Intro

IF THE PLASTIC ARTS WERE PUT UNDER PSYCHOANALYSIS, THE PRACTICE OF EMBALMING THE DEAD MIGHT TURN OUT TO BE A FUNDAMENTAL FACTOR IN THEIR CREATION.
THE PROCESS MIGHT REVEAL THAT AT THE ORIGIN OF PAINTING AND SCULPTURE THERE LIES A MUMMY COMPLEX. THE RELIGION OF ANCIENT EGYPT, AIMED AGAINST DEATH, SAW SURVIVAL AS DEPENDING ON THE CONTINUED EXISTENCE OF THE CORPOREAL BODY.
THUS, BY PROVIDING
A DEFENSE AGAINST THE PASSAGE OF TIME IT SATISFIED A BASIC PSYCHOLOGICAL NEED IN MAN, FOR DEATH IS BUT THE VICTORY OF TIME.
TO PRESERVE ARTIFICIALLY, HIS BODILY APPEARANCES IS TO SNATCH IT FROM THE FLOW OF TIME, TO STOW IT AWAY NEATLY, SO TO SPEAK,
IN THE HOLD OF LIFE.

VIEWED IN THIS PERSPECTIVE, THE CINEMA IS OBJECTIVITY IN TIME. THE FILM IS NO LONGER CONTENT TO PRESERVE THE OBJECT ENSHROUDED AS IT WERE IN AN INSTANT, AS THE BODIES IF INSECTS ARE PRESERVED INTACT, OUT OF THE DISTANT PAST, IN AMBER. THE FILM DELIVERS BAROQUE ART FROM ITS CONVULSIVE CATALEPSY.


NOW, FOR THE FIRST TIME, THE IMAGE OF THINGS IS LIKEWISE THE IMAGE OF THEIR DURATION, CHANGE MUMMIFIED AS IT WERE.

ANDRÉ BAZIN