Sunday 1 April 2007

Words and (no) pictures #5

A little exercise:

Take the same set of pictures as below, or subsitute any other image of Sam Dalmas trapped in between the doors of the gallery, unable to intervene and forced to reflect upon what he has just witnessed and apply the following:


The word hymen comes for the Greek for skin, membrane or the vaginal hymen.

In deconstruction it is used to refer to the interplay between, the normally considered mutually exclusive terms of, inside and outside. The hymen is the membrane of intersection where it becomes impossible to distinguish whether the membrane is on the inside or the outside. And in the absence of the complete hymen, the distinction between inside and outside disappears. Thus, in a way, the hymen defies formal logic and is neither outside nor inside, and after penetration, is both inside and outside.

Showing the problematics of a simple word like hymen questions what "is inside" and "is outside" mean, they cannot here be considered in the usual logic of mutual exclusion (sometimes called law of excluded middle). Thus we get a contrast to formal logic, and especially the ancient and revered principle of non-contradiction, which from Aristotle says "one cannot say of something that it is and that it is not in the same respect and at the same time". Yet, the hymen is inside and is not inside in the same respect and at the same time (ie, using a formal logic tranlation of "inside" to "not outside")."
- From the wikipedia entry on deconstruction

Or, what do those images of the man-in-black and the woman-in-white mean when read through the colour codes, conventions and symbolisms of film noir and spaghetti western? Was Monica attacking Alberto or defending herself against what she thought was his attack? What do the labels of victim and victimiser really mean in a case like this, of a woman who misidentifies with her attacker and a husband who "loved not wisely but too well" and will kill and if need be die for her?

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