Fakultäten » Philosophische Fakultät » Filmwissenschaft, Seminar für » Prof. Dr. Margrit Tröhler » Cista

Current research project

Title / Titel Feelings of Space and Spaces of Feeling: Framing and the Construction of Affect in the Work of Chantal Akerman
PDF Abstract (PDF, 14 KB)
Original title / Originaltitel Raumgefühle und Gefühlsräume. Rahmung und Affektkonstruktion im Werk von Chantal Akerman
Summary / Zusammenfassung This dissertation introduces an approach to understanding Chantal Akerman’s aesthetic in visual and textual culture between 1950 and 2015 through the theoretical terms «framing» and «affect». These concepts are viewed here as aesthetic operations and iconic potentials central to Akerman’s work, though they have hardly been examined in this context within a history of norms and reception after 1945. In view of the intended dimension of character conception and reception, the study examines characters as framed artefacts located between the contexts of the cinema and the museum through phenomenological and structural analyses of films and video installations exemplary of Akerman’s work. Based on a fundamental skepticism toward the image, the filmmaker and artist reflects on the possibilities and limitations of the «depictable». She views the withholding of these possibilities and limitations in the mode of showing as a phenomenological structural moment that is constitutive of the image and effectively instrumentalizes this for the benefit of the imagination and effect as well as in interrogating the relationship between aesthetics and ethics. Consequently, the «in-between» of artwork and frame is visually contemplated in the works themselves, and the peripheral embellishment reveals itself to be a unique space of elaborated, aesthetic and ethical discourse—at times as an artistic practice, at other times as a sensual experience with the world of objects.

The proposal, which is situated between film studies, Bildwissenschaft, and philosophy, takes a methodologically and theoretically integrative approach and discusses the following questions: With regard to the «undepictability» of existential feelings what does visual thinking mean in Chantal Akerman’s moving image within the concept of an ethics of otherness? What insights does her visual aesthetic, as a unique form of knowledge, offer in terms of a general ethic of the image?
Weitere Informationen
Project leadership and contacts /
Projektleitung und Kontakte
Alina Cista (Project Leader)  
Other links to external web pages
Funding source(s) /
Unterstützt durch
No project-specific funding
In collaboration with /
In Zusammenarbeit mit
Prof. Dr. Ralph Ubl Kunsthistorisches Seminar, Universität Basel Switzerland
Duration of Project / Projektdauer Sep 2011 to Dec 2019