Killing Time Exhibition/Inhibition



This paper tends to reconstruct concepts such as agency, ideological understanding and commitment of the movie-maker and the movie audience. The subject of this study relates to Samuel Beckett’s exhibition that took place in Paris. During the exhibition, one of Beckett’s videos “Film” is played. “Video” and “Trial” along with “Film” constitute a narrative chain in this paper. The common characteristics of the genres to which these films allude is the ambiguity of the object and subjectivity. In other words, what are the effecting factors on political agency and the audience’s self-conscousness, as well as the audience’s sense of political responsibility? In his movie “Film”, Beckett makes use of Deleuze’s view on three types of images. Deleuze maintains there are three types of images, the perception-image, the affection-image, and the action-image, in cinema in which both character and audience are activated. Affection image is a good method for explaining the video titled “video” made by Canadian artist Stan Douglas. This work is in some repects a reconstructed version of Orson Welles’s movie “Trial” which was made based on Franz Kafka’s novel. There are many elements in “Video” that brings it to be similar to “Film” and this reflects a history of the two movies in two different time periods. On the other hand, Welles who works with visual media reconstructs Kafka’s hero and materialize it. While Beckett depersonalizes his movie’s character, Douglas’s support for Welles movie indicates his interest in exploring the relation between embodiment and character. In the meantime, these artists create a type of political skepticism about art. These works are some samples of political art which indicate how a political art may be able to detach itself from traps that tend to eliminate critiquing ideology. This means, an influencing art can loan the characteristic of an agency to its audience. Two of the works of moving images that are studied here are mute and wordless although in The Trial many dialogues are exchanged. In fact, the visual presentation of an interaction without words changes the role of language. The visual language of the works goes beyond being an exclusive tool of unilinearity and coherence for presenting the narrative.