|Title||Reclaiming the image. Béla Tarr's world of 'inhuman' becoming: an artistic and philosophical inquiry|
The thesis entitled 'Reclaiming the Image' is an artistic and philosophical enquiry. It aims at a radical re-thinking of the concept of the image outside the accepted notions of realism and representation by opening up the photographic real in the process of bringing together photography and cinema, stillness and movement, life and art, aesthetics and politics. It involves a thinking and writing with Béla Tarr's cinematic imagery through Gilles Deleuze's philosophical concepts. Its objective is not to illustrate Deleuze's ideas with Tarr's images, nor to read Tarr's cinema through Deleuze as such, but to think with images philosophically, in the hope of opening up the area of theory to the creative 'powers of the false'. I wish it to be seen as an aesthetico-ethical experiment which, rather than developing an overarching theoretical argument, constructs a critical and creative assemblage of different ideas and voices. On the one hand, the project seeks to creatively re-think Deleuzian concepts while thinking 'about' still and moving images, in relation to the real as affect and thought. On the other, to 'continue' films' images by opening their thinking further. The project of reclaiming the image as re-thinking in non-representational terms of immanent becoming will engage the Deleuzian- Bergsonian- Nietzschean concepts of time, life and aesthetics, and Tarr's intensely felt image-world in the series of encounters – affect-thoughts – that will undermine the normative notion of reality. The two modes – critical and creative – are not constructed separately but weaved together throughout what is 'enacted' as filmosophical "free indirect discourse" – a poetic coming together of film, philosophy and writing (as art).
It is hoped that this will enable the potential for opening new areas of thinking and writing about/ with film/ photographic imagery outside the main discourses concerning theory and practice, the critical and the creative.