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Andy Warhols Outer and Inner Space - Essay Example

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This paper analyzes narrative and representation in "Outer and Inner Space" of Andy Warhol. For many decades, Andy Warhol is considered as one of the most influential avant-garde artists of the past century. Warhol’s Screen Tests constitute his most ambitious cinema project.
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Andy Warhols Outer and Inner Space

Download file to see previous pages... The paper "Andy Warhols Outer and Inner Space" states narrative and representation in "Outer and Inner Space", directed by Andy Warhol. He was able to maintain the austerity and reduction of his portrait films while incorporating an unprecedented degree of formal complexity. From the critical perspective, in his cinema artworks Warhol is not interesting in conveying visual information so much as translating the experience of posing in front of the camera, and the eerie emptiness that that experience could be said to entail. These formal means enabled him create a phenomenological portrait of our bifurcated experience of temporality itself, the present tense of experience splayed across the registers of future projection and past recollection.This is the main reason why his audience gets some sense of that emptiness through the amount of affective projection that the portraits seem to require from it. However, in Outer and Inner Space we have no time to daydream about Edie. Instead, the Warhol’s narrative and representation causes our perceptual situation to unfold, in a sense, like Edie's own split experience. Warhol’s films are eminently devoted to real-time recordings of his performers doing such banal tasks as applying make-up, making coffee, talking on the phone, gossiping, having casual sex, drinking, arguing, kissing, sleeping and eating. Capturing ordinary, everyday action seemed was a central interest of the underground. This perspective referlected an important impulse in 1960s radicalism. , a perspective that historians Sohnya Sayres et al (1984) described as "the attempt to infuse life with a secular spiritual and moral content, to fill the quotidian with personal meaning and purpose" (p.18). Practically, looking at Warhol's Screen-Tests part of the magic and mystery one feels doubtless comes from a deep-seated desire to witness death give birth to life, for the photograph to become animated before one's eyes. However, no matter how "dead" these images are presented, they can never remain "inert" when seen by the affectively-engaged spectator.
During Outer and Inner Space Andy Warhol used the video tape-recorder to make two thirty-minute tapes of his rising superstar Edith Sedgwick (Angel, 1988, p.42). For the duration of both tapes, she appears in close-up and in profile, the bright, high-contrast image of her face almost completely filling up the frame. What space does exist is completely black. Her face does not appear in space so much as seem "cut out" from it - without depth, the image is as flat as a screen-print. Throughout the entire recording time, her face will barely move, and she will never face the camera. Rather, she gazes off to screen-right - towards the empty black space at the edge of the frame. This artistic approach corresponds to Warhol's avant-garde idea to provide a split within time: the present as past and the present as future. Simultaneously, audience is split between perceptual registers - the visible and the audible - just as Edie is split between her own self-image, and the voice in the back of her head she cannot manage to dismiss. The two are, of course, importantly related. The video image is, for Edie, primarily audible. She rarely perceives the image directly, but its insistent ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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