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.