'In The Rule of the Metaphor philosopher Paul Ricoeur writes: “If there is a point in our experience where living expression states living existence, it is where our movement up the entropic slope of language encounters the movement by which we come back this side of the distinctions between actuality, action, production, motion” [...]. Clearly, [...] ambivalent articulations of the sensual experience of the lived body in relation to cinematic representation mark just such a point. I want, therefore, to consider the ambivalence and confusion of our sense at the movies of having both a “real” (or literal) sensual experience and an “as-if-real” (or figural) sensual experience. I also want to argue that this ambivalence has a precise phenomenological structure that is grounded in the nonhierarchical reciprocity and figure-ground reversibility of “having sense” and “making sense”—meaning thus constituted as both a carnal matter and a conscious meaning that emerge simultaneously (if in various ratios) from the single system of flesh and consciousness that is the lived body. This is another way of saying that the body and language (whether film language or “natural” language) do not simply oppose or reflect each other. Rather, they more radically in-form each other in a fundamentally nonhierarchical and reversible relationship that, in certain circumstances, manifests itself as a vacillating, ambivalent, often ambiguously undifferentiated, and thus “unnameable or “undecidable” experience.'

Vivian Sobchack, Carnal Thoughts: Embodiment and Moving Image Culture, publisher: University of California Press

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