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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathAkerman
News from Home (Akerman, Chantal), 1976La Chambre 1 (Akerman, Chantal), 1972

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process of reduction, literally leading to an «empty» screen. The process is in some ways consonant with modernism's repression of content and privileging of art's material and experiential dimensions; but unlike Greenberg modernism, the minimalist project seeks to elicit a subjective investment through subject matter that approximates the blank screen. [17]

Akerman’s Minimalism

Stationed in passages and public vehicles, the camera in «Hotel Monterey» and «News from Home» represents a variant from structural minimalism. Akerman's camera moves into spaces of transit. In all of her work real-time representation engages the spectator's awareness of his or her own physical presence. Moreover, in her structural work, fixed, extended shots combine with aleatory, unique events, setting structure against play, and bringing out a performance aspect that is basic to '70s aesthetics. This concern can be detected in Akerman's early films «La Chambre 1,» «La Chambre 2» [18] and «Hotel Monterey» (1972), and also in «News from Home» (1977). The rigid formal parameters set for each


film—the back and forth 360-degree pan in «La Chambre 2,» the scanning of the entire building from basement to roof, from evening to dawn, in the axial movements of «Hotel Monterey», the fixed symmetrical shots in «News from Home»—allow chance events to define themselves as privileged foci of attention: a passenger's refusal to confront the camera in the cramped space of an elevator, or a pedestrian's desire to turn around every few steps and look at the camera mounted in a subway corridor, are examples of unique events generated, so it seems, by the camera's circumscribed viewfinder.

In a push-pull dynamic, her presence in the films links the spaces behind and in front of the camera. From posed indifference to resolute confrontation, whether denying or engaging the camera's seemingly mechanical trajectory, in «La Chambre» and in «Je tu il elle» Akerman creates momentary interlockings between her gaze and the camera's. Like a mirror, the camera creates a presence that is always split; [19] this gaze might seem impassive, but its relation with the profilmic event is intensely provocative. The forms of address solicited through this setup delineate a

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