Film Archives, Memory and the Ideological Reversal  Cover Image

Kino archyvas, atmintis ir ideologinis reversas
Film Archives, Memory and the Ideological Reversal

Author(s): Kęstutis Šapoka
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Lietuvos kultūros tyrimų
Keywords: the archives of cinema, memory, video art, historical-ideological nar- ratives, ideological reversal, (post)soviet cultural identity

Summary/Abstract: The article focuses on a specific branch of Lithuanian video-art that involves ma- nipulating newsreel footage of the pre-soviet and soviet era, i.e. found and archival cinematic material (FAM) containing historical ideological narratives. This tactics of using FAM appears to be relevant not only in terms of how it interprets collec- tive (soviet) memory, but also as an instance of a current discursive practice of (re) creating socio-ideological meanings. This practice is viewed here through the prism of articles by two Lithuanian philosophers, which contain examples of the use of FAM in video art. They are read here as offering a quasi-philosophical methodol- ogy, with a view to discussing a symptomatics of their approach. The article then turns to the principle of reversal, which has been applied in the work of video artists Deimantas Narkevičius and Artūras Raila, albeit in contrasting ways. This tactics of reversal is interpreted as a method of paradoxalisation, problematisation and deconstruction of the monumentalised models of collective memory or as the transformation of the linear historical-ideological narrative into the notional branches of “nomadic ambiguousness”. Either way, this gives rise to a methodological dilemma, since, in a methodologi- cally purified model, Narkevičius’ manipulations of FAM can be interpreted as deconstructing the soviet model of “ideological partisanship”, and yet things look different once the contemporary context is taken into consideration, including the implicit “patron” or the “anonymous” constructor. Narkevičius’ deconstructive tactics, then, appears to result in a sequence of simulations imitating the collapse or a notional split of the principle of the partisanship of the soviet elite, defined in terms of the nomenclature as a social class. The visible or visually exposed ide- ological partisanship as a manifestation of Marxist-communist ideology and its propaganda is the main target of Narkevičius’ deconstructive intentions. However, under the guise of a deconstruction of ideological partisanship, FAM manipula- tions tend to obfuscate the actual partisanship. Moreover, what effectively takes place is a reorganisation of terms in favour of the preservation of political and economic positions of the elite social class (the new patron class) within a new neoliberal reality.

  • Issue Year: 2014
  • Issue No: 9
  • Page Range: 82-103
  • Page Count: 22
  • Language: Lithuanian