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Iconomy of the derivative image: Effacing the visual currency in Société Réaliste's THE FOUNTAINHEAD

Abstract : This article discusses the experimental film "The Fountainhead" (2010) by the Parisian artist cooperative Société Réaliste, originally exhibited at Jeu de Paume in Paris. The film reworks the 1949 film of the same name by King Vidor (itself based on a novel by Ayn Rand) by digitally erasing the actors and soundtrack. My reading draws on an interview I conducted with one of the artists to stress the importance of the 2008 financial crisis as the film’s inspiration. The article conceptualises the film’s form and context in relation to the notions of ‘face value’, ‘iconomy’, and the ‘derivative condition’ elaborated in recent film theory by Peter Szendy and Jonathan Beller, to argue that Société Réaliste’s film ‘de-faces’ or erases the original "The Fountainhead" as visual and ideological currency. Discussing a particular sequence from the film in relation to a recent history of the crisis, I argue that the film can be considered a ‘derivative’ film. Situating Société Réaliste’s film within a broader context of the cinema of the 2008 financial crisis and contemporary financial film theory, I suggest that both the recent theory and the films respond to the crisis through an engagement with financial motifs, notably derivatives.
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https://hal-univ-paris3.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02521921
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Soumis le : vendredi 27 mars 2020 - 16:51:44
Dernière modification le : mardi 30 juin 2020 - 03:11:00

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Calum Watt. Iconomy of the derivative image: Effacing the visual currency in Société Réaliste's THE FOUNTAINHEAD. NECSUS. European Journal of Media Studies, 2019, 8, pp.71 - 90. ⟨10.25969/mediarep/13139⟩. ⟨hal-02521921⟩

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