Blind: the Moving Image and the Movements of Imagination

in Matters of Telling: The Impulse of the Story
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Imagination is an everyday form of storytelling and, possibly, also one of the most radical and embodied. When we imagine, we are testing the limits of our habits of thinking and living, we break down, if only in a fictional way, the consensual geometries of reality into unforeseen shapes, thus exposing ourselves to the unexpected and the uncanny. While we are lost in our imagination, what we find is the history of contingent encounters that make us up as relational and discursive, dialogic subjects and that make our identity constantly uncertain. Using Eskil Vogt’s film Blind as a prompt and companion, the chapter will address imagination as an aspect of lived-experience and a dimension of subjectivity, discussing its relation to film as a mixture of stories and images. By telling the story of a woman who shuts herself into her flat after losing her sight, painfully but also playfully and subversively withdrawing into herself as she begins the writing of a novel, the film suggests a kinship between the moving image and the movements of imagination, while evoking the ambiguous permeability of storytelling and life. As she loses her sight, her capacity for imagination and storytelling is actually liberated. Blindness, in this sense, is explored more as the horizon of embodied vision than as just its traumatic impairment. Similarly, the solitude of the storyteller is given as yet another, if not the fundamental, form of our interpersonal being.

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