Medium and Memory: The Archeological Impulse in the Work of Jean-Luc Godard
The possibilities for art to serve as a social critique lie in its form as well as its content. It was the possibility for art to enable us to “think differently” that has preoccupied aesthetic and post-war critical theory, and has now exploded the spaces where art is experienced into the spaces of everyday life. But where are the spaces and times where art may realize its critical potential today? Using the recent work of Jean-Luc Godard, particularly in the 2006 exhibition at the Centre Georges Pompidou Voyage(s) in Utopia, I will explore possible conditions for film to function as a social critique that may also carve out autonomous spaces and times for exploring the liberatory impulse. I will begin with a discussion of how Voyage(s) in Utopia is a spatial form of the self-critical and self-reflexive films Godard has made throughout his career. Then, using Foucault’s theories of archeology and heterotopia, I will investigate the critically autonomous yet relative spaces that art and film occupy in our lives.
Keywords: Critical Theory, Film
Graduate Student, Sociology