Image-Space and Space of Experience. Rethinking Community in the Cinema
Lehmann, Hauke – 2019
Drawing on Michel de Certeau, Hauke Lehmann claims that the ‘ordinary man’ or ‘common hero’ is a paradigmatic figuration of the cinema audience: an anonymous plurality of no-one-in-particulars, in whose aesthetic experience the worldwide circulation of audio-visual images becomes concretely embodied. Lehmann contends that understanding the cinema audience in this way opens up a pathway of thinking about how the cinema conceives of the possibility of community. In an attempt to link film studies and social sciences, Lehmann’s chapter responds to anthropologist Vered Amit’s notion of ‘watchful indifference’. It explores how the idea of appropriating a given way of structuring space can be linked to the realm of aesthetic experience, more precisely: to the experience of cinematic images. Lehmann starts his investigation by analysing an example from the film Kebab Connection (Anno Saul 2004). On this basis, he then engages with the question in what way appropriation can contribute to creating what Richard Rorty calls a ‘sense of commonality’. Finally, having established that link, Lehmann returns to the domain of the social and poses the question how the aesthetic modulation of commonality might affect the project of ‘staying apart together’ (Amit).