Film Images in Signifying Practice
On the edge of time, which termed itself as the time of the avant-garde, the film camera was a very practical instrument. At the end of modernism, the relationship between art and time was fulfilled through experimental film and found its conceptual articulation in the category of the present. Film in general, as it had become a dimension of mass perception and a manifest art of reproduction, taking the form of large-scale production, was able to ask questions on the act of seeing itself, as Dudley Andrew remarked in 1984. This questioning took place in experimental film. It also made apparent certain problems, which were already signalled by – among others – Bishop Berkeley in his theory of vision, in which he emphasised the rapport between the seen and the felt on one hand, and the sense of touch on the other. However, in the 1960s, film evocations of the interactive constitution of perception in the reflexive, self-referential, paradoxical and shocking visual gestures, effecting a decentring of film image, imposed themselves as the signifiers of socially determined relationships. Therefore, experimental film placed itself at the origin of cinema’s pervasion with radical art and in the centre of questions pertaining to the social revolution. Since this notion was very much present at the time in Yugoslavia, it presented a very stimulating environment for experimental film.
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