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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19317

Title: "Before Our Eyes: Les mots, non les choses. Jean-Luc Godard's "Ici et ailleurs" (1970-74) and "Notre musique" (2004)"
Authors: Emmelhainz, Irmgard
Advisor: Ricco, John-Paul
Department: History of Art
Keywords: Jean-Luc Godard
Palestine Question
Aesthetics and Globalization
Politics of Representation
Notre musique (2004)
Ethics of Visibility
Ici et ailleurs (1970-74)
Film Theory
Issue Date: 5-Mar-2010
Abstract: Jean-Luc Godard and Jean-Pierre Gorin made in 1970 a “political film politically” about the Palestinian Revolution, Jusqu’à la victoire, which remained unfinished. Under the framework of their audio-visual research project, Sonimage, Godard edited the Palestinian footage with Anne-Marie Miéville. Working through the collapse of the revolutionary project, imaging the Palestinian resistance became a matter of the restitution of speech to the absent and to the dead Palestinians – to whom, as Godard laments self-critically in the film, they had not listened to. Godard’s and Miéville’s compass for action was reconfigured as “audiovisual journalism,” addressing the changing conditions in political engagement, challenging the mediatization of mediation prompted by the Leftist utopian belief in the emancipatory potential of the media. The hegemonic discourse circulating within Leftist intellectual culture abandoned the iconic referent of “The Revolution,” which became the fatal harbinger of totalitarianism. Since then, Third World subjects have been figured as terrorists or victims who are incapable of determining themselves politically, or to “develop” economically. Such a turn has given leeway to new models of engagement and emancipation that account for the real of reality, embedded in the non-discourse of rights or counter-memory, while beckoning for a politics of infinite restitution. Godard returned to the Palestine Question thirty years later in Notre musique, by stopping-over in post-war Sarajevo, a place where it became possible for Godard to host a gathering of the Trojan poets and storytellers of sorts. Reconciliation and rehabilitation are the reverse-shot of a world of violent ethnic strife evidencing the futility of the politization of forgiveness. By way of a montage, Godard vouches for the mobilization of the powers of the false in order to save the real. The beautiful becomes necessary to “cover” memories of catastrophe. The aesthetico-political task is the regulation of the distance between the viewer and the screen. The conditions are the belief in images, faith and the desire to see as our links to the world. Within the pervasiveness of the hyperreal and culture, which Godard equates to ruins, the exiles and vanquished call for the exception, which is art.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/19317
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Art, Art History Program - Doctoral theses

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