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A New Look on Ekphrasis: an Eye-tracking Experiment on a Cinematic Example
Lund University.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages. (LNUC in intermedial studies)
Lund University.
2014 (English)In: Ekphrasis: Images, Cinema, Theory, Media, ISSN 2067-631X, Vol. 12, no 2, 10-31 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Taking the modern definition of ekphrasis as a verbal representation of a work of art as a starting point, we try tobroaden it in this contribution. We agree with intermediality theorist Lars Elleström that ekphrasis falls into the categoryof “media representation”, defined as the representation of a source medium in a target medium. We argue that thetarget medium does not need to be a verbal one and what matters is the energeia, the vividness of the description,leading in turn to enargeia, a vivid image in the mind of the receiver. The energeia-enargeia relation is an aspect thatis often neglected in modern theoretical debates about ekphrasis. We believe that there cannot be ekphrasis without adescription making the receiver “see” the object with his/her inner eye. At the same time, following Seymour Chatmanand Werner Wolf, we argue that description is not a prerogative of the verbal medium and that even the cinematicmedium can describe, using different strategies.In the second part of this contribution, these hypotheses are tested empirically with the help of the eye-trackingtechnique. A short sequence of Christian Petzold’s film Barbara (2012), which constitutes an example of cinematicekphrasis, is shown to thirty-three participants. The evidence gathered from the recording of their eye-movementsconfirms the relevance of the energeia-enargeia relation: the eyeactivity increases at some particular points of the sequence, pointscorresponding to the descriptive activity of the camera. Ekphrasisis thus a kind of embodied experience.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Universitatea Babes-Bolyai, 2014. Vol. 12, no 2, 10-31 p.
Keyword [en]
Ekphrasis, film, intermediality, eye-tracking
National Category
Studies on Film
Research subject
Humanities, Film Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-39310OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-39310DiVA: diva2:782543
Available from: 2015-01-21 Created: 2015-01-21 Last updated: 2016-03-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf