Sunday, 6 May 2007

a picture about 'x'

It's hard to explain 'suture'. In psychoanalytical theory, it's what 'binds the subject to the signifier'. In film theory, it's the technique that makes us forget the camera is doing the looking. A 'you-shaped' hole in the picture/text in which you are 'stitched'. A sort of black hole, an Alice tunnel, an 'illogical logic' that is necessary to drive the narrative and seduce the viewer. To me, it says that all the interesting stuff is going on behind the camera. Not in front of it. And every portrait is, effectively, a sort of self-portrait. The audience is fooled into believing a picture is about 'x' when it's really about 'y'.

For example, the close-up magician would point out that the key to an effective performance is to get the audience to see only what it wants to see in order to bring out their suppressed belief in magic. The magician doesn't fight the audience's desire, but he knows that it's really a desire to be deceived. In the unsure custody of a flawed guide, the audience gives rein to their desire to be deceived, often unconsciously. This is the trick of the "flawed point of view."

I love the idea of art placing us 'in the unsure custody of a flawed guide'.

Thanks to Donald Kunze here who helped explain it to me.