Teachers and Employees

Deifel, Valerie Univ.-Ass. Mag.phil. Dr.phil.

Ästhetik der Leerstelle: Darstellung und Funktion des Inkommensurablen im Film
scientific publication
The research project investigates the representation of empty spaces as aesthetic strategies in film. Not only is the emptying of content of interest, but also the implications of the emptying – or opening – process in relation to a position, arrangement, or placing in the filmic dispositif. By outlining and narrowing down topics of localisation in the filmic representation and of certain functions, this hypothesis is tested. The concept is based on a discourse in film and art theory, which connects the emptying of representation to modernity in film and to politics of the image that strive to intervene in existing conventions. Additionally, the phenomenological analyses of films situate the techniques of representation in the examples of the specific films. The investigated period spans from the 1960s to the 1980s; nevertheless, conceptual an aesthetic themes are followed beyond this era. The epistemological interest is to structure aesthetics of empty spaces, to intertwine different theoretical and filmic positions and thus find new connections between them. In filmic representation, empty space can be found in different positions. In principle, the topics of localisation are guided by Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of cinema, describing the moving image as a complex arrangement of different processes and as a specific type of a ‘system’ that brings together different ‘ensembles’ of elements, relatively closed, within the framings of the shots. Therefore, the studies of representational modes of the empty space focus on the transition of images, the emptiness in the image, the in-between of images, the acoustic dimension of the off space, and the outside of the image. Furthermore, they deal with the media-philosophical implications of the empty space as interference with representation. The topics of localisation are discussed with examples of ‘structural films’ and ‘Structural/Materialist films’, which are also labelled ‘modernist films’ in relation to debates about abstract art and the rise of conceptual art in the 1960s and 1970s. The structural film references (post-)structuralist and semiotic theories and examines media-reflexive applications and strategies for a critique of representation, in order to test the limits of the cinematographic image and its effects on the viewer. In addition to artists’ films, narrative and fictional films are analysed. Following this, the conclusions about the functions of the empty space are differentiated into the topics of perception, affect, thought, time, materiality and mediality. Consequently, the references to films and theoretical texts are reconsidered and new connections are made based on these topics of functionality.
Valerie Deifel
Diss., Universität Wien, Institut für Theater-, Film und Medienwissenschaft