PhD-Candidate: Matthew David Rana | ASCA | Supervisors: Prof. Christa-Maria Lerm-Hayes, Dr. Paula Andrade Da Silva Albuquerque, Dr. Marija Cetinic
From Memory to Reproduction: The Cinema of Bernadette Mayer begins with the proposition that the American poet Bernadette Mayer (b.1945) is a filmmaker of sorts. This study considers Mayer’s time-structured works from the 1970s, which impose durational constraints to frame a radically inclusive experimental poetics that attempts to record and reproduce everything from her shifting states of consciousness to her daily childcare routines. While standard accounts of the relationship between poetry and cinema tend to invoke the poem as a privileged metaphor for non-narrative, subjectively expressive, or, in P. Adams Sitney’s coinage, ‘lyric films’, this study explores how Mayer’s poetics take shape in what film historian Thomas Elsaesser has called a “media/memory constellation” which views cinema in terms not of image making technologies based on optics, but rather of storage, transmission, and processing. In doing so, this project seeks to reposition Mayer’s work as a broader critical engagement with the forms of thought and subjectivity at stake in the ‘great transformation’ that began around 1971, at the advent of what Manuel Castells has called the Information Age.