The Wardrobe Is Filled with Linen; There Are Even Moonbeams Which I Can Unfold

»The flattened image ironically makes us aware of the space that separates us from the object of vision, as opposed to this space being naturalized and, thus going unnoticed.[7] Because frames and segments we are looking at are not parts of our daily perspective. By meditating and organizing different spectatorial positions, Hušman actually talks about relationships.«Ivana Meštrov

»One’s Paris room, inside its four walls,« wrote Paul Claudel, »is a sort of geometrical site, a conventional hole, which we furnish with pictures, objects, and wardrobes within a wardrobe.« The number of the street and the floor give the location of our »conventional hole,« but our abode has neither space around it nor verticality inside it.[1]

An old wardrobe, a brown chest of drawers, a soft yellow armchair in the corner; lateral, then folded; made of paper or real; 1:50 scale model; viewed from the front, flattened on the inside; the parquet floors demanding a closeup and some attention in the form of an added layer of varnish. Sample catalogues cross-sectioning the condition and nuanced abrasions of subject-objects. Like us, through us, and for us, they have a quality of intimacy.[2]

With the construction of the staircase in torsion toward the corner of the wardrobe we acquire the right to see. »The wardrobe is filled with linen; there are even moonbeams which I can unfold,«[3] André Breton wrote in The White-Haired Revolver, and Bachelard conveyed in his Poetics. Focusing on light as the principal structural tool of the visual image makes us think that sometimes the most important shifts are inspired by everyday activities. For example, Hušman uses the digital 2D scanner to capture prints and sharpen the image, but also to diagnose the condition of her subject-objects. In this process we are able to distinguish several conceptual directions and expansions useful for constructing our thoughts. The scanned subject-object is illuminated with a built-in source of light, the lens and mirror system direct rays of light reflected against the object, toward sensors converting it into electricity. During this procedure the image is split into four points[4]; with quality of the image increasing with the number of points.

Today, the scanning process takes only several seconds, depending on the object. However, the very mention of scanning always takes me back to late 1999 and the long and boring sound of rotation that scanners used to make in libraries. Comparatively, the first image scanner was developed in 1957 and its first result was a black-and-white portrait of a child, which had a resolution of 176 pixels and was 5 x 5 cm[5] in size. The image had several visible vertical stripes because of the lack of the technological sophistication involved in the process. Over time, the stripes disappeared and through the course of repetitive and mechanical reproduction procedures, the subject itself lost its initial distinctive aura.

However, what if I were to take you by the hand and we go in search of that subject? I reject the possibility of 3D simulations and go back to the modulated light of the photograph, with a reduced presence of one’s own eye and direct gaze (albeit not the idea of its direction) into the structure of the image. It would be a sort of respite for both, using only manual manipulation. Would this procedure give us more of a right of vision or would a different type of transfer of information occur?
In the scanning process of subject-objects, the emphasis is primarily on the active potential of looking, while the desired empathic construction takes place in the geometric division of interspace between movement and observation. It represents a pause and template for the future film, but without a clear iteration and montage. It is a somewhat unadulterated version. The shirt crease could therefore mean that the subject is no longer alone, and the rear view of the subject could mean that multiplied opposites are activated.

The gradation of pressure on the subject-object in image creation, an insistence on the segment of the body and obliteration of the right to view the front or the eye, transports the spectator into some sort of Merleau-Ponty’s sensory chiasm, which creates the totality of sensation. During the act of observation, s/he primarily empathizes. The concept of empathy means that the spectator feels the experience and direction of movement of the person who has thus far been moving.[6] This muscular-motoric mimicry, emphasized by the depicted gesture as well as the image transfer, suggests an encounter in the here and now, without added navigational directions from the »director.« These are all samples of »choreographed« gestures spread out over several broken pages.

In parallel, the breakdown of the cinematographic process takes place, which was present in Ana Hušman’s artistic practice from early on. The deconstruction and scrutiny of the gaze, an extension of certain power structures, are clearly delineated in film manipulation. Within, beyond, and in relation to the medium, Hušman upholds the phenomenological attitude toward space, the body, and the object, erasing traces of potential narratives. From the three-dimensional toward the two-dimensional. Subject-matter, subject-object. Arnheim argues that to insist on the two-dimensionality of the image in film, or, in the case of Hušman, in preparation for film, makes it so that the picture’s purely formal qualities come into prominence, thus producing an anti-functional effect. In other words, the connotative foundation is brought into focus and the immanent field of the possible version of the film is liberated from any pretence toward denotation. The form draws attention to its own constructed nature and thus, from a distance, draws our attention to the very fact that it is awkward. The flattened image ironically makes us aware of the space that separates us from the object of vision, as opposed to this space being naturalized and, thus going unnoticed.[7] Because frames and segments we are looking at are not parts of our daily perspective. By meditating and organizing different spectatorial positions, Hušman actually talks about relationships.

On shelves and in reflections of old wardrobes, we are looking for symptoms of structural movements, seasoned with visual forms, gestures, forgetfulness, and reminiscence, and continued repeated attempts.

The symptom, according to Aby Warburg, as interpreted by Georges Didi-Huberman,[8] denotes the center of tension that we search for in the image: the essence of body and time. It is precisely this tension in a certain image (a visual construct) that enables future movement through the thicket of personal and generally strictly linear histories and cyclical mechanisms of memory.

The essence of phantoms of time and bodily pathos is manifested in these pages through operative procedures of testing the limits of the disappearance of the representational (almost invisible dust in the space between blond locks of hair and the edge of the page) or through emphasis (of the tactile nature of the hand on the texture of jeans in the foreground). We are therefore led to consider the corporeal and temporal paradox, an interpretative guide to the meta-psychology of time and gesture.

The catalogue of subject-objects is thus transfused into the catalogue of the psyche, and the gesture lives its own carnal moment as a template while also possessing an epic depth in the form of potential gestures in film. And we, the »fixed« co-creators caught in the liquid moment of everyday gestures, accept the patterns so that we could dispose of the possible traces of doubts.

[1] Gaston Bachelard,, The Poetics of Space, translated from the French by Maria Jolas, Boston 1969, pp. 26–27.

[2] Ibid., p. 78.

[3] Ibid., p. 80.



[6] Marie Glon and Isabelle Launay (eds.): Histoires de gestes, Actes Sud 2012, p. 223.

[7] Hunter Vaughan: Where Film meets Philosophy, New York 2013, p. 192.

[8] Georges Didi-Huberman: L’Image survivante, histoire de l’art et temps des fantômes selon Aby Warburg, Paris 2002, p. 274.