What do images of the body, which recent poets and filmmakers have given us, tell us about ourselves, about the way we think and about the culture in which we live? In his new book A Body of Vision, R. Bruce Elder situates contemporary poetic and cinematic body images in their cultural context. Elder examines how recent artists have tried to recognize and to convey primordial forms of experiences. He proposes the daring thesis that in their efforts to do so, artists have resorted to gnostic models of consciousness. He argues that the attempt to convey these primordial modes of awareness demands a different conception of artistic meaning from any of those that currently dominate contemporary critical discussion. By reworking theories and speech in highly original ways, Elder formulates this new conception. The works of Brakhage, Artaud, Schneeman, Cohen and others lie naked under Elder's razor-sharp dissecting knife and he exposes the essence of their work, cutting deeply into the themes and theses from which the works are derived. His remarks on the gaps in contemporary critical practices will likely become the focus of much debate.
Filmmaker, author, and critic, R. Bruce Elder inspires and enjoys debate. His books include Image and Identity: Reflections on Canadian Film and Culture (WLUP, 1989), A Body of Vision (WLUP, 1998), and The Films of Stan Brakhage in the American Tradition of Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, and Charles Olson (WLUP, 1999). His films have been exhibited internationally and his polemical piece, aThe Cinema We Need,a remains one of the most discussed pieces of writing on Canadian film. In 2007, R. Bruce Elder received the Governor Generalas Award in Media Arts. Elder is the program director at Ryerson for the Graduate Program in Communication and Culture.
Foreword; Preface; Introduction: In Reality, Who Are We?; A House Divided; Two Schools of Thought; An Aesthetic of Reconciliation; The Documentary Film in Canada; Narrative Transmission in American Direct Cinema Films & Canadian Candid-Eye Films; The Reality Principle: "Goin Down the Road"; Modes of Representation in Cinema; Michael Snows "Wavelength"; From Painting into Cinema: A Study of Jack Chambers "Circle"; All Things in Their Time: On Michael Snows <> ; The Photographic Image in Canadian Avant-Garde Film; Michael Snow Presents "Presents"; Idealism, Photography & the Canadian Avant-Garde Film; Forms of Cinema: Models of Self; Bibliography; Index.