d . Products appear as o b j e c t s separated from the workers who produce them; t h e r e f o r e commodities i n a r e i f i e d form are " f e t i s h e s , " which appear as separate and obscured from the s o c i a l process that produces them. Georg Lukacs, H i s t o r y and C l a s s Consciousness (London: M e r l i n P r e s s , 1967), p. 319. !^ T h i s " c o r r e c t n e s s " was shaped by Le n i n and the p a r t y . 81 1 3 F r a n z Rosenzweig, The Star of Redemption, 2d ed./ t r a n s . W i l l i a m W. H a l l o (New York: H o l t , Rinehart and Winston, 1970), p. 238, o r i g i n a l l y p u b l i s h e d i n 1930. 1 4 L u k a c s , H i s t o r y and C l a s s Consciousness, p. 114. 1 5 I b i d . 1 6 I b i d . 1 7 I b i d . l ^ C . D. K e r n i g , ed., Marxism, Communism, and Western S o c i e t y 8 v o l s . (New York: Herder and Herder, 1972), 8:1. 1 9 L u k a c s , H i s t o r y and C l a s s Consciousness, pp. 22-35. 2 0 i b i d . 21 I b i d . 22ceorg Lukacs, Die E l q e n a r t des A s t h e t i s c h e n ( B e r l i n : Luchterhand, 1963), p. 818. 23stephen Heath, "Lessons from Brecht," Screen, v o l . 15, no. 2 (Summer 1974): 109. 24<r nis r e f e r s to the r a t i o n a l i s t p e r i o d of Greek drama. E u r i p i d e s developed t h i s form as an i c o n o c l a s t i c c o n t r a s t to A r i s t o t e l i a n drama. 25walter Benjamin based h i s ideas on Hegel's concept of tragedy and he t a l k s about Brecht's e p i c t h e a t r e i n "The Author as Producer," New L e f t Review, 62 (March/April 1971): 93. 2&The concept of Verfemdunq was d e r i v e d from Russian c o n s t r u c t i v i s m and f u t u r i s m and from w r i t e r s who c o n t r i b u t e d to the c o n s t r u c t i v i s t j o u r n a l s Lef and Novy L e f , such as Mayakovsky, B o r i s Arvatov, S e r g e i Tretjakow, and the f o r m a l i s t c r i t i c V i k t o r Shklovky. Brecht was i n f l u e n c e d by h i s f r i e n d s h i p s with A s j a L a c i s and Erwin P i s c a t o r t o develop a "p r o d u c t i o n a e s t h e t i c , " which caused a d e f a m i l i a r i z a t i o n and estrangement through the techniques of montage and d i s c o n t i n u i t y T h i s q u a l i t y of d i s c o n t i n u i t y encourages a r a t i o n a l i n t e r v e n t i o n on the s p e c t a t o r ' s p a r t , renewing experience and the emancipation of the viewing-working s u b j e c t . 2 7Stephen Heath, "Lessons from B r e c h t , " : 109. 82 2 8 T h e term "mimesis" i s d e r i v e d from the Greek, meaning the i m i t a t i o n of n a t u r e . 2 9 T h e term " d i e g e s i s " r e f e r s , a c c o r d i n g to the C h r i s t i a n Metz, to the d e n o t a t i v e m a t e r i a l of f i l m n a r r a t i v e ( i n c l u d i n g the f i c t i o n a l space and temporal dimensions of the n a r r a t i v e ) . 3 0 I n s e m i o t i c terms, the fundamental u n i t of s i g n i f i c a t i o n i s the s i g n . The s i g n has two components: the s i g n i f i e r t h a t c a r r i e s meaning and the s i g n i f i e d , which i s the concept or the t h i n g . The c l a s s i c example i s the word " t r e e " ( s i g n i f i e r ) , which r e p r e s e n t s the concept ( s i g n i f i e d ) of the r e a l t h i n g — a r e a l t r e e . 3 1 I b i d . 3 2 T h i s idea was e x p l a i n e d w e l l by M a r t i n Walsh when he s a i d : The a e s t h e t i c p o s i t i o n which E i s e n s t e i n , Brecht and Godard h o l d i n common i s a h o s t i l i t y to i l l u s i o n i s m ; i l l u s i o n i s m being a mode of a r t i s t i c experience t h a t has as i t s most c e n t r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : a d e s i r e to ( p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y ) penetrate i n d i v i d u a l experience; i t s primary appeal i s to the emotions r a t h e r than the i n t e l l e c t , d e s i r i n g the audience's empathetic involvement with the events presented b e f o r e them, i n the p a s s i v e manner suggested by C o l e r i d g e ' s " w i l l i n g suspension of d i s b e l i e f " ; i t has a c l o s e d form which i m p l i e s a c e r t a i n a r t i s t i c autonomy, a s e l f - v a l i d a t i o n ; i t p r e f e r s to regard the medium of e x p r e s s i o n as somehow t r a n s p a r e n t , n e u t r a l , having no "point of view" of i t s own; language wants to be overlooked, e f f a c e d . Brecht's t h e a t r i c a l p r a c t i c e o b v i o u s l y i n v e r t s a l l of these p r i o r i t i e s , and h i s t h e o r e t i c a l w r i t i n g s c o n s t a n t l y s t r e s s the contemporary n e c e s s i t y of a r e t h i n k i n g of dramatic p r a x i s . His t h e a t r e may thus be seen as a r e a c t i o n a g a i n s t the p e r s p e c t i v a l t r a d i t i o n of the post-Renaissance world; which p o s i t e d the eye (and the man behind i t ) as the center of the world, and a r t as a window ( t h e r e f o r e t r a n s p a r e n t ) on t h a t world. M a r t i n Walsh, The B r e c h t i a n Aspect of R a d i c a l Cinema (London: B r i t i s h F i l m I n s t i t u t e P u b l i s h i n g , 1981), p. 11. 3 3 I b i d . 3 4 I b i d . 3 5 B e r t o l t Brecht, "Conversations with Brecht," New L e f t Review, 77 (1973): 55. 83 3 6 I b i d . 3 7 I b i d . 3 8 K e i t h A. D i c k s o n , Towards U t o p i a : A Study of B r e c h t ( O x f o r d : C l a r e n d o n P r e s s , 1978), p. 49. 3 9 i b i d . 4 0 l b i d . 4 1 I b i d . 4 2 I b i d . , p. 46. 4 3 I b i d . 4 4R i c h a r d T a y l o r , F i l m Propaganda: S o v i e t R u s s i a and N a z i Germany (London: Croom Helm, 1979), p. 161. 4 % e r t o l t B r e c h t , "Das Wort," Gesammelt Werke, v o l . 20 ( F r a n k f u r t am Main: Suhrkamp, 1967) n.p., o r i g i n a l l y p u b l i s h e d i n 1935. 4 f C o l i n MacCabe, " R e a l i s m and the Cinema: Notes on some B r e c h t i a n Theses," Screen (Summer 1974): 46. 4 7 I b i d . , p. 17. 4 8 I b i d . 4 9 I b i d . 5 0 I b i d . 5 1 I b i d . , p. 18. ^ ^ M i c h e l F o u c a u l t , The Order of T h i n g s : An A r c h a e o l o g y of t h e Human S c i e n c e s (New York: V i n t a g e Books, 1970), p. 5, 5 3 I b i d . , note 37. 5 4 S e e c h a p t e r I I I . 5 5 S e e c h a p t e r I I , I I I . 5 6 S e e c h a p t e r I I , I I I . 57 See c h a p t e r I I I . 5 8 B e r t o l t B r e c h t , Gesammelte Werke, v o l . 2 ( F r a n k f u r t am M a i n : Suhrkamp, 1967), n.p. 5 9 D i c k s o n , Towards U t o p i a : A Study of B r e c h t , p. 49. 6 0 I b i d . 84 ^ 1 B e r t o l t Brecht, "Against Georg Lukacs," New L e f t Review, 84 (Ma r c h / A p r i l 1974): 74, 85. 6 2 W a l t e r Benjamin, "The Author as Producer," New L e f t Review, 62 ( M a r c h / A p r i l 1971): 9. 6 3John W i l l e t , ed., Brecht on Theatre (New York: New D i r e c t i o n s , 1964), p. 144. 6 4 S e e chapter i l l . 6 5Walter Benjamin, I l l u m i n a t i o n s : The Work of A r t In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction, ed. Hannah Arendt, (New York: Schocken Books, 1969), p. 240. 6 6 I b i d . , p. 40. 6 7 I b i d . 6 8 I b i d . 6 9 S e e chapter I I . 7 0 B e n j a m i n , I l l u m i n a t i o n s , p. 244. 7 1 I b i d . , p. 40. 7 2 A d o r n o , "Correspondence with Benjamin: March 18, 1936," p. 66. 7 3 A d o r n o ' s immanent approach p o s t u l a t e d that t r u t h c r i t i c a l l y c h a l l e n g e d the course of h i s t o r y and that s o c i a l c o n t r a d i c t i o n would be evident w i t h i n the m a t e r i a l of p h i l o s o p h y . 7 4 I b i d . '-"T. W. Adorno, "Correspondence w i t h Benjamin, London: March 18, 1936," New L e f t Review 84 ( M a r c h / A p r i l ) : 66. 7 l 3 R i c h a r d T a y l o r , F i l m Propaganda: S o v i e t Russia and Nazi Germany (London: Croom Helm, 1979), p. 161. 7 7 I b i d . 7 8 I b i d . 7 9 i b i d . 8 0 A d o r n o , "Correspondence with Benjamin," p. 65. 85 8 1 I b i d . , p. 67. 8 2 I b i d . , p. 66. 8 3 I b i d . , p. 65. 8 4 I b i d . , p. 66. 8 5 S e e chapter I I I . 8 6Raymond W i l l i a m s , Problems i n M a t e r i a l i s m and C u l t u r e (London: Verso E d i t i o n s , 1980), p. 37. 8 7 S e e chapter I I I . 8 8Max Horkheimer and T. W. Adorno, D i a l e c t i c of Enlightenment (New York: The Seabury P r e s s , 1969), p. 152. 8 9 A d o r n o attempted to r e v o l u t i o n i z e p h i l o s o p h y from w i t h i n , but the p r i n c i p l e of the n o n - i d e n t i c a l and h i s a n t i s y s t e m became a system unto i t s e l f . The n o t i o n o f " n o n - i d e n t i t y " w a s i n s p i r e d by Benjamin's concept of experience and h i s attempt to rescue the p a r t i c u l a r e x perience from o b l i t e r a t i o n by the t o t a l i t y . In America, f o r example, Adorno f e l t t h a t experiences were r e p e t i t i o u s and i d e n t i c a l i n mass c u l t u r e ; t h e r e f o r e , he saw the p a r t i c u l a r represented by autonomous a r t . 9°Adorno i s o l a t e d the problem thus "Such ambivalence of i d e n t i t y and n o n i d e n t i t y extends even to l o g i c a l problems of i d e n t i t y . For those, t e c h n i c a l terminology stands ready with the customary formula of ' i d e n t i t y i n n o n i d e n t i t y ' — a formula with which we would f i r s t have to c o n t r a s t the n o n i d e n t i t y i n i d e n t i t y . But such a p u r e l y formal r e v e r s a l would leave room f o r the s u b r e p t i o n t h a t d i a l e c t i c s i s prima p h i l o s o p h i a a f t e r a l l , as "prima d i a l e c t i c a . " Theodor W. Adorno, Negative D i a l e c t i c s , t r a n s . E. B. Ashton (New York: The Seabury Press, 1973), p. 154. 9 1 D u r i n g the 1960s the New L e f t c r i t i c i z e d Adorno f o r b r i n g i n g c r i t i c a l t heory to a dead end. Adorno i n s i s t e d t h a t n o n - p a r t i c i p a t i o n was an a b s o l u t e p r i n c i p l e , to preserve the c a p a c i t y t o experience the n o n - i d e n t i c a l . His t h e o r e t i c a l l o g i c ensured t h a t reason c o u l d never be i n s t r u m e n t a l and t h e r e f o r e p r a c t i c a l work towards a Utopian i d e a l was p r e c l u d e d . 9 2 E n s e n s b e r g responded to Adorno's statement "I have no wish to s o f t e n the s a y i n g t h a t to w r i t e l y r i c poetry a f t e r Auschwitz i s b a r b a r i c : i t expresses i n n e g a t i v e form the impulse which i n s p i r e d committed l i t e r a t u r e . " T. W. Adorno, Commitment (New York: The Seabury Press, 1979), p. 84. 9 3 A d o r n o , Negative D i a l e c t i c s , p. 320. 86 CHAPTER IV CONTEMPORARY DEBATE: CONCLUSION The p o l i t i c a l q u e s t i o n , to sum up, i s not e r r o r , i l l u s i o n , a l i e n a t e d consciousness or i d e o l o g y ; i t i s t r u t h i t s e l f . M i c h e l Foucault May 1968 — The Two Avant-Gardes — Canada We have e s t a b l i s h e d t h a t the contemporary debate on the use of n a r r a t i v e i n avant-garde f i l m p r a c t i c e i s informed by the development of a e s t h e t i c ideas i n the modernist c o n t e x t . T h i s context r e v e a l e d how the m u l t i p l e f o r c e s - - m a t e r i a l , economic, and s o c i a l - - s h a p e d European c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l l i f e . Those s o c i a l changes r e d e f i n e d the very f a b r i c of man's e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l cosmology and produced a h e a l t h y re-examination of ideas i n a l l f i e l d s of thought. In t u r n , fundamental changes oc c u r r e d i n the a e s t h e t i c form/content of the v i s u a l and p l a s t i c a r t s to e s t a b l i s h the modernist break w i t h n e o - c l a s s i c a l , r e a l i s t , and n a t u r a l i s t a e s t h e t i c s . The modernist a e s t h e t i c of s e l f - r e f l e x i v i t y , t e m p o r a l i t y , ambiguity, and the questions of a e s t h e t i c autonomy ver s u s s o c i a l commitment are s t i l l e v i d e n t i n contemporary f i l m c u l t u r e . The answers g i v e n t o these a e s t h e t i c q u e s t i o n s have d i f f e r e d as a r t i s t s and t h e o r i s t s develop an h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e . 87 The East/West h i s t o r i c a l paradigm r e p r e s e n t s an i n t e l l e c t u a l f i e l d t h a t a l s o engages i n a c r i t i q u e of modernism, the means of a r t i s t i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , and a e s t h e t i c forms. Lukacs/Brecht and Benjamin/Adorno debated the autonomy/efficacy i s s u e s as they r e l a t e to the p o s i t i o n i n g of the s u b j e c t i n terms of the i d e o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of s e l f - r e f l e x i v i t y and p r a x i s versus d i s t r a c t e d h a b i t . The debates re-examined the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the audience and the producer, d e v e l o p i n g new i n s i g h t s about the correspondence between the e x i s t i n g r e l a t i o n s of p r o d u c t i o n and forms of s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . In t h i s chapter these a e s t h e t i c i s s u e s w i l l s i m i l a r l y l a c e through the w r i t i n g and f i l m p r a c t i c e and nexus of events of May 1968 i n France. The modernist a e s t h e t i c of s e l f - r e f l e x i v i t y and m a t e r i a l i s m i n f l u e n c e d the development of Dziga Vertov and B e r t o l t B recht. In t u r n , t h e i r m a t e r i a l i s t a e s t h e t i c has l e d to the development of two e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t avant-garde d i r e c t i o n s : one a n a r r a t i v e d i r e c t i o n (the Dziga-Vertov group, Godard, Straub, e t c . ) and the other a f o r m a l , o n t o l o g i c a l , and a n t i - n a r r a t i v e d i r e c t i o n (the s t r u c t u r a l i s t - m a t e r i a l i s t co-op movement, Peter G i d a l , M i c h ael Snow, e t c . ) . F i n a l l y , the contemporary avant-garde i s s u e with n a r r a t i v e i n North America examines the a e s t h e t i c g a i n s and l o s s e s d e r i v e d from the r e t u r n to n a r r a t i v e . Thus the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the ontology of the apparatus, human p e r c e p t i o n and language, and the p o s i t i o n i n g of the s u b j e c t i n terms of f a t e , d e s t i n y , and r e p r e s e n t a t i o n are s t i l l v i t a l l y important t o the p r a c t i c e of filmmaking. 88 May 1968 The i s s u e s of s t a t e c e n s o r s h i p r a i s e d by student p r o t e s t s d u r i n g the "Night of the B a r r i c a d e s " 1 s t i m u l a t e d great debates i n p e r i o d i c a l s such as C a h i e r s du Cinema and Cinematheque. A l s o seen i n c o n t e x t , these debates are p a r t i c u l a r l y r e l e v a n t g i v e n the h i s t o r i c a l development of modernist c u l t u r e i n France. F i l m c u l t u r e became a c t i v e l y i n v o l v e d i n the p o l i t i c s of c u l t u r e i n February 1968 preceding the c r i s i s i n May, vhen the government attempted to take c o n t r o l of the P a r i s Cinematheque by f i r i n g i t s e x e c u t i v e d i r e c t o r , Henri L a n g l o i s . The " L a n g l o i s A f f a i r " 2 u n i f i e d the f i l m community and r e s u l t e d i n the formation of the "Committee f o r the Defence of the Cinematheque." 3 Some of the d i s t i n g u i s h e d people on the committee v e r e : Renoir, T r u f f a u t , Godard, R i v e t t e , and Ba r t h e s . French f i l m c u l t u r e then p a r t i c i p a t e d i n the student and union p r o t e s t s because of the s t a t e c e n s o r s h i p of the p o l i c e b r u t a l i t y when the students r a i s e d the b a r r i c a d e s i n Rue Guy Lussac (May 10). The "Es t a t e s General of the Cinema" 4 (ECG) formed t o support the General S t r i k e , 5 . . . the name " E s t a t e s G e n e r a l " sounding a p a r t i c u l a r h i s t o r i c a l resonance. During the French R e v o l u t i o n of 1789 the monarchy conceded t o dual r e p r e s e n t a t i o n w i t h the b o u r g e o i s i e i n the Commons to e s t a b l i s h popular support f o r the T h i r d E s t a t e , then c a l l e d the "States G e n e r a l . " ^ The image of the French R e v o l u t i o n was p a r t i c u l a r l y s i g n i f i c a n t f o r French f i l m c u l t u r e s i n c e i t a l s o conjured the image of a r t i s t s , Courbet f o r example, at the b a r r i c a d e s d u r i n g the " P a r i s Commune" of 1871. Thus 89 i t was a touchstone t o a p e r i o d t h a t a l s o s t i m u l a t e d a p l e t h o r a of a e s t h e t i c d i s c o u r s e s r e g a r d i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p between a r t and l i f e . The w r i t i n g and f i l m p r a c t i c e t h a t emerged from the nexus of events of May 1968 i n France e x e m p l i f i e d both the f a i l e d p o t e n t i a l and a thorough re-examination of a l l aspects of p u b l i c and p r i v a t e l i f e . The enthusiasm and p u b l i c d i s c o u r s e generated dur i n g t h i s p e r i o d i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d as "a gust of f r e s h a i r t h a t blew through the dusty minds, o f f i c e s and 7 b u r e a u c r a t i c s t r u c t u r e s i n a l l walks of l i f e i n France." Even though the a c t u a l r e s u l t of these events c o n t r i b u t e d to the entrenchment of de G a u l l e ' s p o l i t i c a l power i n Parliament, n e v e r t h e l e s s , the s o c i a l p r o t e s t s represented the s p i r i t and d e s i r e f o r s o c i a l j u s t i c e and change. A v a r i e t y of new forms of s o c i a l c r i t i c i s m emerged t h a t transformed s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s and developed the a n a l y s i s of s i g n systems i n contemporary c u l t u r e . Filmmakers and t h e o r i s t s reviewed the debates of p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y R u s s i a i n the context of the p o l i t i c a l q u e s t i o n s of the day. They d i s c u s s e d the work of the f u t u r i s t s and the f o r m a l i s t s , E i s e n s t i e n and Dziga V e r t o v and examined the i s s u e s of p r o l e t a r i a n a r t and the problems of l i t e r a c y owing t o t h e i r c o n c r e t e involvement i n the working man's s t r u g g l e . An i n t e r e s t i n g c o n c l u s i o n drawn from a debate i n Ca h i e r s du Cinema proposes t h a t : Any c o n s i d e r a t i o n of the concept of workers' s e l f e x p r e s s i o n must encounter, and f i n d , ways of d e a l i n g s a t i s f a c t o r i l y w i t h the twin dangers of u n p r i n c i p l e d populism ( " i f a worker says i t , i t must be r i g h t " ) and v a n g u a r d i s t e l i t i s m ("the workers don't know what's good f o r them, and must on a l l o c c a s i o n s be spoken f o r by the vanguard/Party which does know"). 90 M a t e r i a l i s m Out of t h i s s t r u g g l e with a e s t h e t i c and p o l i t i c a l i deas, Godard, Straub, and the Dziga-Vertov group c o n s i d e r e d the m a t e r i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p between the audience and producer to promote the audience as the producer of meaning. E x h i b i t i o n a e s t h e t i c s as w e l l as p r o d u c t i o n a e s t h e t i c s were t h e r e f o r e the focus of t h e i r d i s c u s s i o n s and work. Jean-Louis Baudry's a n a l y s i s of the b a s i c cinematographic apparatus developed the Dziga-Vertov group's understanding of t h i s apparatus which o r g a n i z e s consumption and p e r c e p t i o n . F i r s t they c a r e f u l l y c o n s i d e r e d Brecht's admonition to avant-garde a r t i s t s t h a t t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to the apparatus of p r o d u c t i o n / r e c e p t i o n was i l l c o n s i d e r e d . Brecht contends t h a t : The avant-garde don't t h i n k of changing the apparatus, because they fancy that they have at t h e i r d i s p o s a l an apparatus which w i l l serve up whatever they f r e e l y i n v e n t . . . . But they are not i n f a c t f r e e i n v e n t o r s ; the apparatus goes on f u l f i l l i n g i t s f u n c t i o n with or without them. 9 The Dziga-Vertov group t h e r e f o r e focused on the means of p r o d u c t i o n by emphasizing a s e l f - r e f l e x i v e cinema. They drew from t h a t thread of m a t e r i a l i s t l o g i c i n Russian f o r m a l i s m / c o n s t r u c t i v i s m which was the b a s i s of Dziga V e r t o v 1 s m a t e r i a l i s t a e s t h e t i c of Kino-Eye: The decoding of l i f e as i t i s . I n f l u e n c e of f a c t s upon the workers' c o n s c i o u s n e s s . I n f l u e n c e of f a c t s , not a c t i n g , dance, or v e r s e . R e l e g a t i o n of s o - c a l l e d a r t — t o the p e r i p h e r y of c o n s c i o u s n e s s . P l a c i n g of s o c i e t y ' s economic s t r u c t u r e at the center of a t t e n t i o n . 1 0 The Dziga-Vertov group adopted Vertov's concern f o r the m a t e r i a l means of p r o d u c t i o n , which the group s a i d sought t o : . . . make a c o n c r e t e a n a l y s i s of a c o n c r e t e s i t u a t i o n . . . to understand the laws of the o b j e c t i v e world i n order to a c t i v e l y t r a n s f o r m t h a t world . . . to know one's p l a c e i n the process of p r o d u c t i o n i n order then to change i t . Godard engaged i n an i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the language of cinema through h i s d i d a c t i c c r i t i q u e of the sound/image; t h e r e f o r e the Dziga-Vertov group a s s e r t e d t h a t the "problem i s not to make p o l i t i c a l f i l m s but to make f i l m s 1 2 . . p o l i t i c a l l y . " T h i s echoed Benjamin's statement, "The c o r r e c t p o l i t i c a l tendency of a work i n c l u d e s i t s l i t e r a r y q u a l i t y because i t i n c l u d e s i t s l i t e r a r y tendency."- T h i s a e s t h e t i c p o s i t i o n e x e m p l i f i e d the b a s i c o p p o s i t i o n between the French Communist Party and the Dziga-Vertov group. The group r e g u l a r l y v o i c e d i t s c r i t i c i s m of the e x p e c t a t i o n t h a t a r t i s t s produce " p o l i t i c a l l y c o r r e c t , " 1 4 committed work. They were f a m i l i a r with Adorno's paper on Commitment, which p o i n t e d out t h a t commitment i t s e l f remains p o l i t i c a l l y p o l y v a l e n t even i f i t i s p o l i t i c a l l y motivated, as l o n g , he s a i d , "as i t i s not reduced to propaganda, whose p l i a n c y mocks any commitments by the s u b j e c t . " Adorno argues t h a t l i t e r a r y r e a l i s m can accommodate i t s e l f to the a u t h o r i t a r i a n p e r s o n a l i t y because a "conformist r e s p e c t f o r a p e t r i f i e d facade of o p i n i o n " * ^ w i l l not a l l o w the "inner elements of the unconscious to d i s t u r b the s o c i a l o r d e r . " 1 7 He deduces t h a t t h i s : 92 . . . h o s t i l i t y to anything a l i e n or a l i e n a t i n g . . . even i f i t p r o c l a i m s i t s e l f c r i t i c a l or s o c i a l i s t , than t o works which swear a l l e g i a n c e to no p o l i t i c a l s l o g a n s , but whose mere guise i s enough t o d i s r u p t the whole system of r i g i d c o o r d i n a t e s t h a t governs a u t h o r i t a r i a n p e r s o n a l i t i e s . . . . 1 8 Godard and the Dziga-Vertov group t a c k l e d the problems co n c e r n i n g a f u s i o n of the formal and i d e o l o g i c a l aspects of the cinema with the view t o developing a p r o g r e s s i v e a e s t h e t i c t h a t would not r e v e r t to an i n s t r u m e n t a l view of a r t . They r e c o g n i z e d t h a t t h i s i n s t r u m e n t a l view was s i m p l i s t i c and u n p r o d u c t i v e . The fundamental ques t i o n t h a t a p r o g r e s s i v e a e s t h e t i c asks i s "Who i s speaking i n any image or a r t i c u l a t i o n of images and to whom/for whom?" 19 P o l i t i c s / O n t o l o g y -- The Two Avant-Garde By 1975 Peter Wollen c o u l d speak of two avant-gardes i n h i s essay, The Two Avant-Gardes, which analyzed the h i s t o r i c a l development of the avant-garde i n Europe. T h i s development was uneven, he says, because there are two wholly d i s t i n c t d i r e c t i o n s i n avant-garde f i l m p r a c t i c e . Godard and Straub- H u i l l e t represented one p o l i t i c a l d i r e c t i o n , while the other emerged from the co-op movement and developments i n s t r u c t u r a l i s t f i l m . Filmmakers i n t h i s avant-garde i n c l u d e d P e t e r G i d a l , Malcolm Le G r i c e , B r i g i t and Wilhelm Hein, and o t h e r s . Wollen noted t h a t Dziga Vertov connected the m a t e r i a l i s t a e s t h e t i c of the two avant-gardes d e s p i t e t h e i r d i f f e r i n g conceptions of the meaning of a m a t e r i a l i s t a e s t h e t i c . The two avant-gardes then provide another h i s t o r i c a l paradigm 93 or model f o r the p r e s e n t debate on n a r r a t i v e . The s t r u c t u r a l i s t s t r a n d of the avant-garde i s p r i m a r i l y concerned with the formal ontology of cinema. Yet the d e l i n e a t i o n of the two avant-gardes i n term of p o l i t i c s i s d i s p u t e d by Wollen because " i t i s o f t e n too e a s i l y a s s e r t e d t h a t one avant-garde i s ' p o l i t i c a l ' and the 20 other i s not." The filmmaker Peter G i d a l defends the p o l i t i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of s t r u c t u r a l i s t f i l m because t h i s f i l m form r a d i c a l l y q u e s t i o n s the nature of r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i n the cinema. That i s why G i d a l s a i d t h a t s t r u c t u r a l i s t f i l m s "attempt to get through t h i s miasmic area of 'experience' and proceed w i t h 21 ' f i l m as f i l m . ' " On the other hand, Wollen s a i d t h a t the s u p p o r t e r s of Godard and S t r a u b - H u i l l e t d i s t i n g u i s h e d themselves from filmmakers such as Karmitz and Pontecorvo because they understood t h a t being p o l i t i c a l was not enough to subvert or d e c o n s t r u c t the bourgeois norms of d i e g e s i s . Wollen deduces t h a t i f the l o g i c of t h i s argument i s not c a r e f u l l y thought through, or a r b i t r a r i l y stopped, i t c o u l d l e a d d i r e c t l y back to the other avant-garde p o s i t i o n . Mick Eaton, i n h i s a r t i c l e on SEFT/London Filmmakers Co-op and the avant-garde i s s u e w i t h n a r r a t i v e , a l s o s t a t e d t h a t the p o l a r i z a t i o n of the m a t e r i a l / s i g n i f i c a t i o n o p p o s i t i o n q u e s t i o n " i t s e l f can no longer be so c l e a r l y d e l i n e a t e d . " 2 2 G i d a l ' s t h e o r e t i c a l and f i l m work c l e a r l y questioned the dominant forms, y e t h i s f i l m s were c r i t i c i z e d f o r suppressing the imaginary aspect of the image i n f a v o r of i t s o b j e c t i v e a s pect; however, G i d a l responded to t h i s c r i t i q u e with i n s i g h t by p o i n t i n g out to these c r i t i c s t h a t they may not understand 94 the s u b j e c t ' s p o s i t i o n w i t h i n i d e o l o g y and t h a t the unconscious always o p e r a t i v e through, f o r example, r e p r e s s i o n . To invoke the unconscious as a p o s i t i o n a g a i n s t knowledge i n the attempt to o b v i a t e the s u p p r e s s i o n of the imaginary i s not the answer. G i d a l t h e r e f o r e reasons t h a t : . . . one i s i n i d e o l o g y and one does i d e o l o g i c a l combat. One can know of being i n p r o c e s s , one can know of c o n s t r u c t i o n s o p e r a t i v e i n image f o r m a t i o n / t r a n s f o r m a t i o n : one does not know, one "misses" or "misrecognises" one's p o s i t i o n , one's r e l a t i o n , one's b i n d i n g s / f r a c t u r e s a g a i n s t t h a t ("It i s where I 'am' n o t " ) . A f i l m can i n c u l c a t e p o s i t i o n i n g which f o r c e attempts—moment to moment a t t e m p t s — a t knowledge, attempts at d e l i n e a t i n g p r e c i s e l y the p e r c e p t i o n of d i s t a n c e between p e r c e p t i o n and (absent) knowledge. The apprehension -of the •fainctloning of t h a t d i s t a n c e i s a p o s i t i o n i n knowledge. G i d a l ' s work does engage w i t h i d e o l o g i c a l and p o l i t i c a l i s s u e s , but perhaps the b e t t e r d i s t i n c t i o n i s t h a t h i s work i s a n t i - n a r r a t i v e or, as Wollen po i n t e d out, t h a t s t r u c t u r a l - m a t e r i a l i s t f i l m i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the e x c l u s i o n of v e r b a l language-and n a r r a t i v e . But i t i s not accurate to say t h a t language i s excluded from n o n - o b j e c t i v e and s t r u c t u r a l i s t cinema because t h e r e i s a h i s t o r y of the use of t e x t i n those cine"matic forms. S c o t t MacDonald reminds us of t h i s h i s t o r y i n h i s a r t i c l e Text As Image by mentioning the h i s t o r i c a l p r e d e c e s s o r ' s : Duchamp's Anemic Cine'ma (1926) or Man Ray's L ' E t o i l e de mer (1928), as w e l l as r e c e n t f i l m s such as M i c h a e l Snow's So Is T h i s (1982). While i t i s t r u e , however, t h a t these f i l m s c o n t a i n elements • . • . 2 4 of n a r r a t i v e , the conventions of " c l a s s i c a l " n a r r a t i v e 95 are eschewed. Furthermore, the movement of avant-garde f i l m concerned with " f i l m as film" 2fioes tend to focus on a formal ontology (or perhaps as Wollen suggested, an a n t i - o n t o l o g y ) of the cinema. Wollen e x p l a i n e d how the m a t e r i a l i s t a e s t h e t i c of Vert o v , Brecht, and Godard was m i s i n t e r p r e t e d by G i d a l thus: H i s aim has been t o produce f i l m s which are m a t e r i a l i s t p r e c i s e l y because they "present" r a t h e r than r e f l e x i v e l y " r e p r e s e n t " t h e i r own process of substance. . . . G i d a l ' s sense of m a t e r i a l i s m d i f f e r s c r u c i a l l y from any p o s t - B r e c h t i a n sense of m a t e r i a l i s m , which must be concerned w i t h the s i g n i f i c a n c e of what i s repres e n t e d , i t s e l f l o c a t e d i n the m a t e r i a l world and i n history. 2° But t h i s could a l s o be s a i d of Andre Bazin ' s i d e a l i s t a e s t h e t i c and ontology. Bazin's ontology was based on a photo r e a l i s t a e s t h e t i c , which posed a mental and p e r c e p t u a l continuum of " r e a l i t y " 2 7 t h r o u g h the r e n d e r i n g of p r o - f i l m i c events with the "long t a k e " 2 8 a n d "deep f o c u s . " 2 9 O n t o l o g i c a l r e a l i s m , i n t h i s view, reproduces the c o n d i t i o n s of human p e r c e p t i o n through the c a p a c i t y of s e l e c t i v e focus i n human v i s i o n , which d i r e c t s a t t e n t i o n t o s p e c i f i c elements of sensory d a t a . N a r r a t i v e p l a y s a r o l e i n t h i s a e s t h e t i c i n s o f a r as a s t o r y can emerge from the sensory continuum of i n f o r m a t i o n recorded d u r i n g the p r o - f i l m i c event; however, Bazin's o n t o l o g i c a e s t h e t i c denies the m a t e r i a l i s m with which G i d a l i s concerned, because the f i l m remains at the l e v e l of mimetic r e p r e s e n t a t i o n and e l i d e s the r o l e of a r t and human s u b j e c t i v i t y . Rudolf Arnheim notes i n The Complete F i l m t h a t the a r t i s t i c i m perative t o be t r u e to nature t h a t had permeated the v i s u a l a r t s i n the pre-modern p e r i o d r e p r e s e n t e d the p r i m i t i v e human d e s i r e "to get m a t e r i a l o b j e c t s i n t o one's power by c r e a t i n g them a f r e s h . " J U Bazin's r e a l i s t a e s t h e t i c a l s o p r e c l u d e d "the a r t i s t i c urge not simply t o copy but to o r i g i n a t e , to i n t e r p r e t , to mold." Human P e r c e p t i o n Wollen's a n a l y s i s of the development of the two avant-gardes and the modernist autonomy/efficacy i s s u e i s connected t o the contemporary debate on the use of n a r r a t i v e i n North America. The North American context i s q u i t e , however, d i f f e r e n t . Malcolm Le G r i c e comments, f o r example, i n A b s t r a c t F i l m and Beyond, t h a t an a p o l i t i c a l romanticism has no i n t e l l e c t u a l credence i n Europe because of the l a c k of space, s c a r c i t y of r e s o u r c e s , and the p o l i t i c a l c o n f l i c t s of two major wars. Yet he argues t h a t the s h i f t from the romantic a b s t r a c t p e r i o d of post-World-War-II America to the s t r u c t u r a l formalism of the 1960s i n d i c a t e d t h a t the " f r o n t i e r m e n t a l i t y " 3 2 c o u l d not s o l v e the problems r e s u l t i n g from the i n c r e a s i n g l y c o n s t r a i n e d s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s i n urban America. The dramatic change i n a t t i t u d e towards the q u e s t i o n of human p e r c e p t i o n i n the context of the s h i f t from Europe to North America, and, p a r t i c u l a r l y , i n the comparison between the romantic a b s t r a c t i o n of Brakhage, f o r example, t o the formal s t r u c t u r a l i s m of Warhol i s t h e r e f o r e s i g n i f i c a n t . F i r s t c o n s i d e r the d i f f e r e n c e betveen B a z i n ' s o b j e c t i v e view of human p e r c e p t i o n and the s u b j e c t i v e one proposed by Stan Brakhage i n Metaphors of V i s i o n . B a z i n conceives of the cameraman as a n e u t r a l observer who merely records p r o - f i l m i c 97 events to t e c h n i c a l l y r e p l i c a t e the p h y s i o l o g i c a l experience of human p e r c e p t i o n ( F l a h e r t y ' s long take of the s e a l hunt i n Nanook of the North vas a case i n p o i n t ) . Brakhage, on the o t h e r hand, i s known f o r h i s v i s i o n a r y experiments w i t h human p e r c e p t i o n . In h i s "mythopoetic" 3 3 a r t , the cameraman i s a h e r o i c p r o t a g o n i s t . Now the q u e s t i o n of o b j e c t i v i t y i s a l s o a c e n t r a l i s s u e i n the t h e o r e t i c a l - p r a c t i c a l development of the documentary genre. Brakhage's work produced a g r e a t e r awareness of the s u b j e c t i v e a spect of cinema through the a c t of framing. Le G r i c e compares the documentary and l i t e r a r y q u a l i t y of V e r t o v ' s " e s s e n t i a l ' f i r s t person' of c i n e m a , " 3 4 i n which the camera s t i l l m aintains a b a s i c " n e u t r a l i t y , " 3 5 w i t h Brakhage's f i r s t - p e r s o n p e r s p e c t i v e t h a t i s cognizant of the camera's s u b j e c t i v e r o l e . Le G r i c e comments on the o b j e c t i v e / s u b j e c t i v e f i r s t person i n t h i s way: Brakhage appears to c r e a t e a p o l a r i t y between o b j e c t i v e and s u b j e c t i v e cinema, but what he a c t u a l l y achieves i s an awareness t h a t t h e r e can be no a l t e r n a t i v e to the camera's s u b j e c t i v e r o l e . In commercial cinema the f a l s e n e u t r a l i t y of the camera i s a major cause of i t s a e s t h e t i c and p h i l o s o p h i c a l r e t a r d a t i o n , i t s a t t i t u d e being p a r a l l e l t o the v i e w p o i n t of the n o v e l i s t i n the V i c t o r i a n n o v e l . 3 6 P e r s o n a l v i s i o n and the s u b j e c t i v e r o l e of the camera are c e n t r a l t o Brakhage's a e s t h e t i c view because " i f v i s i o n i s the h i g h e s t v a l u e of f i l m , then the camera (and i t s man) must allow v i s i o n s to occur r a t h e r than f o r c e them (by s c r i p t ) 37 upon s u b j e c t s . " Brakhage t h e r e f o r e proposed a cinema of 98 freedom and i m a g i n a t i o n . Human p e r c e p t i o n i s not an e x t e r n a l , o b j e c t i v e g i v e n but an adventure i n t o a new realm of p e r c e p t u a l e x p e r i e n c e f o r the filmmaker and s p e c t a t o r a l i k e . In h i s preamble t o Metaphores of V i s i o n , Brakhage framed h i s a e s t h e t i c p e r s p e c t i v e thus: Imagine an eye u n r u l e d by man-made laws of p e r s p e c t i v e , an eye u n p r e j u d i c e d by c o m p o s i t i o n a l l o g i c , an eye which does not respond t o the name of e v e r y t h i n g but which must know each o b j e c t encountered i n l i f e through an adventure of p e r c e p t i o n . 3 8 Yet Brakhage's work a l s o p r e s e n t s problems f o r some c r i t i c s who f e e l t h a t h i s f i l m s are too p e r s o n a l and n a r c i s s i s t i c , They t h i n k t h a t h i s focus on the p e r c e p t u a l act of seeing l i m i t s the scope of the work i n terms of the broader h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t , whereas i n a more o b j e c t i v e form, the h i s t o r i c a l ground would emerge. But these c r i t i c i s m s ignore the manner i n which the i n d i v i d u a l a e s t h e t i c a c t a c t u a l l y r e f l e c t s the broader h i s t o r i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e . S i m i l a r l y , they do not acknowledge the g r e a t c o n t r i b u t i o n he has made to the development of human p e r c e p t i o n through the experimental f i l m form. Brakhage r e p l i e s t o those c r i t i c i s m s by a s s e r t i n g the v a l u e of i n d i v i d u a l e x p r e s s i o n and i t s r e l a t i o n t o mankind. Brakhage argues: I would say I grew very q u i c k l y as a f i l m a r t i s t once I got r i d of drama as a prime source of i n s p i r a t i o n . I began t o f e e l t h a t a l l h i s t o r y , a l l l i f e , a l l t h a t I would have as m a t e r i a l w i t h which t o work, would have to come from the i n s i d e of me out r a t h e r than as some form imposed from the o u t s i d e i n . I had the concept of e v e r y t h i n g r a d i a t i n g out of me, and t h a t the more p e r s o n a l or e g o c e n t r i c I would become, the deeper I would reach and the more I co u l d touch those u n i v e r s a l concerns which would i n v o l v e a l l men.39 99 The concept t h a t an i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t experience connects wi t h the u n i v e r s a l human experience i s a key element i n the argument f o r autonomous f i l m forms. I t i s echoed by Maya Deren when she i n s i s t s t h a t there i s t h i s human need-desire to c l a i m a space i n our l i v e s f o r a p o e t i c idiom. Deren's d e s i r e to maintain and defend t h a t space f o r a p o e t i c form of e x p r e s s i o n , r e g a r d l e s s of p r o f i t or i n s t r u m e n t a l c o n s t r a i n t s , i s phrased i n p o l i t i c a l terms when she says "to i n s i s t on t h i s c a p a c i t y i n a l l men, to address my f i l m s to t h i s — t h a t , t o me, i s t r u e democracy." 4 0 What emerges from a study of the h i s t o r y of avant-garde f i l m p r a c t i c e s t h e r e f o e i s the heterogeneous nature of a e s t h e t i c ideas and approaches. Furthermore, f o r the purposes of c l a r i t y , i t i s p o s s i b l e to say t h a t there are two avant-gardes, yet i n r e a l i t y t h i s d e l i n e a t i o n does not begin to account f o r the heterogeneous developments i n t h i s h i s t o r y ; f o r example, Warhol's f i l m s pose a r a d i c a l " o t h e r " 4 1 f r a m e of r e f e r e n c e to the realm of human p e r c e p t i o n than do the mytho-poetic p r a c t i c e s of Deren and Brakhage. Warhol's i n f l u e n c e s are l i n k e d t o the c l a s s i c a l avant-garde and the a n t i - a r t movement of dada and s u r r e a l i s m . H i s automatic machine a e s t h e t i c c o n s t r u c t s the parameters t o r e c o r d p r o - f i l m i c events w i t h a f i x e d camera frame and camera r o l l d u r a t i o n i n a " n e u t r a l " 4 2 f a s h i o n much l i k e the Lumieres d i d . T h i s n o t i o n of n e u t r a l i t y l eaves a s i d e f o r the moment 100 the s u b j e c t i v e f a c t of s e l e c t i n g a p o i n t of view and s u b j e c t i n the f i r s t p l a c e . Some of Warhol's f i l m s work with extended d u r a t i o n ; f o r example, the six-h o u r Sleep (1963), the e i g h t - hour Empire (1964), or the t w e n t y - f i v e hour The Twenty-Four Hour Movie (1966-7). While these f i l m s may bore some audiences, they are enormously important c o n t r i b u t i o n s to the h i s t o r i c a l a v a n t - g a r d i s t c r i t i q u e of human p e r c e p t i o n . For i n s t a n c e , i n h i s f i l m s , the s p e c t a t o r s ' p e r c e p t i o n over an extended p e r i o d i s changed because the minute event (e.g., the t w i t c h of a man's body i n Sleep) i s transformed i n t o a momentous o c c a s i o n . H is f i l m s i l l u s t r a t e the m i n i m a l i s t a e s t h e t i c p r i n c i p l e of " l e s s i s more." 4^ So the aspect of boredom i s e x p l i c i t l y foregrounded i n Warhol f i l m s because, as Peter G i d a l e x p l a i n s : Warhol's e a r l y f i l m work can be d e f i n e d as b o r i n g or e x c i t i n g , depending on one's a t t i t u d e , and then, i n t u r n , the "boredom" can be d e f i n e d as p o s i t i v e or n e g a t i v e . Rather than overemphasize human f e e l i n g , reason, meaning e t c . Warhol takes one to the beginnings of c o n f r o n t a t i o n - w i t h the "other". The easy v i c a r i o u s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i n melodrama i s s i m p l i s t i c and l e a v e s no time f o r thought, commitment, or r e v e l a t i o n . I t i s , i n p r a c t i c a l , human terms, w o r t h l e s s . C r y i n g at the sad p a r t s of movies allows one to v i c a r i o u s l y i d e n t i f y w i t h the s o l i d l y i d e n t i f i a b l e "good" a g a i n s t the obvious ( u s u a l l y b l a c k - s h i r t e d ) " e v i l " . T h i s m a n i p u l a t i o n i s both easy and p l e a s i n g t o the g e n e r a l s e l f - e s t e e m . 4 4 Warhol f i l m s are l o o s e l y based on n a r r a t i v e i n some i n s t a n c e s ; f o r example, V i n y l (1965) was the f i r s t f i l m v e r s i o n of Anthony Burgess's novel A Clockwork Orange. But to say t h a t the f i l m resembles or even suggests a f a i t h f u l r e n d i t i o n of the novel would be m i s l e a d i n g . The s t o r y was simply used as guide f o r performer a c t i o n . The 101 camera was s e t up, turned on, and then performers were s u b j e c t e d to a camera t e s t . Warhol d i d not d i r e c t the performers; he simply observed t h e i r p r o - f i l m i c a c t i v i t y . Warhol's work i s rooted i n an autonomous avant-garde p o s i t i o n and i t i s enigmatic i n i t s p l a y w i t h mass media images. He uses c o r p o r a t e i c o n s , e s p e c i a l l y i n the Campbell's Soup p a i n t i n g s , as an o s t e n s i b l e s u b j e c t and then f o r m a l l y s e r i a l i z e s the image through h i s s i l k - s c r e e n p r o c e s s . By r e p l i c a t i n g the process of commodification at the " F a c t o r y , " 45yj arhol i m p l i c i t l y i n c l u d e s the i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d meaning of a r t i n i t s formal c o n t e n t — t h e s u b j e c t matter of the p a i n t i n g being mechanical r e p r o d u c t i o n and the a r t market. Warhol's a r t t h e r e f o r e addresses the p o s i t i o n of the a r t i s t i n the context of mass media and the c r i s i s of modernism. New-Narrative Avant-Garde: Feminism i n Canada and the U.S.A. The r e t u r n to n a r r a t i v e proposed by the new-narrative emerges from the study of s e m i o t i c s , p s y c h o a n a l y s i s , and feminism. These d i s c o u r s e s have focused on an a n a l y s i s of the p o s i t i o n i n g of the s u b j e c t i n language and cinema. Freud, Lacan, and the French s t r u c t u r a l i s t / s e m i o t i c i a n s Roland B a r t h e s , J u l i a K r i s t e v a , and C h r i s t i a n Metz, a l l have c o n t r i b u t e d t o the study of the f o r m a l , p s y c h o a n a l y t i c , and s o c i a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of cin§matic n a r r a t i o n . During the 1970s, much f i l m theory and p r a c t i c e took a c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e towards n a r r a t i v e . In the 1980s, some experimental filmmakers 102 are i n c o r p o r a t i n g n a r r a t i v e i n the conceptual s t r u c t u r e of t h e i r work. Filmmakers are d i v i d e d i n t h e i r arguments f o r and a g a i n s t t h i s r e t u r n to n a r r a t i v e . The v a r i o u s p o s i t i o n s range from the extreme m a t e r i a l i s t avant-garde p o s i t i o n t o a p o p u l i s t avant-garde cinema, which has r e c o n s i d e r e d the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the independent and dominant f i l m forms. Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, f o r example, are B r i t i s h exponents of new-narrative, and t h e i r a e s t h e t i c i d e a s have had an impact i n Canada and the U.S.A. T h e i r a e s t h e t i c has developed out of the p r e v i o u s l y o u t l i n e d avant-garde i s s u e s r e g a r d i n g the c r i s i s of modernism, a f e m i n i s t a n a l y s i s of the p o s i t i o n of the female s u b j e c t i n ci n e m a - h i s t o r y , and the m a r g i n a l i z e d s t a t e of the avant-garde. From a f e m i n i s t c r i t i q u e of the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of women i n n a r r a t i v e and i n avant-garde cinema, Teresa De L a u r e t i s concluded t h a t women are i n "a zero p o s i t i o n , a space of non-meaning i n r e l a t i o n to both language and c i n e m a . " 4 6 The crux of the f e m i n i s t , new-narrative concern i s the i s s u e of bin a r y o p p o s i t i o n , which both Mulvey and De L a u r e t i s have addressed. How does one i n t e r j e c t a female s u b j e c t i v i t y i n t o a c u l t u r a l d i s c o u r s e which has h i s t o r i c a l l y excluded i t , without p e r p e t u a t i n g s o c i a l i z e d and e s s e n t i a l i z e d n o t i o n s of masculine/feminine s u b j e c t i d e n t i t i e s ? The r e t u r n to n a r r a t i v e a r i s e s a l s o from the f e m i n i s t a n a l y s i s of the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of women i n avant-garde 103 cinema. New-narrative appears to have threatened some male avant-garde filmmakers, and P a t r i c i a Gruben p o i n t s out i n her paper on n a r r a t i v e t h a t t h i s may, i n p a r t , be p r e c i s e l y because i t i s a s s o c i a t e d with feminism and moves women i n t o the r o l e s t h a t men occupied w i t h i n romanticism, modernism, and the avant-garde. N a r r a t i v e i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the cheap p l e a s u r e s of mass c u l t u r e ; t h e r e f o r e , f e m i n i s t s are i r o n i c a l l y thought to be g u i l t y of the t r a d i t i o n a l p a t r i a r c h a l s t e r e o t y p e of the devious female who i n g r a t i a t e s h e r s e l f to get what she wants. T h i s s u p e r f i c i a l r e a d i n g ignores the f a c t t h a t f e m i n i s t s are reworking the s t e r e o t y p i c a l r o l e s of woman as manageable Muse and o b j e c t of d e s i r e . Gruben e x p l a i n s t h a t women a r e : . . . t a k i n g c o n t r o l of some of the st e r e o t y p e s t h a t a s s o c i a t e us with the non-verbal, the Absolute, the mystique of f e m i n i n i t y — n o w t h a t we are r e - c l a i m i n g and r a d i c a l i z i n g t h a t typage, t a k i n g back the p o s i t i o n of Other from romantic filmmakers l i k e [Bruce] E l d e r , we are a t h r e a t to the model of " s u f f e r i n g l o n e r " t h a t he would p r e f e r to occupy a l o n e . 4 7 F e m i n i s t s a l s o examine the r o l e and r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of women i n avant-garde cinema; f o r example, the work of Michael Snow i s analyzed from t h i s p o i n t of view. Michael Snow's Wavelength (1967) has been i n f l u e n c e d by Warhol's s t r u c t u r a l m i n i m a l i s t a e s t h e t i c even though t h e i r a e s t h e t i c approaches d i f f e r . Snow's work embodies a r e l i g i o u s , Zen m y s t i c a l q u a l i t y t h a t i s absent from Warhol's cosmology. In f a c t , one c o u l d c h a r a c t e r i z e Snow's a e s t h e t i c framework as more s u b j e c t i v e and s e l f - r e f e r e n t i a l than Warhol's f i l m s because he d e s c r i b e s Wavelength as "a summation of my nervous system, r e l i g i o u s i n k l i n g s and a s t h e t i c i d e a s . " 4 8 Snow's f i l m has been d e s c r i b e d by Manny Farber 104 as the B i r t h of A Nation i n avant-garde f i l m h i s t o r y . The e s s e n t i a l q u a l i t y of the f i l m ' s "pure, tough f o r t y - f i v e minute zoom of a room" 4^is a g r e a t h i s t o r i c a l achievement because i t combines pure f i l m space and time v i t h an examination of i l l u s i o n and " f a c t . " 5 0 We see the components of a n a r r a t i v e ( f o u r human events, i n c l u d i n g a death) i n t e r r u p t i n g the f o r t y - f i v e minute zoom and ve r e f l e c t on the nature of t h i s f i l m form i n r e l a t i o n t o c o n v e n t i o n a l n a r r a t i v e f i l m s . Teresa De L a u r e t i s has commented on the aspect of n a r r a t i v e i n Snow's f i l m , Presents (1981). De L a u r e t i s q uestions whether the female s u b j e c t / v i e w e r i s p o s i t i o n e d d i f f e r e n t l y i n the fragmented m o d a l i t i e s of t h i s n a r r a t i v e than i n " c l a s s i c a l ' 5 1 n a r r a t i v e f i l m . She phenomenologically d e s c r i b e s the f i l m which c e n t r a l l y f e a t u r e s , among other t h i n g s , a r e c l i n i n g female nude as the s u b j e c t and then analyzes the manner i n which the female body, s e l e c t e d as a s u b j e c t / s i g n , i s l i n k e d to a v a r i e t y of other h i s t o r i c a l modes of v i s u a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n — p a i n t i n g , photography, v i d e o , c l a s s i c a l ( s t u d i o and staged) cinema, and avant-garde or " s t r u c t u r a l " 5 2 f i l m . Here the woman's body as the o b j e c t and ground f o r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i s i n s c r i b e d w i t h the s e l f - r e f e r e n t i a l " s c o p i c d r i v e and s e x u a l i z a t i o n " 5 3 o f the male s u b j e c t who produces the f i l m . But the q u e s t i o n t h a t De L a u r e t i s poses i s : How does the f i l m address the female s u b j e c t / v i e w e r ? She answers the q u e s t i o n i n terms of v i s i o n by s a y i n g : 1 0 5 . . . the nexus of the look and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i s produced and broken i n r e l a t i o n t o "cinema" ("It's a l l p r e t t y s e l f - r e f e r e n t i a l — r e f e r e n t i a l both to i t s e l f and f i l m i n g e n e r a l , " says Snow), hence t o i t s s p e c t a t o r as t r a d i t i o n a l l y c o n s t r u e d , as s e x u a l l y u n d i f f e r e n t i a t e d ; and women s p e c t a t o r s are p l a c e d , as they are by c l a s s i c a l cinema, i n a zero p o s i t i o n , a space of non-meaning. Because the e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l paradigm which guarantees the s u b j e c t - o b j e c t , man-woman dichotomy i s s t i l l o p e r a t i v e here, as i t i s i n c l a s s i c a l cinema, Pr e s e n t s addresses i t s d i s r u p t i o n of look and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n t o a masculine s p e c t a t o r - s u b j e c t . 5 4 Here De L a u r e t i s r a i s e s a d i f f i c u l t problem i n the c r i t i c i s m of hegemony and the s o c i a l i z a t i o n of a male and female s u b j e c t i d e n t i t y . The q u e s t i o n of how to work around t h i s b i n a r y e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l model i s the problem Laura Mulvey t r i e d t o answer i n her paper, V i s u a l P l e a s u r e and N a r r a t i v e Cinema, i n which she analyzes the movement of n a r r a t i v e i n c l a s s i c a l cinema v i s - a - v i s s u b j e c t i d e n t i f i c a t i o n (both p r i m a r y — c h a r a c t e r i d e n t i f i c a t i o n — a n d secondary—camera i d e n t i f i c a t i o n ) . De L a u r e t i s has formulated the f e m i n i s t problem of theory and p r o d u c t i o n i n t h i s way: To n e g o t i a t e t h a t c o n t r a d i c t i o n , to keep i t going, i s to r e s i s t the p r e s s u r e of the b i n a r y e p i s t e m o l o g i c a l model towards coherence, u n i t y , and the p r o d u c t i o n of a f i x e d s e l f / i m a g e , a s u b j e c t - v i s i o n , and t o i n s i s t i n s t e a d on the p r o d u c t i o n of c o n t r a d i c t o r y p o i n t s of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , an elsewhere of v i s i o n . 5 5 F e m i n i s t avant-garde filmmakers are d i v i d e d a l s o on the q u e s t i o n of n a r r a t i v e . Some f e e l j u s t i f i e d i n s a y i n g t h a t women should develop new forms t o i n t e r j e c t and convey t h e i r female s u b j e c t i v i t y i n t o c u l t u r a l d i s c o u r s e ; f o r example, French f e m i n i s t s Luce I r i g a r a y and Mi c h e l e Montrelay take t h i s p o s i t i o n r e g a r d i n g the use of language. The f e m i n i s t experimental 106 filmmakers Nina Fo n o r o f f and L i s a C a r t w r i g h t a l s o take t h i s p o s i t i o n i n r e l a t i o n to experimental f i l m form i n t h e i r essay, N a r r a t i v e i s N a r r a t i v e ; So What Is New? They say a l a r g e p o r t i o n of f e m i n i s t study has been d i r e c t e d towards the d e c o n s t r u c t i o n of n a r r a t i v e processes through the a n a l y s i s of the c o n s t r u c t i o n of s u b j e c t i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and v i e w e r s h i p (e.g., the study of p o i n t - o f - v i e w , c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n , n a r r a t i v e temporal c o n t i n u i t y , and c l o s u r e ) . However, they are c r i t i c a l of the f a c t t h a t l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n has been p a i d to the development of experimental f e m i n i s t f i l m s t h a t break w i t h n a r r a t i v e a l t o g e t h e r . Furthermore, these avant-garde filmmakers are c r i t i c a l of the i n h e r e n t economic motive behind the r e t u r n to n a r r a t i v e because i t can cause filmmakers to c a p i t u l a t e to market concerns r a t h e r than f o s t e r the development of new forms of c i n e m a t i c r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . The i s s u e of economic s u r v i v a l has become paramount because of funding s c a r c i t i e s i n the system of grant support. However i f n a r r a t i v e f i l m s are produced w i t h marketing p o t e n t i a l i n mind, the " f o r m a l l y a c c e s s i b l e " f i l m s must n e c e s s a r i l y employ the s o p h i s t i c a t e d t o o l s and l a r g e budgets of mainstream cinema. Fon o r o f f and C a r t w r i g h t t h e r e f o r e argue t h a t : . . . " b e t t e r " p r o d u c t i o n v a l u e s , and more t o p i c a l themes a l l s i g n a l the move toward making f i l m s t h a t are commercially v i a b l e p r o d u c t s — l i f t e d from o b s c u r i t y to g r e a t e r " p u b l i c acceptance," from small f i l m - s c r e e n i n g spaces t o art-movie houses, a step away from commercial h o u s e s — a n d , by design or d e f a u l t , a s h i f t from a concern f o r the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of new uses of f i l m to a concern f o r m a r k e t a b i l i t y and a c c e s s i b i l i t y . 5 6 107 The economic i s s u e may be viewed from a number of d i f f e r e n t c r i t i c a l p e r s p e c t i v e s , however. F i r s t , the c r i s i s of modernism and the m a r g i n a l i z a t i o n of the avant-garde, as we have e s t a b l i s h e d , h i s t o r i c a l l y has produced a p a r t i c u l a r a e s t h e t i c economy i n which i n n o v a t i o n and i n a c c e s s i b i l i t y work a g a i n s t a r t i s t s . N e v e r t h e l e s s , the v a l u e i n K i r k Tougas's i n s i g h t t h a t "the independent filmmaker must embody the s c h i z o p h r e n i a of the f i l m medium with i t s f r e q u e n t l y 57 a n t a g o n i s t i c p o l a r i t y between a r t and money" should a l s o be v a l u e d . When the c h o i c e between a r t i s t i c i n t e g r i t y and money i s to be made, one must agree with K i r k ' s i n s i s t e n c e t h a t : The i n t e g r i t y of p e r s o n a l e x p r e s s i o n and c o n v i c t i o n , whether i n e x p e r i m e n t a l , animated or documentary forms, takes precedence over, and thereby c o n f r o n t s , the f i l m - a s - p r o f i t a b l e - r e t u r n - o n - c a p i t a l and f i l m - a s - i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d - c r e a t i p n t h a t are the dominant models i n t h i s c ountry. The " i n t e g r i t y of p e r s o n a l e x p r e s s i o n and c o n v i c t i o n " 5 9 t h a t i s seen i n the e x p e r i m e n t a l - a r t i s a n a l mode of p r o d u c t i o n i s worth t h i n k i n g about i n l i g h t of the c r i t i q u e of the post-modernist e c l e c t i c i s m and s t y l i s t i c a p p r o p r i a t i o n of c l a s s i c a l forms; f o r example, Benjamin Buchloh's paper F i g u r e s of A u t h o r i t y , C i p h e r s of Regression i s c r i t i c a l of the r e t u r n to the f i g u r e i n p o s t - m o d e r n i s t 6 0 p a i n t i n g . Here he a l s o e s t a b l i s h e s an a e s t h e t i c c o n n e c t i o n between cinema and p a i n t i n g with h i s c r i t i c i s m of Cocteau's r e t u r n to n a r r a t i v e . Cocteau's a h i s t o r i c a l thought and 108 a n t i - m o d e r n i s t stance i s c o n s i s t e n t with the a r t world's p o p u l a r i z a t i o n of post-modernism. He s t a t e s t h a t the use of r e c y c l e d conventions r e p r e s e n t s : The s t e r e o t y p e of the avant-garde's a u d a c i t y having become convention i s , of course, used p r i m a r i l y by those who want to d i s g u i s e t h e i r new co n s e r v a t i s m as i t s own k i n d of a u d a c i t y (Cocteau at the time of "Rappel a l ' O r d r e " had j u s t turned t o C a t h o l i c i s m ) . They deny the f a c t t h a t c o n v e n t i o n a l i z a t i o n i t s e l f i s a manoeuver to s i l e n c e any form of c r i t i c a l n e g a t i o n , and they wish t o share i n the b e n e f i t s t h a t bourgeois c u l t u r e bestows on those who support f a l s e consciousness as i t i s embodied i n c u l t u r a l c o n v e ntions. Buchloh i s even more p e s s i m i s t i c about the nature of what might be a new form of a f f i r m a t i v e c u l t u r e i n the f o l l o w i n g passage: The q u e s t i o n f o r us now i s to what extent the r e d i s c o v e r y and r e c a p i t u l a t i o n of these modes of f i g u r a t i v e r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . . . r e f l e c t and dismantle the i d e o l o g i c a l impact of growing a u t h o r i t a r i a n i s m , or to what extent they simply i n d u l g e and reap the b e n e f i t s of t h i s i n c r e a s i n g l y apparent p o l i t i c a l p r a c t i c e , or, worst y e t , to what extent they c y n i c a l l y generate a c u l t u r a l c l i m a t e of a u t h o r i t a r i a n i s m to f a m i l i a r i z e us wi t h the p o l i t i c a l r e a l i t i e s to come. 6 2 Yet the r e t u r n t o the f i g u r e and to n a r r a t i v e p o t e n t i a l l y can be used f o r p r o g r e s s i v e or r e a c t i o n a r y reasons, j u s t as f i l m s which employ r a d i c a l forms can be a p p a l l i n g l y s e x i s t as w e l l . At the New-Narrative Cinema and the Future of F i l m Theory conference, a s e r i e s of new-narrative f i l m s where shown which, i n v a r i o u s ways, were c r i t i c a l and p r o g r e s s i v e . Some of these were S a l l y P o t t e r ' s The Gold Diggers (1983), Laura Mulvey's and Peter Wollen's 109 R i d d l e s of the Sphinx (1977), AMY (1980), and C r y s t a l Gazing (1982), Pat Murphy's and John Davies's Maeve (1982), Betty Gordon's V a r i e t y (1983) , and P a t r i c i a Gruben's C e n t r a l C h a r a c t e r (1977). These f i l m s exemplify a range of approaches to n a r r a t i v e which do not complacently r e p l i c a t e the c o nventions of dominant n a r r a t i v e forms. The f i l m s employ experimental techniques i n a s e l f - r e f l e x i v e n a r r a t i v e form. Some d i f f e r i n the manner i n which women are r e p r e s e n t e d ; f o r example, C e n t r a l Character s t r e s s e s the g r a i n of the v o i c e and i t s a u r a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n r a t h e r than e x p l o i t s the c u l t u r a l l y over-coded image/sign of woman. The f i l m s o f t e n f e a t u r e m u l t i p l e v o i c e s and c h a r a c t e r s rendered through an extended v o i c e - o v e r n a r r a t i o n . Some f i l m s e x p l i c i t l y c o n f r o n t the i s s u e s of pornography to s u b t l y r e v e a l the complex ways i n which media s t r u c t u r e s and o r g a n i z e s an i n d i v i d u a l ' s unconscious mind. F i n a l l y , i t i s important to r e c o g n i z e t h a t the i s s u e s of autonomy and e f f i c a c y , the product of h i s t o r i c a l debate, are s t i l l p e r t i n e n t to the contemporary n a r r a t i v e / a n t i - n a r r a t i v e c o n t r o v e r s y . In some of the r e c e n t achievements of new American cinema, the f i l m s of James Benning or Peter Rose, f o r example, we see works t h a t i n c r e a s i n g l y use i n t e g r a t e d t e c h n i q u e s . Language and t i t l e d t e x t s augment r i g o r o u s 110 v i s u a l e x p l o r a t i o n s . The t e x t i s sometimes used i n a humorous manner, as i n Snow's f i l m So Is T h i s . Peter Rose a l s o p l a y f u l l y uses s u b t i t l e s f o r a v o i c e - o v e r n a r r a t i o n , which appears to r e p r e s e n t another language but i s r e a l l y a f o r e i g n - s o u n d i n g babble. T h i s use of language i s i r o n i c because i t d e f i e s our c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e d r e l a t i o n s h i p to the p r o d u c t i o n of meaning i n language and t h e r e f o r e q u e s t i o n s the a u t h o r i t y of the n a r r a t o r ' s v o i c e . Rose's f i l m s c o n t a i n a number of n a r r a t i v e v o i c e s which comment on and c o n t r a d i c t each o t h e r . In The Man Who Could Not See Far Enough (1981), Rose, l i k e Brakhage, foregrounds human p e r c e p t i o n through the r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of the cameraman as h e r o i c p r o t a g o n i s t engaged i n the e c s t a t i c a c t of s e e i n g . The panel d i s c u s s i o n t i t l e d Avant-Garde F i l m P r a c t i c e s : S i x Views a l s o demonstrates how the modernist h i s t o r i c a l c o n t e x t informs the work of Canadian filmmakers today. The filmmakers t a k i n g p a r t i n the d i s c u s s i o n , M i c h a e l Snow, Dave Rimmer, P a t r i c i a Gruben, Joyce Wieland, Ross McLaren, and A l R a z u t i s , represented a v a r i e t y of a e s t h e t i c p o s i t i o n s on the n a r r a t i v e debate t h a t are connected to the i s s u e s of modernism which inform f i l m theory and p r a c t i c e today. M i c h a e l Snow's p r e s e n t a t i o n questioned the a p p l i c a t i o n of the term "avant-garde"63but d i d a s s e r t an autonomous i n d i v i d u a l i s t p o s i t i o n which d i f f e r e d from mainstream c i n e m a t i c conventions. Snow commented t h a t : I l l I don't c l a i m to be avant-garde but to make the f i l m s of M i c h a e l Snow, of having made f i l m s which can be s a i d w i t h some j u s t i f i c a t i o n t o be d i f f e r e n t enough from the mass of mechanical a p p l i c a t i o n s of the by now w e l l l e a r n a b l e r e p e r t o i r e of c i n e m a t i c c o n v e n t i o n s . 6 4 So Is T h i s (1985) was screened and the use of h i s t e x t as image was d i s c u s s e d i n terms of f i l m i c s t r u c t u r e and post-modern a p p l i c a t i o n . Dave Rimmer's paper The Repression of the E r o t i c i n Experimental Cinema, or Safe Sex f o r the L i t e r a l l y Minded focused on the importance of p i c t o r i a l codes i n experimental f i l m . Rimmer's p o s i t i o n i s one of autonomy, and he q u e s t i o n s the n a r r a t i v e s t r e s s on the t e x t over image. rimmer s a i d t h a t the problem with experimental cinema today i s t h a t i t s t a r t s w i t h the word i n s t e a d of the image. The image has been reduced to a v i s u a l a i d , l i k e a s l i d e show t h a t i l l u s t r a t e s a l e c t u r e and a t t r i b u t e s t h i s tendency to people's f e a r of the "naked power of the image" or, as he put i t : . . . a f e a r of the e r o t i c power of the v i s u a l image, an i n a b i l i t y t o d e a l w i t h t h i s image on a d i r e c t l e v e l , a need to n e u t r a l i z e the image, perhaps, to t r a n s l a t e the image to another medium, the convenient one of course being words; to a n a l y z e , to i n t e r r o g a t e , t o i n v e s t i g a t e , to demystify, and u l t i m a t e l y to s a n i t i z e the image; an attempt to reduce the e r o t i c power of the image to a more manageable form. Rimmer p r i v i l e g e s the c i n e m a t i c image i n experimental f i l m because he enjoys v i s u a l p l e a s u r e more than c o n t e n t , or what's being s a i d . Because he i s p r i m a r i l y concerned with the sensuous e r o t i c q u a l i t y of the image, he looks f o r the development of i n t u i t i o n a l - a u t o n o m o u s f i l m s r a t h e r than ones t h a t are produced a c c o r d i n g t o n a r r a t i v e or r a t i o n a l models. His p r e s e n t a t i o n 1 1 2 harkened back to the a e s t h e t i c i s t , " a u r a t i c " i d e a l of a r t as a sacred o b j e c t of i n e x h a u s t i b l e meaning vhen he ended h i s t a l k w i t h a s c r e e n i n g of As Seen On T.V., a f t e r which he s a i d , "I'm not going t o t a l k about i t . " 6 6 Joyce Wieland and Ross McLaren gave a j o i n t performance- p r e s e n t a t i o n i n which they d i s c u s s e d the s c a r c i t y of Canada C o u n c i l f u n d i n g . McLaren was p a r t i c u l a r l y c r i t i c a l of the f a c t t h a t f u n d i n g bodies tend to work on a b i n a r y system of a u t h o r i t y f i g u r e s . In other words he s a i d "you are e i t h e r a one or a 6 7 z e r o " and t h i s c r e a t e s a type of c u l t u r a l n e c r o p h i l i a . P a t r i c i a Gruben produced a t h o u g h t f u l paper on n a r r a t i v e , the paper s e r i o u s l y engaging i n a d i s c o u r s e w i t h the a n t i - n a r r a t i v e o p i n i o n s expressed i n Bruce E l d e r ' s a r t i c l e The Cinema We Need. Gruben makes the p o i n t t h a t i n d e f i n i n g the Canadian avant-garde: . . . too o f t e n we're being t o l d what i t i s not or what i t should be r a t h e r than what i t might be, or b e s t of a l l , what i t i s . I b e l i e v e t h a t the way the avant-garde i s c u r r e n t l y being d e f i n e d i n t h i s country i s an e x c l u s i o n a r y , e l i t i s t , and fundamentally bourgeois a t t i t u d e to e f f e c t everyone but one's own p e r s o n a l f o l l o w e r s or r o l e models from t i n i e r and t i n i e r camps. F i n a l l y , A l R a z u t i s presented a performance/screening which f e a t u r e d a f i l m t h a t was p r o j e c t e d and then destroyed as i t passed through a b l e a c h bath. Here he made the p o i n t t h a t : The avant-garde i s not r e p e a t a b l e . I t does not trade on the a r t commodity market, plug g i n g one's c u r r i c u l u m v i t a e , hoarding the past and f a k i n g the p r e s e n t . . . .69 R a z u t i s ' s performance was followed by a f i l m of the event, t i t l e d On the Problem of the Autonomy of A r t i n Bourgeois S o c i e t y , or S p l i c e (1986), which i n t u r n was then p l a c e d i n d i s t r i b u t i o n t o be marketed and consumed. Thus, i n summary, the p r e s e n t a t i o n s at the panel d e s c u s s i o n , Avant-Garde F i l m P r a c t i c e s : S i x Views, r e v e a l how the h i s t o r y of modernism and the avant-garde s t i l l inform f i l m p r a c t i c e today. Filmmakers n e g o t i a t e a t i g h t passage between a r t and money, autonomy and e f f i c a c y . They t r y to m a i n t a i n a r t i s t i c i n t e g r i t y and c r i t i c a l i n s i g h t w h i l e s t r u g g l i n g f o r economic s u r v i v a l . They are products of t h e i r s o c i a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l e x p e r i e n c e s but they do t r y , some more than o t h e r s , to g a i n s o c i a l / s e l f knowledge. They seek the i m p o s s i b l e , yet t h i s i s an age i n which the search f o r t r u t h and s o c i a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n must be made. S u b j e c t i v i t y i s f r a u g h t w i t h c o n t r a d i c t i o n and a t t i t u d e s may be r e a c t i o n a r y , s e x i s t , or a n t i - i n t e l l e c t u a l . But these a t t i t u d e s have to be confronted so t h a t they can be understood and n e g o t i a t e d . The h e t e r o g e n e i t y of avant-garde thought and p r a c t i c e i s a c o n s t a n t source of s u r p r i s e and f a s c i n a t i o n . Anyone who c a r e s to pursue t h i s p l e a s u r e of knowing, or of r a t h e r not knowing and s e a r c h i n g , should be encouraged. I t i s t h e r e f o r e not p o s s i b l e to v a l o r i z e a n a r r a t i v e as opposed to a non- n a r r a t i v e approach. Ins t e a d , the a r t i s t must continue to search f o r self-knowledge i n a s e l f - r e f l e x i v e form. 114 NOTES TO CHAPTER IV ^•Sylvia Harvey, May '68 and F i l m C u l t u r e (London: B r i t i s h F i l m I n s t i t u t e P u b l i s h i n g , 1978), p. 5. 2 I b i d . , p. 14. 3 I b i d . 4 I b i d . , p. 16. 5 I b i d . 6 I b i d . 7 P a t r i c k Seale and Maureen M a c C o n v i l l , French R e v o l u t i o n 1968 (London: Heinemann and Penguin, 1968), p. 136-7. 8Harvey, May '68 and F i l m C u l t u r e , p. 96. 9 j o h n W i l l e t , t r a n s . , Brecht on Theatre (London: Methuen, 1964) , pp. 34-5. 1 0 D z i g a Vertov, Kino-Eye: The W r i t i n g s of Dziga Vertov, ed. Annette Mic h e l s o n , t r a n s . Kevin O'Brien (Berkeley: U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a P ress, 1984), p. 66. ^ D z i g a - V e r t o v Group, "What i s to be Done?" Afterimage 1 ( A p r i l 1970): 14. 1 2 C o l i n MacCabe, Godard: Images, Sounds, P o l i t i c s (Bloomington: Indiana U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1980), p. 51. 1 3 W a l t e r Benjamin, "The Author as Producer," New L e f t Review 62 ( M a r c h / A p r i l 1971): 256. l^MacCabe, Godard: Images, Sounds, P o l i t i c s , p. 56. 1 5 T . W. Adorno, "Commitment," New L e f t Review (September/December 1974): 302. 1 6 I b i d . 1 7 I b i d . 1 8 I b i d . 1 9MacCabe, Godard: Images, Sounds, P o l i t i c s , p. 21. 115 2 0 P e t e r Wollen, "The Two Avant-Gardes," Stu d i o I n t e r n a t i o n a l , v o l . 190, no. 978 (November/December 1975): 101. 2 1 P e t e r G i d a l , "The A n t i - N a r r a t i v e (1978)," Screen, v o l . 20, no. 2 (Summer 1979): 79. 2 3 M i c k Eaton, "The Avant-Garde and N a r r a t i v e Two SEFT/London Film-Makers Co-op Day Sc h o o l s , " Screen, v o l . 19, no. 2 (Summer 1978): 130. 2 3 G i d a l , "The A n t i - N a r r a t i v e (1978)," p. 79. 2 4 T h e 1930s saw the development of the c l a s s i c n a r r a t i v e . "This s t r u c t u r e i s t h a t the c l a s s i c , sometimes a l s o c a l l e d the " r e a l i s t " n a r r a t i v e , which c a l l s f o r t h c e r t a i n modes of n a r r a t i o n which are then put i n t o e f f e c t by a l i m i t e d s e t of c i n e m a t i c codes". Pam Cook, ed., The Cinema Book (London: B r i t i s h F i l m I n s t i t u t e , 1985), p. 212. 2 5 G i d a l , "The A n t i - N a r r a t i v e (1978)," p. 79. 2 6 P e t e r Wollen, "'Ontology' and ' M a t e r i a l i s m ' i n F i l m , " Screen, v o l . 17, no. 1 (Spring 1976): 13. 2 7 B a z i n ' s frame of r e f e r e n e i s almost a r c h a e o l o g i c a l . 2 8 A n d r e B a z i n , What i s Cinema?, p. 38. 2 9 i b i d . 3 0 R u d o l f Arnheim, "The Comlete F i l m , " F i l m as A r t (Ber k e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1966), p. 29. 3 1 I b i d . 3 2 M a l c o l m Le G r i c e , A b s t r a c t F i l m and Beyond (Cambridge: MIT Pre s s , 1977), p. 87. 3 3 I b i d . , 29. 3 4 I b i d . , 89. 3 5 I b i d . 3 6 S t a n Brakhage, "Metaphors of V i s i o n , " F i l m C u l t u r e 30 ( F a l l 1963). n.p. 3 7 L e G r i c e , A b s t r a c t F i l m and Beyond, p. 89. 116 ^ B r a k h a g e , "Metaphors of V i s i o n , " n.p. 3 9 P . Adams S i t n e y , " I n t r o d u c t i o n to Metaphors of V i s i o n , " F i l m C u l t u r e 30 ( F a l l 1963) n.p. 4 0 M a r y a Deren, "Statement of P r i n c i p l e s , " F i l m As F i l m (London: Hayward G a l l e r y , 1979):123. 41 G i d a l ' s word. 4 2 0 n e must r e a l i z e t h a t the camera i s not n e u t r a l becuase a s u b j e c t i s chosen and framed. 4 3 T h e idea t h a t l e s s i s more vas important t o Bauhaus a r t as v e i l . 4 4 P e t e r G i d a l , Andy Warhol (London: S t u d i o V i s t a , 1971) p. 86. 4 5 T h i s name was i r o n i c and w e l l chosen. 4 6 T e r e s a De L a u r e t i s , "Snow on the Oedipal Stage," A l i c e Doesn't (Bloomington: Indiana U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1982), p. 71. 4 7 P a t r i c i a Gruben, i n her p r e s e n t a t i o n d u r i n g the seminar "Avant-Garde F i l m P r a c t i c e : S i x Views," mod. Maria I n s e l l , FilmWeek 86, Vancouver: 1986. 4 8 P e t e r G i d a l , ed., Standard F i l m Anthology (London: B r i t i s h F i l m I n s t i t u t e P u b l i s h i n g , 1976), p. 39. 4 9 i b i d . 5 0Snow's work i n ge n e r a l focuses the r e l a t i o n s h i p between these two terms. ^ S t r u c t u r a l f i l m i s u s u a l l y viewed w i t h a d i f f e r e n t s e t of c r i t i c a l terms, so i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g that De L a u r e t i s analyzes the f i l m t h i s way. 5 2 D e L a u r e t i s , "Snow on the Oedipal Stage," p.71. 5 3 l b i d . , p. 75. 5 4 I b i d . 117 5 5 D e L a u r e t i s , "Snow on the Oedipal Stage," p. 77. 5 6 N i n a Fo n o r o f f and L i s a C a r t w r i g h t , " N a r r a t i v e i s N a r r a t i v e : So What i s New?," H e r e s i e s , v o l . 4, no. 4 (1983): 53. 5 7 K i r k Tougas, "2: P e r s p e c t i v e s , " S e l f P o r t r a i t , ed. P i e r r e Veronneau and P i e r s Handling, t r a n s . Marie-Claude Hecquet and A n t o i n e t t e V i d a l (Ottawa: Canadian F i l m I n s t i t u t e , 1980), p. 140. 5 8 I b i d . 5 9 I b i d . 6 0 B e n j a m i n H. D. Buchloh, "Figures of A u t h o r i t y , C i p h e r s of R e g r e s s i o n , " Modernism and Modernity Conference Papers, ed. Benjamin H. D. Buchloh, Serge G u i l b a u t , and David S o l k i n (Vancouver: U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia Press 1981), p. 90. 6 1 I b i d . 6 2 I b i d . , p. 82 ^^Michael Snow, i n h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n d u r i n g the seminar "Avant-Garde F i l m P r a c t i c e : S i x Views," mod. Maria I n s e l l , Filmweek 86, Vancouver, 1986. 6 4 I b i d . 6 5 D a v e Rimmer, "Avant-Garde F i l m P r a c t i c e : S i x Views" 6 6 I b i d . 6 7 R o s s McLaren, "Avant-Garde F i l m P r a c t i c e : S i x Views". 6 8 P a t r i c i a Gruben, "Avant-Garde F i l m P r a c t i c e : S i x Views* 6 9 A 1 R a z u t i s , "Avant-Garde F i l m P r a c t i c e : S i x Views". 118 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund. The Jargon of A u t h e n t i c i t y . London: Routledge & Kegan Pa u l , 1964. Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund. Prisms. London: N e v i l l e Spearman, 1967. Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund. Gesammelte S c h r i f t e n . V o l s . 1 and 2 E d i t e d by R o l f Tiedemann. 26 v o l s . F r a n k f u r t am Main: Suhrkamp V e r l a g , 1970. Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund. Negative D i a l e c t i c s . New York: The Seabury P r e s s , 1973. Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund. Minima M o r a l i a : R e f l e c t i o n s from a Damaged L i f e . T r a n s l a t e d by E. 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London: C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1978. Cook, David. A H i s t o r y of N a r r a t i v e F i l m , n.p.: W.W. Norton & Co. , 1961. Coward, R o s a l i n d , and E l l i s , John. Language and M a t e r i a l i s m . London: Routledge & Kegan Pa u l , 1977. De L a u r e t i s , Teresa. A l i c e Does-n't. Bloomington: Indiana U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1982. Horkheimer, Max, and Adorno, Theodor W. D i a l e c t i c of Enlightenment. New York: The Seabury Press, 1944. D i c k s o n , K e i t h A. Towards U t o p i a : A Study of B r e c h t . Oxford: Clarendon P r e s s , 1978. Eco, Umberto. The Role of the Reader: E x p l o r a t i o n s i n the S e m i o t i c s of T e x t s . Bloomington: Indiana U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1979. E g b e r t , Donald Drew. S o c i a l R a d i c a l i s m and the A r t s , Western Europe. New York: A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1972. Ensensberger, Hans Magnus. Raids and R e c o n s t r u c t i o n s : Essays i n P o l i t i c s , Crime and C u l t u r e . London: P l u t o P r e s s , 1970. Freud, Sigmund. The Standard E d i t i o n of the Complete P s y c h o l o g i c a l Works of Sigmund Freud. E d i t e d by James Strachey. London: The Hogarth Press, 1964. F i l m As F i l m . London: A r t s C o u n c i l of Great B r i t a i n , 1979. F o u c a u l t , M i c h e l . The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human S c i e n c e s . New York: Vintage Books, 1970. F o u c a u l t , M i c h e l . Power/Knowledge: S e l e c t e d Interviews and Other W r i t i n g s • New York: Pantheon Books, 1972. 120 F o u c a u l t , M i c h e l . Language, Counter-Memory, P r a c t i c e . New York: C o r n e l l U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1977. G i d a l , P e t e r . Andy Warhol• London: Studio V i s t a , 1971. G i d a l , P e ter, ed. Standard F i l m Anthology. London: B r i t i s h F i l m I n s t i t u t e P u b l i s h i n g , 1976. H a n d l i n g , P i e r s , ed. S e l f P o r t r a i t . Ottawa: Canadian F i l m I n s t i t u t e , 1980. Harvey, S y l v i a . May '68 and F i l m C u l t u r e . London: B r i t i s h F i l m I n s t i t u t e P u b l i s h i n g , 1978. Hauser, A r n o l d . The S o c i a l H i s t o r y of A r t . V o l . 4. New York: Vintage Books, n.d. Jay, M a r t i n . The D i a l e c t i c a l Imagination: A H i s t o r y of the F r a n k f u r t School and the I n s t i t u t e of S o c i a l Reserch 1923-50. Boston: L i t t l e , Brown and Company, 1973. Koch, Stephen. S t a r g a z e r : Andy Warhol's World and His F i l m s . New York: Praeger P u b l i s h e r s , 1973. Kracauer, S i g f r i e d , ed. From C a l i g a r i to H i t l e r : A P s y c h o l o g i c a l H i s t o r y of German F i l m . P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1947. K r i s t e v a , J u l i a . D e s i r e i n Language: A S e m i o t i c Approach to L i t e r a t u r e and A r t . Oxford: B a s i l B l a c k w e l l , 1977. Lacan, Jacques. The Language of the S e l f . T r a n s l a t e d by Anthony Wilden. B a l t i m o r e : Johns Hopkins, 1968. Le G r i c e , Malcolm. A b s t r a c t F i l m and Beyond. London: MIT P r e s s , 1977. Lemert, Charles C , and Garth, G i l l a n . M i c h e l F o u c a u l t . New York: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1982. L e n i n , V l a d i m i r I l y i c h . M a t e r i a l i s m u s und E m p i r i o k r i t i z i s m u s . V o l . 14. B e r l i n : D i e t z V e r l a g , 1922 [ o r i g i n a l l y p u b l i s h e d 1909]. Lukacs, Georg. H i s t o r y and C l a s s Consciousness. London: M e r l i n P r e s s , 1968. Lukacs, Georg. The Meaning of Contemporary Realism. London: M e r l i n Press, 1963. 121 Lunri/ Eugene. Marxism and Modernism; An H i s t o r i c a l Study of Lukacs, Brec h t , Benjamin and Adorno. Ber k e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1982. MacCabe, C o l i n . Godard; Images, Sounds, P o l i t i c s . Bloomington: Indiana U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1980. Marks, E l a i n e , and De C o u r t i v r o n , I s a b e l l e , ed. Nev French Feminism. Massachusetts: The U n i v e r s i t y of Massachusetts P r e s s , 1980. Metz, C h r i s t i a n . F i l m Language: A S e m i o t i c s of the Cinema. T r a n s l a t e d by M i c h a e l T a y l o r . New York: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1974. Metz, C h r i s t i a n . The Imaginary S i g n i f i e r : P s y c h o a n a l y s i s and the Cinema. Bloomington: Indiana U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1977. N i c h o l s , B i l l . Ideology and the Image. Bloomington: Indiana U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1981. N i c h o l s , B i l l . Movies and Methods. B e r k e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1982. N i c h o l s , B i l l . Movies and Methods. V o l . 2. B e r k e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1985. N e i t z s c h e , F r i e d r i c h . The W i l l to Power. E d i t e d and T r a n s l a t e d by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books, 1967. N i e t z s c h e , F r i e d r i c h . Beyond Good and E v i l . E d i t e d and T r a n s l a t e d by Walter Kaufmann. New York: Vintage Books, 1968. O ' N e i l , John. ed. On C r i t i c a l Theory. New York: The Seabury P r e s s , 1976. Ruitenbeek, Hendrik M. ed. P s y c h o a n a l y s i s and Female S e x u a l i t y . New Haven: New Haven C o l l a g e U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1966. S e a l e , P a t r i c k , and M a c C o n v i l l , Maureen. French R e v o l u t i o n 1968. London: Heinemann and Penguin, 1968. S i l v e r m a n , Kaja. The S u b j e c t of S e m i o t i c s . Oxford: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1983. S i t n e y , P. Adams. The E s s e n t i a l Cingma: Essays on the F i l m s i n the C o l l e c t i o n of Anthology F i l m A r c h i v e s . New York: Anthology F i l m A r c h i v e s and New York U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1975. S i t n e y , P. Adams. V i s i o n a r y F i l m : The American Avant-Garde. New York: Oxford U n i v e r s i t y Press, 1979. 122 T a r , Z o l t a n . The F r a n k f u r t School; The C r i t i c a l T h e o r i e s of Max Horkheimer and Theodor W. Adorno. New York; John Wiley & Sons, 1977. V e r t o v , Dziga. Kino-Eye: The W r i t i n g s of Dziga Vertov. E d i t e d by Annette M i c h e l s o n . T r a n s l a t e d by Kevin O'Brien. B e r k e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s , 1984. Walker, John A. A r t In The Age of Mass Media. London: P l u t o P r e s s , 1983. Walsh, M a r t i n . The B r e c h t i a n Aspect of R a d i c a l Cinema. London: B r i t i s h F i l m I n s t i t u t e P u b l i s h i n g , 1981. Warhol, Andy. Andy Warhol: The Philosophy of Andy Warhol. New York: Harcourt Brace J o v a n i c h , 1975. W i l l e t t , John. The Theatre of B e r t o l t B r e c h t . New York: New D i r e c t i o n s , 1959. W i l l i a m s , Raymond. Problems i n M a t e r i a l i s m and C u l t u r e . London: Verso E d i t i o n s , 1980. W o l f f , J a n e t . The S o c i a l P r o d u c t i o n of A r t . London: Macmillan P r e s s , 1981. Wollen, P e t e r . Signs and Meaning i n the Cinema. Bloomington: Indiana U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1969. Wollen, P e t e r . Readings and W r i t i n g s : S e m i o t i c Counter- S t r a t e g i e s . London; Verso E d i t i o n s , 1982. 123 PERIODICALS Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund. "Correspondence v i t h Benjamin, L e t t e r s , Adorno t o Benjamin: Hornberg, Black F o r e s t , August 2, 1935, London, March 18, 1936, Nev York, November 10, 1938," Nev L e f t Reviev 84 ( M a r c h / A p r i l 1974). Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund. "Commitment," Nev L e f t Reviev (September/December 1974). Baudry, J e a n - L o u i s . "The Apparatus: M e t a p s y c h o l o g i c a l Approaches t o the Impression of R e a l i t y i n the Cinema," Camera Obscura 1 ( F a l l 1976). Benjamin, Walter. "Correspondence vhth Adorno, L e t t e r from Benjamin, P a r i s , December 1938" Nev L e f t Reviev 84 ( M a r c h / A p r i l 1974). Benjamin, Walter. "The Author As Producer," Nev L e f t Reviev ( M a r c h / A p r i l 1971). Benjamin, Walter. "Conversations v i t h B r e c h t , " Nev L e f t Reviev 77 (January/February 1973). Benjamin, Walter. "Left-Wing Melancholy," Screen 15: 2, (Summer 1974). Brakhage, Stan. "Metaphors of V i s i o n , " F i l m C u l t u r e 30 ( F a l l 1963). B r e c h t , B e r t o l t . "Against Georg Lukacs," Nev L e f t Reviev 84 ( M a r c h / A p r i l 1974). B r e c h t , B e r t o l t . " C o l l e c t i v e P r e s e n t a t i o n (1902)," Screen 15: 2 ( S p r i n g 1974). Brinckmann, C h r i s t i n e N o l l , and Weinbren, Grahame. "Mutations of F i l m N a r r a t i v e , " I d i o l e c t s 12 ( F a l l 1982). C a l i n e s c u , M a t e i . "Avant-Garde, Neo-Avant-Garde, Postmodernism: The C u l t u r e of C r i s i s , " C l i o IV, I I I , 1975. Chatman, Seymour. "Towards a Theory of N a r r a t i v e , " Nev L i t e r a r y H i s t o r y 53: 295 (Winter 1975). C o v i e , E l i z a b e t h . "Woman as S i g n , " n y f , Doane, Mary Ann. " M i s r e c o g n i t i o n and I d e n t i t y , " C i n i - T r a c t s 11: 3 ( F a l l 1980). 124 Doane, Mary Ann. "The Vo i c e i n the Cinema: The A r t i c u l a t i o n of Body and Space," Y a l e French S t u d i e s 60 (1980). Doane, Mary Ann. " F i l m and the Masquerade: T h e o r i s i n g the Female S p e c t a t o r , " C i n e - T r a c t s 2 ( F a l l 1980). Dziga Vertov Group. "What i s to be Done?," Afterimage 1 ( A p r i l 1970). Eaton, Mick. "The Avant-Garde and N a r r a t i v e : SEFT/London Film-makers Co-op Day Schools," Screen 19: 2 (Summer 1978). F o n o r o f f , Nina, and C a r t w r i g h t , L i s a . " N a r r a t i v e i s N a r r a t i v e : So What i s New?", H e r e s i e s 16: 4 (1983). F o u c a u l t , M i c h a e l . "What i s an Author?" Screen 20: 1 (Spring 1979). F r i e d , M i c h a e l . "Art and Objecthood," Artforum (June 1967). G i d a l , P e t e r . "Theory and D e f i n i t i o n of S t r u c t u r a l i s t - M a t e r i a l i s t F i l m , " S t u d i o I n t e r n a t i o n a l 190: 978 (November/December 1975). G i d a l , P e t e r . "The A n t i - N a r r a t i v e (1978)," Screen 20; 2 (Summer 1979). Greenberg, Clement. "Avant-Garde and K i t s c h , " P a r t i s a n Review 6 (1939). Greenberg, Clement. "Modernist P a i n t i n g , " A r t s Yearbook 4 (1961). Gross, David. "Lowenthal, Adorno, Barthes: Three P e r s p e c t i v e s on Popular C u l t u r e , " T e l o s 45 ( F a l l 1980). G u z z e t t i , A l f r e d , ed. " N a r r a t i v e and the F i l m Image," New L i t e r a r y H i s t o r y (Winter 1975). Heath, Stephen. "Lessons from Brecht," Screen 15: 2 (Summer 1974). Huyssen, Andreas. "The Vamp and the Machine: Technology and S e x u a l i t y i n F r i t z Lang's M e t r o p o l i s , " New German C r i t i q u e 24-5 ( F a l l / W i n t e r 1981-2). Jameson, F r e d r i c . "The Ideology of the Text," Salmagundi 31/32 (1975-6). Jameson, F r e d r i c . "The Imaginary and Symbolic i n Lacan: Marxism, P s y c h o a n a l y t i c C r i t i c i s m , and the Problem of the Su b j e c t , " Y a l e French S t u d i e s ( A p r i l 17 1978). Jameson, F r e d r i c . "Postmodernism, or the C u l t u r a l L o g i c of Late C a p i t a l i s m , " New L e f t Review 146 (1984). 125 K r i s t e v a , J u l i a . "Women's Time," Signs (Autumn 1981). MacCabe, C o l i n . "Realism and the Cinema: Notes on Some B r e c h t i a n Theses," Screen (Summer 1974). MacDonald, S c o t t . "Text as Image: In Some Recent North American Avant-Garde F i l m s , " Afterimage (March 1966). Mayne, J u d i t h . "The Woman at the Keyhole: Women's Cinema and Fe m i n i s t C r i t i c i s m , " Nev German C r i t i g u e 23 (Spring/Summer 1981). M i t c h e l l , S t a n l e y . " I n t r o d u c t i o n t o Benjamin and Brecht," Nev L e f t Review 77 (January/February 1973). Montrelay, M i c h e l e . " I n q u i r y Into F e m i n i t y , " M/F 1 (1978). Mulvey, Laura. " V i s u a l P l e a s u r e and N a r r a t i v e Cinema," Screen (Autumn 1975). R a z u t i s , A l , R e i f , Tony, and E l l i o t - H u r s t , M i c h a e l , ed, OPSIS V o l s . 1 and 2. Vancouver: Canadian S o c i e t y f o r the Advancement of C r i t i c a l Cinema, (1984-6). T i t u n i k , I. R. "M. M. B a k h t i n : The Bakhtin School and S o v i e t S e m i o t i c s , " D i s p o s i t o 1: 3 (1976). Wollen, P e t e r . "'Ontology' and ' M a t e r i a l i s m • i n F i l m , " Screen 1: 17 (Spr i n g 1976). Wollen, P e t e r . "The Two Avant-Gardes," Screen 20: 1 (Summer 1976). Wolin, R i c h a r d . "An A e s t h e t i c of Redemption: Benjamin's Path to T r a u e r s p i e l , " T e l o s 43 (Spring 1980).

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