Unreal Nature

March 5, 2016

Attention to Broken Forms

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 6:00 am

… We are instructed to look at the fragments that endure, at the partial nature of things that survive …

This is from Chris Marker: La Jetée, by Janet Harbord (2009):

… Amongst the stuffed beasts and broken statues within the film is the idea that someone from the past left these things for us, ‘us’ as a future people constructed by their idea of who we might be and what we may desire. Similarly, La Jetée, a work created some 47 years ago, archived a past directed at us and other future viewers.

La_Jetee_stuffedAnimals

… The power of images is underscored at every point. The opening line of the film spells out a key distinction: it tells a story of a man marked by an image rather than a memory. The status of the image, as dream, fantasy or memory, is uncertain, but its effect is definite. Importantly, it is the potency of this image that singles out the protagonist as a subject for experimentation; the hope of time travel and future salvation rests on the capacity of men to mentally imagine, to be affected by the image.

La_Jetee_woman

… The chimerical woman is submerged by other figures and statues — fractured and chipped, headless or faceless. The attention to broken forms is insistent. We are instructed to look at the fragments that endure, at the partial nature of things that survive over time. Almost like a warning (a siren?), these images, like those of Paris in the opening sequence, speak of the incompleteness of our experience of the past. Statues and ruins, like photographs, are only part of the story. But, significantly, their partial form allows our own supplementation, our own interpretive creations, to take root.

My previous post from Harbord’s book is here.

-Julie

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