reverse gaze

This research focuses on the ability of an art work to ‘touch’ its viewer, through the gaze of its creator. Choosing cinema as a research field, especially the Three Colours Trilogy by Krzysztof Kieslowski, the goal is to study the spectator’s cinematic experience in Kieslowski’s work. We try to understand, through experiential observation and subjective analysis, the means and techniques that the film director uses to ‘touch’ his audience.

zwi film
We analyze the film as an energetic ‘encounter’ between the spectator’s gaze and the gaze of the creator. We characterize creator’s gaze as the ‘reverse’ gaze, that exists behind the camera lens.
The theoretical context of this analysis is phenomenology, which provides an interesting perspective that deals with the viewing of a film as phenomenon. The methodological tools for this analysis are the perception as studied in phenomenology, the concept of the ‘screen / frame’ as an intermediary between the viewer and the creator, the gaze and the shooting through the camera lens and the narration form. The phenomenological approach gives us an interesting look inside the spectator’s mind, because it deals with subjectivity and objectivity of time perception.

In Kieslowski’s films, film narration is a way to convey certain sensations, intuitions and emotions. This artistic narration is enhanced by narrative ‘gaps’, by repetition of topics and patterns, and by color filters in order to create an atmosphere. He uses any kind of reflective surfaces, light, frames, extreme camera angles or movements to achieve subjectivity. The spaces he creates are strongly connected with his protagonists’ mental states. Kieslowski’s narration style can be related to Merleau-Ponty’s phenomenological theory, which examines the relation between a person and the world. Using all these means, Kieslowski reveals to the spectator the innerness of the human mind.

o8onikrimmenos an8rwposresearch paper / lecture

Katerina Psimmenou – Gianna Papapavlou

Athens School of Architecture 2012/13


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