Geometry and Abjection

  • Victor Burgin
Part of the Communications and Culture book series (COMMCU)


Although it makes no direct reference to Althusser’s essay of 1970, ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses’,1 Roland Barthes’s essay of 1973, ‘Diderot, Brecht, Eisenstein’, had the effect of spatialising the Althusserian concept of ideology as representation: ‘there will still be representation for so long as a subject (author, reader, spectator or voyeur) casts his gaze towards a horizon on which he cuts out the base of a triangle, his eye (or his mind) forming the apex’.2 Laura Mulvey’s essay of 1975, ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’,3 subsequently theorised the voyeuristic subject of Barthes’s theatrical space in terms of Freudian psychoanalysis. The change across this five-year period is profound. Instead of a contingent set of ideas which might be dissipated by reason, ‘ideology’ was now conceived of in terms of a space of representations which the subject inhabits, a limitless space which the desiring subject negotiates by predominantly unconscious transactions.


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© Victor Burgin 1991

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  • Victor Burgin

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