IMAGES Journal for Visual Studies

events: Visual studies today: The power of images


Saša Vojković
Reformulating the Symbolic Order: World Cinema and Vision Which Exceeds the Fictional Universe

The point of departure of this paper is that narrative representation is determined not only by the process of cinematic storytelling/narration, but also by a certain mode of cultural expression that informs the film’s fabula. Relevant here is the Lacanian gaze – the visual order as it is equivalent to the symbolic order. In respect to this, I will demonstrate the ways the symbolic order is reformulated in world cinema – acute variations separate one culture and epoch from another – "these variations pertain to how the gaze is apprehended, how the world is perceived, and how the subject experiences his or her visibility." (Silverman) I will ultimately bring into discussion the concept of the screen and the concept of the look, implying that what is at stake here is the repertoire of images through which subjects are constituted and differentiated, as well as the new relays and stories that condition the look’s agency.