Los Angeles

Chris Kraus


In Chris Kraus’ first film, In Order to Pass, 1982, one of the actors/participants suddenly asks the question, “What would happen if there were just plain flow between symbols?” The obvious answer is that the symbols would disappear as concrete anchors of received meaning, leaving us with a web of vectors, switching stations, and durations. This is perhaps an appropriate description of Kraus’ oeuvre as a whole, for one can discern in her films a gradual development away from dialectical relationships based on traditional binary oppositions, toward an interest in syntagmatic and metonymic fluidity: in short, a cinema in which becoming is the subject. Instead of a narrative based on the relationship between action and situation, Kraus creates a polymorphous, crystalline state, in which every element contains its opposite, all signifiers are seemingly interchangeable, and discernable knowledge

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