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Disappearance in the films of Chantal Akerman

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‘Disappearance’ in Chantal Akerman’s films means, in this essay, disappearance from a specific person. The attributes of the one who disappears are charged with special meaning for the one left behind, the one affected by the disappearance. It is not that someone used to be present and now they are not, but that one person is no longer there for another person. A dyad is involved, but its presence is felt from the perspective of half of that dyad. Whence the aptness of Barthes’s prologue to The Lover’s Discourse, that today that discourse is one of extreme loneliness.
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Keywords: Chantal Akerman; Mexican-American border crossing; Proust; Roland Barthes; affect; disappearance from someone; gender fluidity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of California (UCLA)

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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  • The Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ) is the first international peer-reviewed scholarly publication devoted to artists' film and video, and its contexts. It offers a forum for debates surrounding all forms of artists' moving image and media artworks: films, video installations, expanded cinema, video performance, experimental documentaries, animations, and other screen-based works made by artists. MIRAJ aims to consolidate artists' moving image as a distinct area of study that bridges a number of disciplines, not limited to, but including art, film, and media.
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