Absorb/project

March 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

Non-human or inanimate objects in the background of a ‘scene’ can attract and promote the agreement of further elements. For instance, human figures represented in a mountainous landscape will pictorially absorb the permanence and solidity that mountains possess, and their bodies will in turn reproduce the lines and masses of the rocky landscape. (CTfAH, 336)

The setting can also reproduce the subjectivity of a person within the same representation, if that person is a narrative agent within the diegesis. The topological ‘place’ turns into psychological ‘space’ when representation of place can be connected to a certain point of perception, i.e. being focalized. (MB 132-133) The absorbing and projecting of certain characteristics will in this case function similarly to the process described above. But even without people being represented in the image, the act of gazing on the viewer’s behalf will transform place into subjectified space.

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