Miguel Duarte – Abstract

The Regenerative Cinematic Surface: Contractions, Expansions and Migrations in The Aleph and Sans Soleil

Studies in Visual Arts and Communication – an international journal / Dec 2014 1(2)

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This paper introduces a comparative study relating the famous long sentence of The Aleph, by Jorge Luis Borges, and the documentary film Sans Soleil, by Chris Marker. The processes used by both artists can be studied in parallel in order to consider the construction of a complex surface in which heterogeneous fragments belonging to dissimilar times and spaces are articulated, combined and juxtaposed, exceeding the aesthetic purity of a fixed and immobile whole. Our argument is that the capacity of this surface, or screen, to constantly dismantle and reassemble disparate sets of images and conceptual directions should be understood according to the concepts of “plane of immanence” and “ideal game”, prominently developed by Gilles Deleuze in his Logique du Sens (1969). These concepts connect to a constellation of other terms, like event, paradox, becoming, and, notably, Chronos and Aion, through which Deleuze conceives a tension between the transitory present that passes and the expansion of a past that remains. Our approach is that all such terms and, very specially, this coexistence between a time simultaneously contracted and expanded in vast circuits, emerges as a key point to develop an in-depth comprehension of Deleuze’s time-image, finding in the works of Borges and Marker two valuable and unexpected examples of analysis. As in Deleuze’s theory of planes and becomings, in both Borges’ and Marker’s oeuvres the paradoxical space is also affected by a paradoxical time that is infinitive, unreservedly multiple, and conveying the possibility to reinterpret facts and history.

Keywords: Time, Plane(s), Deleuze, Borges, Marker.