By Saige Walton
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Additional info for Cinema's Baroque Flesh: Film, Phenomenology and the Art of Entanglement (Film Culture in Transition)
By establishing the ontological structures and conditions that underpin baroque flesh, this chapter will give us pause to consider why this aesthetic is so amenable to film. While turning perception ‘inside out’ to make it sensible to others could be considered through alternative aesthetic models, reversibility bears a very special relationship to the baroque. As I argue it, in baroque flesh we find the aesthetic expression of much of what Merleau-Ponty has to tell us about embodied being and perception.
So directly does this painting address me, and so responsive am I in reciprocating it, that it cannot be equated with the kind of perceptual negativity that marks Foucault’s ‘classical’ model. 278). To clarify: we have spent some time with Las Meninas to consider how its correlation between bodies is indicative of historic baroque art. This is a painting that revels in the baroque instability of vision and of meaning. 171; italics mine). 15). Consonant with the ‘flesh’, the baroque renders visual subjects Flesh, Cinema and the Baroque: The Aesthe tics of Reversibilit y 43 and visual objects, inside and outside, and states of activity and passivity as intertwined and reversible.
24). Herein we uncover another reason why the baroque might be at home within the medium of cinema. Like the baroque, cinema constitutes another art of analogy that brings the invisible into visibility. Given the mutually embodied structures of film and viewer, Sobchack argues that ‘film makes sense by virtue of its very ontology. 12). Just as the historic baroque harnessed the art of analogy to bring its participant into up-close-and-personal encounters with the invisible or the abstract, cinema is enabled by its own existentially familiar connections.