Reference : "views" of the city : Lumière films as an indifferent mirror of the collective
Parts of books : Contribution to collective works
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Communication & mass media
"views" of the city : Lumière films as an indifferent mirror of the collective
Servais, Christine[Université de Liège - ULg > Département des Arts et Sciences de la communication > Médiation esthétique et théories de la réception >]
Cityscapes: world cities and their cultural industries
[en] Lumière films ; public space ; identity
[en] When, at the very end of the 19th century the brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière began to develop their cinematograph business, the company dispatched its operators throughout the world, set up a system for producing copies of films and circulating them across the globe. Many films were named after streets, bridges, plazas, intersections, monuments, etc., and were categorised as “Views”. I distinguish here “views of” and “views on” the cities, so that we can describe the relationship between public space and geographical space. I approach this corpus via two dimensions. The first has to do with the relationship to the self that is offered to the social group through the images themselves: for the first time, public space and collective life are represented in the form of “a neutral mirror” of daily life, bearing the mark of the real. The second dimension concerns the overall setup of representation: spectators were in a sense “seeing themselves” as a group for the first time.
Finally I will ask to what extent these views of/on the city and its collective life, produced in this way for public projection and mass exhibition, have changed the relationship of spectators to their own collective life space.