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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

The Work of Death in Burgin’s Belledonne

The Work of Death in Burgin’s Belledonne

(p.413) The Work of Death in Burgin’s Belledonne
Seeing Degree Zero

Gordon Hon

Edinburgh University Press

The chapter provides a largely psychoanalytic reading of Victor Burgin's Belledonne that relates the panoramic form of this projection piece to the nearly mechanical operations of Freud's death drive and the unheimlich encounters with non-human agency that pertain in the projection. The gaze in the artwork, the gaze of the zero degree CGI camera, which Burgin calls 'theoretical vision', therefore does not seek satisfaction but instead repetition, excess and destruction. The argument made is that there is a critical structural relationship between the impossible subject position offered by the virtual eye of the virtual camera and the indescribable, psychological object operational in the projection piece. In turn this opens up a deeper rumination on the 'absent' or unseeable aspects of artworks and how such 'viewership' persists over time.

Keywords:   Victor Burgin, Sigmund Freud, death drive, zero degree perspective

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