My research concerns how we as spectators can have the understanding of ourselves and our surroundings (our subjectivity) thrown into disarray, so that what we understand of ourselves is radically changed. This change of subjectivity implies that the position we previously occupied is not the same as now, it is other to us. It is a question of identity. So if we no longer share identity with our previous self, what relation do we have with ourselves from beforehand? These ideas are often used in horror and comedy cinema, where the fundamental understanding of a situation spins on its head, prompting terror or hysterical laughter. My practice-based research aims to critically examine this through the concept and processes of metalepsis, a condition experienced by audiences through a particular encounter with the uncanny. Narrative metalepsis occurs when a story’s narrator intrudes into the narrative universe, or the inverse.
Metalepsis is the central theme of an emerging field of research termed ‘Boundary Language’ (Kunze, 1998 to present) a visual study promoting experiment in critical theory, through interdisciplinary study of topology, architecture and psychoanalysis. My own research seeks to employ this methodology as a means to test ways that radically shift the subjectivity of a spectator of moving image to profoundly reconceptualise the experience of difference.
I am developing a series of experimental moving image works that radically flip the subjectivity of the audience. The works test how a spectator may be radically positioned in relation to the screen, author and auditorium, to confront oneself as Other in a process where fear and hatred meet jouissance. Can our fear and desire be repositioned so that we can move from intolerance towards jouissance in the encounter of the other?