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The Politics of Perception

by Kirk Tougas
Canada / 33:00 / 1973
sound / colour

Selected for the 11th Paris Biennale of Modern Art and included in the collection of numerous museums and universities, “The Politics of Perception” is a film essay concerned with the language of the film medium. At its point of departure, it is a meditation on the images, sounds, rhythm and sub-text of the “entertainment” film.

A Hollywood discourse is stripped of its fleshly covering to reveal the mechanics of its manipulations, at the same time liberating the kinematic and photochemical energies “trapped” in its representational content/form. At its apogee it is an invocation of the forms and textures of film perception - perhaps best described as a photo/film history in reverse.

"Following an introduction which establishes the social context of the film, ‘The Politics of Perception’ presents a one-minute promotional film advertising a popular Hollywood thriller. This section then repeats itself: a print is generated from the one-minute segment, then a print from the print, and so on as the image and sound slowly disintegrate with each new cycle, until the visual and sound information have completely evolved to white light and white noise. The most original film from the Northwest area. ‘The Politics of Perception’ explores conceptually the paradoxes of communication and the very nature of film itself, progressing from movie reality to its utter abstraction. A maddeningly stimulating work!" - James Broughton, Juror, Bellevue Film Festival

Exhibition Formats

  • 16mm


  • art and artists
  • film studies
  • history


  • experimental
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