Jacques Rancière; Seeing Things Through Things / Moscow, 1926

And it is not only in its formal achievements, not only because A Sixth Part of the World is a new word in cinema, the victory of fact over invention, that this film is valuable. It has managed, perhaps for the first time, to show all at once the whole sixth part of the world; it has found the words to force us to be amazed, to feel the whole power, and strength, and unity; it has managed to infect the viewer too with lofty emotion, to throw him onto the screen. In the dusty steppes there are herds of…

Jacques Rancière; Doing or Not Doing: Politics, Aesthetics, Performance

Jacques Rancière re-examines the problem of performance situated at the very heart of the concept of action, turned here to an inquiry into the “activation” so often sought in political movements, and ascribed to politically engaging arts. Considering the imagery of early 20th century film, Rancière connects the issue of action to the distinction of a “natural” and a “mechanical” man or agent: the depiction and dissection of bodies and movements in posters and cinematic sequences. The interruption here focuses on the gap between functionality and play, which is reflected and reshaped in several artistic renditions of dance, movement, and…