“The dilemma of critical thought” is an expression used by J.W. Mitchell for the schizophrenic position which today faces every attempt at critical art and critical discourse. In confronting the postmodern “hyperinflation of discourses” (Medak) and the “flood of the autobiographic” (Rascaroli), the critical discourse tries to find a legitimate position from which to voice a critical stance, while trying to prevent itself from becoming part of a stream of partial discourses, regularly swallowed up by the system in order to be offered on the global market as the newest products under the popular brand of “arts and politics.” In such turbulent waters, critical art tries to navigate between the rocks of arrogant omniscient and didactic discourse on one hand, and a cynical autodestructive “melancholy of impotence” (Rancière) on the other. The films of Sylvain George hint at one of the possible paths of a risky, but potentially productive navigation: the specific strategies of construction of an engaged discourse in his film-essays work towards activating the viewer in a shared search for new paths.
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