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Sergei Eisenstein and the Anthropology of Rhythm

Author: Marie Rebecchi, Elena Vogman
Contributor: Till Gathmann
Date: 2017
Language: English
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The volume accompanies the exhibition "Sergei Eisenstein: The Anthropology of Rhythm" (Nomas Foundation, Rome). The book, designed by Till Gathmann, features essays by the curators, translations from Eisenstein’s unpublished diaries and further archival materials.

The unfinished works of Sergei Eisenstein are traversed by aesthetic, anthropological, and political questions. Focusing on the anthropology of rhythm that the Soviet director developed in his Mexican project, Que viva Mexico!, this book also extends its analysis to the film projects Bezhin Meadow and The Great Fergana Canal.

Organic and mechanical, regular and irregular rhythms are not merely formal or temporal aspects of experience: they can become instruments of anthropology. Pursuing both the aesthetic and the epistemic paths of this hypothesis, the book reconstructs Eisenstein’s anthropological method through a series of archival materials: drawings and working diaries—published here for the first time—, and film footage. By placing Eisenstein’s method in a constellation between the surrealist aesthetics of the French journal Documents on one side, and the anthropological culture of post-revolutionary Mexico on the other, it explores the modern experience of looking alterity in the face. Superposition of times, connection of rhythms: historical, cinematic, and physiological. It is in this way, through rhythm, that one temporal dimension can become the medium of another, and the body itself the medium of a repressed history.

Copy available: Yes
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Place: Rome
Publisher: Nero
Publisher's URL: http://www.neromagazine.it/n/?page_id=33265
Number of Pages: 128 pp., 340 images
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Review copy: available for review