Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Abject VisionsPowers of Horror in Art and Visual Culture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Rina Arya and Nicholas Chare

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780719096280

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719096280.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MANCHESTER SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.manchester.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Manchester University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

Abjection, art and bare life

Abjection, art and bare life

(p.14) 1 Abjection, art and bare life
Abject Visions

John Lechte

Manchester University Press

In this essay John Lechte develops the idea of the abject as beyond objectification. Grounding his argument in Immanuel Kant’s conception of the beautiful as that which has no concept, Lechte asks if there can really be an art of the abject given the concept’s elusive status. He answers this question through an analysis of the film Sombre(Dir. Philippe Grandrieux, France, 1998). For Lechte, the abject “represents” a radical immanence. Abject art is therefore art that takes the non-object as its object. Grandrieux’s films, through their chiaroscuro cinematography, comprise works in which the medium of film appears to be foregrounded. The sombre lighting makes objects difficult to discern. This has led some commentators to contend that Grandrieux brings the materiality of film to the screen. Lechte, however, argues that materiality is always already screened, barred from us, by the very process of signification that seeks to capture it. In this light, if there is an abject element to Sombreit can only ever be evoked rather than clearly represented for to represent it would be to abolish it.

Keywords:   Sombre (Dir. Philippe Grandrieux), Kantian aesthetics, Abjection, Materiality of film, The non-object, French cinema, Julia Kristeva

Manchester Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.