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Title: How can structural film expand the language of experimental ethnography?
Author: Butler, Brad
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 0273
Awarding Body: University of the Arts London
Current Institution: University of the Arts London
Date of Award: 2009
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This research question How can structural film expand the language of experimental ethnography? considers the potential cross-fertilisation of a structural film practice with experimental ethnography to challenge dominant assumptions about cultural representation in anthropology and to suggest ways in which anthropology can actively interrogate visual systems as a means of renewing the avant-gardism of structural film. Thus this study asks what a structural–materialist project mostly connected with the 1960s and 1970s could contribute to contemporary ethnography if issues of anthropological representation were allowed to penetrate field of vision and what new forms of representation occur where the textual embodiment of authority in fieldwork studies becomes the subject of a structural film. This includes the crossover of these terms with minimal and conceptual art, experimental aesthetic systems and/or artworks that blur fact and fiction. These theoretical parameters are then explored through practice in an installation proposal The Autonomous Object? and a single screen work The Exception and the Rule. The Autonomous Object? takes as its subject the boundary between documentary and performance, the raw realism of the photographic image and the sculptural qualities of the monochrome. The Exception and the Rule proposes that the viewer experience representational issues at stake in anthropology and structural film, a transfer of emphasis from what a film’s subject ‘is’ to how a film’s subject is seen. Both works gather geo/political urgency due to the current civil unrest in Pakistan and India, where they were primarily filmed. The resulting question as to how one makes a political film foregrounds the multi-layered and complex relationship between art, politics and language that has led to The Museum of non Participation, the future body of work that concludes this thesis
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available