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Richard Serra: Sculpture Redrawn

IN 1920 LEV KULESHOV SCREENED a series of now famous “experiments” for his film class in Moscow: experiments which isolated and revealed the cut as the magical interstice in which the mysteries of cinematic illusion were somehow contained. To Pudovkin, and to Kuleshov’s other students, what these experiments disclosed was that the cut was an index of difference or separateness within a prevailing matrix of sameness. For the mere juncture between two strips of celluloid was enough to convince that the White House stood solid and indestructible in the heart of Moscow, or that filmed details of many different women could fuse beyond the cut to corporealize a single body. Over and over the experiments revealed the primacy of spatial continuity—showing that the cut would have to wedge into it very deeply indeed before that continuity would break.

It may seem that the elementary properties of

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