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The Imagination of Touch: Surrealist Tactility in the Films of Jan Švankmajer
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Media Studies.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Aesthetics and Culture, ISSN 2000-4214, E-ISSN 2000-4214, Vol. 5Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article is a theoretical examination of tactility in the Czech surrealist filmmaker Jan Švankmajer’s film Down to the Cellar (1983). Švankmajer’s deployment of tactile images in a surrealist context shows the need for a discussion of the imagination’s role in the embodied film experience. Departing from Laura Marks’s The Skin of the Film, this article seeks to explore the surrealist embodied imagination through surrealist poetics of analogy, as defined by Andre´ Breton, and the link between these and Walter Benjamin’s writings on mimesis. Finally, the film is viewed from the perspective of Gaston Bachelard’s ideas of ‘‘the imagination of matter,’’ where matter is seen as a highly potent stimulant for the imagination. Bachelard’s notion of the imagination’s multisensory properties further lends credence to Švankmajer’s aims to liberate the imagination of the spectator through images that invoke touch.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
CoAction Publishing, 2013. Vol. 5
Keyword [en]
surrealism, Gaston Bachelard, Walter Benjamin, Laura Marks, phenomenology
National Category
Studies on Film
Research subject
Cinema Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-92318DOI: 10.3402/jac.v5i0.21111OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-92318DiVA: diva2:638484
Available from: 2013-07-30 Created: 2013-07-29 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved

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Publisher's full texthttp://www.aestheticsandculture.net/index.php/jac/article/view/21111

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CiteExportLink to record
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