16 / 11 / 02 – 15 / 12 / 02
Exhibition / Films / Talks / Performance
X Characters in Search of an Author (2002)
Constanze Ruhm (A)
In a scene from the film Klute, a male character (an urban police psychologist) describes to another male character (a small-town detective) the features of the female lead – a high-class call girl. The film scene as mīse-en-abyme turns the mechanism of scripting into a brief tautological gesture: it joins one character to one profile, but here as inversion of conventional scripting rules, which establish a profile as an outline to be inhabited by the actress to render it into her unique, three-dimensional character. In Klute, the profile serves within a process of observation to flatten the complexity of an individual into a recognizable pattern stereotype. Modernist female character templates fashioned by male authors oscillate between different forms of modernity – often, they are barely even minimal types, sometimes they are turned into baroque composites of different scripts in order to satisfy all logics required. In the film, the call-girl character combines three forms of acting, each one a different sub-script to the film: prostitute, aspiring actress, and subject, barely held together in the metascript of her weekly psychoanalytical sessions.
A script is an unpredictable play of forces always in development as a performative operating system. Scripts develop sets and characters, spatial identities and psychological subjects whose operating principles are often rooted in subconscious and repressed materials. The scripting process not only translates between narrative and visual forms of representation. It generates spatial narratives through and on architectures, characters and subjects rendered as synthetic constructions. In this variable world of many possible endings, it is always the author’s desire that establishes the cosmic order of the plot. In a film script, these authorial desires are refracted through their characters’ features.
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