Dialogic Materialism: Bakhtin, Embodiment and Moving Image Art (American University Studies)

Dialogic Materialism: Bakhtin, Embodiment and Moving Image Art (American University Studies)

Language: English

Pages: 144

ISBN: 1433124459

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Dialogic Materialism: Bakhtin, Embodiment and Moving Image Art argues for the relevance of Mikhail Bakhtin’s theories of dialogism as a means of examining the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary moving image art forms. The volume comprises six chapters divided into two sections. The first section, Part I, illustrates the key concepts in Bakhtin’s multifaceted dialogism and develops these ideas in relation to moving image art. The main focus of this first part is the proposal of what the author terms dialogic materialism, which builds upon the Marxism inherent in Bakhtin, examining the material processes of cultural exchange with a particular emphasis on multi-perspective subjective relations. Part II consists of case studies that apply dialogic materialism to the moving image artwork of three artists: Stan Douglas, Jamelie Hassan and Chris Marker. Applying Bakhtinian theory to the field of the visual arts provides a means of examining the fundamentally dialogic nature of moving image art making and viewing, a perspective that is not fully developed within the existing literature.

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condition governing the operation of meaning in any utterance. It is that which insures the primacy of context over text. At any given time, in any given place, there will be a set of conditions – social, historical, meteorological, physiological – that will insure that a word uttered in that place and at that time will have a meaning different than it would have under any other conditions; all utterances are heteroglot in that they are functions of a matrix of forces practically impossible to

not separated from the world by clearly defined boundaries; it is blended with the world, with animals, with objects.” 93 The unfinished body that merges with the material world is a body that has been subject to repeated attempts by dominant discourse to contain it, to hold it to the boundaries of normative values and law, it is subject to body politics. Michel Foucault is in agreement with Bakhtin on the power of the body. Though Foucault is much more outspoken about the politics of the body

concept has a cumbersome history, one that Bakhtin lived to see distorted into the repression of Soviet Diamat.108 However, there are aspects of materialism that are still useful and to ignore the possibilities that the material world offers in understanding art would be foolhardy. As Henri Lefebvre states: And materialism? Like Marx’s other concepts concerning the economic, the political, and revolution, materialism is simultaneously right and wrong. If it is correct to say that productive

depiction of Bakhtinian thought as wholly incompatible with dialectics is part of a pronounced desire to demonstrate his hostility towards Marxism per se, and hence to discredit, merely by dint of association, every aspect of the Marxist emancipatory project, particularly the notion of collective sociopolitical agency.”122 Attempts to discredit the Marxist influence on Bakhtin are ludicrous since they are contrary to the most basic aspect of dialogism and ignore the role that an individual’s

of California Press, 1993), 387. 128 151 Notes Rape is a word that Hitchcock cannot even bring himself to say, as demonstrated in his taped conversations with Evan Hunter, a disavowal that is striking given his insistence on the scene and on his powerful position as, what Bellour terms, enunciator: “And then you get the second night in the cabin. He comes to her and she tries to resist – and then she turns her head away and you follow the big head right down onto the bed and you stay on the

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