Cinema’s Savoyards: Performativity and the Legacy of the Magic Lantern

  • Edwin Carels
Part of the Avant-Gardes in Performance book series (AGP)


Taking its cue from the projection performances by Bruce McClure, this chapter relates his work back to the legacy of Peter Kubelka and Ken Jacobs, both key figures of avant-garde cinema. Considering the dispositif of the magic lantern as a template for cinema, we can retrace in their work an unexpected legacy of the Savoyards or itinerant magic lanternists. Particularly its verbal and performative aspects are being adopted by filmmakers who want to focus more on the live aspect of projection. They emphasize the impact of the shutter by foregrounding the flicker effect to the detriment of any photographic realism. Requiring little more than a light source and a filmstrip with a minimal amount of information, these artists maximize the potential of the projection apparatus.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwin Carels
    • 1
  1. 1.KASK School of Arts GhentGhentBelgium

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