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PRINT May 1984

CHASING DREAMS: VICTOR HITCHCOCK AND ALFRED BURGIN

The dreamer does not know that he is dreaming . . .

—Christian Metz1

TO WHAT MAY WE ATTRIBUTE our fascination for the image, a pleasure whose object is not the image itself but something of the order of phantasm, whose home is that realm of the inscrutable: the unconscious? It is amongst the perversities of the Alfred Hitchcock film that it allows us a glimpse of that which is not readily visible, as a shadow passing across a veil. Of all the director’s films it is Vertigo (1958), obsessive, subterranean, and fabulous, which is constructed around this psychic fascination; it is this tension of something perpetually sought, but which continually hovers only at the periphery of vision, that becomes resurrected in Victor Burgin’s recent work, “The Bridge,” 1983–84. The six photo-constructions that form “The Bridge” do not constitute a narrative sequence but an association of “moments” in the

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