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Peter Gidal
It (unending duration) positions the viewer in a place of seeing, i.e. perception, without conflating that into knowing (as it is one extreme function, not the whole), without mixing the two up. The separation of the two underlies avant-garde film from Warhol on.
Peter Gidal, "'13 Most Beautiful Women' and 'Kitchen'", 'Undercut' no.1, Spring 1981

This was where I started: with a question about what it means to make Peter Gidal's films the subject of a piece of writing, with the inevitable process of translation or evidence of "understanding" that this incurs. This becomes a problem because of the way in which it implies a potential re-inscription onto the films (in somehow "explaining") of the very modes of knowledge which they construct themselves against -the works themselves attempt to defy, structurally, any received notions about how, traditionally, "cinema" might operate, and by doing so question also the ways in which cinema is described, inscribed, "read" by standard interpretative practices.

Peter Gidal is a (self-theorising) theorist as well as a (self-defined, structural-materialist) filmmaker. Yet there is no indexical relationship between his writing and films, exacerbating a simple matching between theory and proof, so the problem becomes how to describe when the films themselves are precisely not about description, but about process, about something being produced not reproduced: not representational (although they do show recognisable things, sometimes) but anti-representational, anti-narrative - structural. In as much they are like a resistance, an exclusion zone, engaged in manifestations of "unpleasure" that effectively block normative response instead of facilitating it and this attempt is political, a resistance to capitalist (patriarchal?) structures through which "cinema" might be otherwise understood (capitalism and patriarchy). So should this process of questioning not extend to the business of me writing this? Should it not question this business, what this (critical/cultural) "industry" is also about - would this not be the best way to "describe" the films, to raise a question about this piece of writing as you are reading it?

Still from Guilt by Peter Gidal, 1988
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