Abstract

“Cinema at a Standstill” examines the theory and practice of film within the Situationist International, circa 1968. Questioning Guy Debord's refusal to document the group's participation in the abortive revolution of May-June ‘68, the essay explores the Situationists' ambivalence to the image as mnemonic device. Their refusal of film's iconicity did not, however, mean a complete refusal of its logic: The austere, text-based posters produced by the SI during the uprising are here read as a species of revolutionary intertitle for a film running in real time along the streets. Sharing the aniconic quality found at the same moment in the work of Daniel Buren and Jean-Luc Godard, this Situationist imageless cinema is read through the dialectic of repetition and stoppage first developed by Giorgio Agamben.

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