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The Taste of the Subject in Mondovino: An Ethics of Framing

“First of all, on the surface I am going to paint, I draw a rectangle of whatever size I want…”. From the origin of modern representation dated to 1435 with Alberti’s finestra aperta and which sets the sovereign choice of the painter (as well as his taste) as the founding principle of the opening of a representational field, we are invited to observe through the free-handed and poetic framings of Mondovino — Jonathan Nossiter’s documentary – how the ethics of the subject is voiced at the image-frame level. The image, conceived as an opening between the space of representation and that of the spectator, gains an ethical dimension as it moves from its status as apparatus to that of the figure of that apparatus. This is achieved by virtue of its enunciative origin being brought into play – in this case the film-maker’s body in the movie, through his presence, his voice, his hand and ultimately through the expression of his taste, notably borrowing the zoom figure to the point of a visual allegory. And so, Jonathan Nossiter’s ethic – expressed by means of the frame choice the measure of the imaging subject’s taste – meets up with that of Alberti.

Painting and Psychoanalysis supporting the Translation of Poetry

The English poet Sir Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892) claimed that something of him was to be found in The Lady of Shalott (first version in 1832, second version in 1842). A close reading of some stanzas shows that several translations miss the key-moment of the poem. If we consider the contemporary painting inspired by the poem and approach the writing of poetry as speech on the edge of the unconscious as explored by psychoanalysis, we can apprehend more clearly the significance of the Lady’s destiny seeing her working at a loom, as a metaphor for the poet’s creative process, himself a “translator” of experiences and sounds which he does not quite understand. The evolution of gender roles in our society, as revealed by some poems, legends or fairy tales, sharpens our perception of the main character.

The Logical Times of Sublimation and Architecture

This article begins by analyzing Lacan’s famous formula from the seminar The ethics of psychoanalysis: sublimation “elevates an object to the dignity of the Thing” (Lacan, 1986 [1959-1960]: 133). Our hypothesis is that this operation has a logical sequence. We will demonstrate that Gothic architecture can account for the logic of sublimation and we will articulate the difference between “primitive sublimation” and sublimation as “elevation”: the former describes a sublimation that works without the imaginary – we shall refer to this as the creation of “holy (sacred) void” of architecture – the latter works with the imaginary but through a symbolic elevation that puts us in an indirect relationship with the real.

The Passage to the Verb

This paper discusses architecture and the place (lieu) not as conceptualised by philosophy, by physics or even popularly as a milieu, an environmental continuum but rather as the effect of an operation: An operation of division, of a cut, as psychoanalyst; an operation that gives birth to the subject as a place (lieu) and not as a substance. We are there in another universe which is not the one of the strong ego. An operation of inscription and a distancing of the impact of the real, according to the architect who generates with his work, emptiness where things have a place (avoir lieu). In other words, we will speak about space, which we conceive of as the effect of the passage of the signifiers (significant) (“S passe”), but also as the opening where the verb is passing which is holding us in its passage.

Finding one’s Tongue

For children who are deaf – that is to say, who cannot hear sound – from the outset communication involves what they can see, touch, feel, sense, and transmit to others through gestural signs (body language). This happens intuitively , and this process is as incomprehensible to those who use speech as it is to these children. In analysis the deaf (and those who try to “get through to them”) attempt to convey, despite efforts to validate their experience and the historic disparagement of sign language, the difficulty of finding a language that is shared by all. It needs to be understood that a deaf child is neither dumb nor stupid and that a mainstream system of education that recognizes this reality is required.

Sign Languages, Oral Expression and Writing. On the Writing of a Sign Language – French Bilingual Book

Sign languages, and among them French Belgian Sign Language (LSFB), illustrate that the embodiment of language can take different forms. Sign languages demonstrate that sound does not define linguistic ability and that a phoneme is not a sound. The gaze that the signer addresses to an interlocutor organizes the signer’s body and the surrounding space into a grammatical space. A recent experience of editing a bilingual book (in LSFB and in French) devoted to the linguistic issues of teaching in sign language raises several questions: about the status similarity/difference (oral vs. written?) between sign language and sign language video; about the heterogeneity of written practices by Deaf people; and about the particularity of translating a written text into a signed discourse.