Aesthetics of Irritation. Auteur Theory, Melodramatic Mode and the Politics of Critical Subjectivity

Description

Incorporating approaches from media studies, psychology, sociology, semiotics, cultural theory and philosophy, this Visual Culture Studies project addresses implications of a pictorial/iconic turn in western culture by analyzing the following central concepts: melodrama as moving from a cinematic genre to a cultural mode (Brooks, Elsaesser, Williams); cinema auteurism as a lens for subversive intervention of mainstream visual narrative practices in the Modernist tradition; the relationship between visual media, subjectivity and agency as intersecting at a point of socio-political potential.
With an analysis of subject formation in relation to the kinds of stories occidental cultures circulate about themselves, this project historically traces a parallel dual ontology of the Anglo-American and European Modernist tradition along with the Franco-American melodramatic tradition, situating both as reactionary developments to socio-psychological conditions arising from post-Enlightenment secularization, for which a genealogy is then developed. Subsequently, the theory of an aesthetics of irritation investigates how certain contemporary filmmakers radically set their visual narrative style in juxtaposition to habitualized narrative reception and formations of melodrama in social fields (Bourdieu). This is done in a manner that not only functions as social commentary on cultural patterns of cognitive and emotive reception in relation to psychic investment and subject formation; it also enacts a provocation encouraging viewer awareness and consideration of the viewer's involvement in such practices of collective sense-making on the basis of a Manichean dialectic of good and evil. Such a provocation functions as a visual-cultural intervention that attempts to maintain the political field as a field of non-reductive social antagonism (Ranciere, Zizek). In its consideration of subjectivity and paradigmatic visual signifying practices, this investigation moves beyond conventional film studies to encompass a greater scope of Cultural Studies, and in so doing, places itself at the center of the debate on how the emerging field of Visual Culture Studies is to be shaped.

This research project includes a series of lectures on the Bachelors and Masters levels, conference papers, journal publications, and a dual-authored monograph to be published in English.

Additional Informationsunspecified
Commencement Date1 August 2010
Contributors Loren, Scott (Project Manager) & Metelmann, Jörg (Project Manager)
Datestamp 16 Sep 2022 10:57
Completion Date 31 July 2012
Publications Metelmann, Jörg & Loren, Scott: Fighting the melodramatic condition. Haneke's polemics. 2009. - Michael Haneke: Entre ésthetique, éthique, et politique. - Strasbourg.
Loren, Scott & Metelmann, Jörg: Mind the Image, Close the Gap : Toward a Critical Visual Literacy after the Pictorial Turn. 2010. - 37th International Conference of the AAAS in collaboration with the SANAS. - Universität Innsbruck.
Loren, Scott & Metelmann, Jörg: Cinema and Visual Culture : An example through Michael Haneke's CACHÉ. Brown Bag Lunch. MCM-HSG - Institut für Medien- und Kommunikationsmanagement, 28 April 2011.
Loren, Scott & Metelmann, Jörg: Aesthetics of Irritation : Cinema Mass Culture and the Melodramatic Mode. Forschungscolloquium des Seminars für Filmwissenschaft der Universität Zürich. FIWI Zürich, 5 May 2011.
Loren, Scott & Metelmann, Jörg: Visualizing Subjectivity : A Dual Ontology. KIM Doktorierendencolloquium. Universität St.Gallen, 2 May 2011.
Loren, Scott & Metelmann, Jörg: What is Hidden? : Visual Subjectivities in Michael Haneke's Caché. KIM Colloquium. St.Gallen, 16 November 2011.
Loren, Scott & Metelmann, Jörg (2011) What's the Matter? : Race becomes Res. Journal of Visual Culture, 10 (3). 397-405. ISSN 1470-4129
Herrmann, Jörg; Metelmann, Jörg & Schwandt, Hans-Gerd (ed.) : Wissen sie, was sie tun? : Zur filmischen Inszenierung jugendlicher Gewalt. Marburg : Schüren, 2012, - ISBN 978-3-89472-732-1.
Metelmann, Jörg: Die Innenwelt der Aussenwelt der Weltmarktordnung. In Metelmann, Jörg & Beyes, Timon (ed.): Die Macht der Gefühle : Emotionen in Management, Organisation und Kultur. Berlin : Berlin University Press, 2012, S. 145-162.
Metelmann, Jörg & Beyes, Timon: Zur Einleitung : Die Macht der Gefühle. In Metelmann, Jörg & Beyes, Timon (ed.): Die Macht der Gefühle : Emotionen in Management, Organisation und Kultur. Berlin : Berlin University Press, 2012, S. 7-22.
Metelmann, Jörg & Beyes, Timon (ed.) : Die Macht der Gefühle : Emotionen in Management, Organisation und Kultur. Berlin : Berlin University Press, 2012, - ISBN 978-3-86280-030-8.
Metelmann, Jörg: Der Pastor und die Profanierung : Das Böse bei Haneke. In Wessely, Christian (ed.): Michael Haneke und seine Filme : Eine Pathologie der Konsumgesellschaft. Marburg : Schüren, 2012, S. 205-224.
Metelmann, Jörg & Loren, Scott: Moi, le vilain : CACHÉ et la rhétorique mélodramatique de la vilenie. In Carré, Valérie (ed.): Fragments du monde : retour sur l'oeuvre de Michael Haneke. Lormont : Le Bord de l'Eau, 2012, S. 179-196.
Loren, Scott & Metelmann, Jörg : Irritation of Life : The Subversive Melodrama of Michael Haneke, David Lynch and Lars von Trier. 1. Auflage April. Marburg : Schüren, 2013, - ISBN 978-3-89472-818-2.
Keywords visual semiotics, melodrama, aesthetics, viewer subjectivity, political potential of (mainstream) cinema
Methods Methods of Critical Cultural Studies and Film/Media Studies
Funders other
Principal KWA-KIM
Id 68498
Project Range HSG Internal
Project Status completed
Subjects information management
Topics visual semiotics, melodrama, aesthetics, viewer subjectivity, political potential of (mainstream) cinema
Project Type fundamental research project
Edit Item Edit Item
Feedback?