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Seeing Degree ZeroBarthes/Burgin and Political Aesthetics$
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Ryan Bishop and Sunil Manghani

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781474431415

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474431415.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Pre-occupations: Calling Up Ghosts in A Place to Read and Belledonne

Pre-occupations: Calling Up Ghosts in A Place to Read and Belledonne

(p.333) Pre-occupations: Calling Up Ghosts in A Place to Read and Belledonne
Seeing Degree Zero

Christine Berthin

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter considers pieces by Victor Burgin that stage and foreground the acts of reading and writing to explore the recursive and self-reflexive elements of making found in Burgin's projection pieces. Starting with the metaphor of the palimpsest, this paper traces the way the pieces explore specific forms of language and of telling aimed at 'spatializing the temporal flow'. The chapter explores how the image of the palimpsest or "overlay" allows the viewer to see in the projection pieces a gesture that complements the coalescence of different times. Seeing the palimpsest as haunted space, the paper uncovers melancholy stories of loss and exile echoing from A Place to Read to Belledonne. The critical power of the projection pieces lies in the way they disrupt traditional categories of chronology and spatial compartmentalisation, allowing story and history, present and past, collective and individual experiences to reflect one another.

Keywords:   Victor Burgin, projection pieces, palimpsest, haunting, spectatorship

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