Haptic Transgression. The Horror of Materiality in Kurt Kren’s Films

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Abstract

The article investigates two seemingly conflicting critical approaches of haptic and transgressive cinema, which emerged along with the corporeal turn in film studies, in the late 1990s and early 2000s. While haptics operates with undistinguishable figures and demands extreme closeness and an active caressing gaze, transgression is usually seen from a distance and subverts the social, political and ethical order. The paper attempts an examination of the Austrian avant-garde filmmaker Kurt Kren’s Actionist films and enlightens how these two opposing strategies can be present together. Giving a detailed analysis of the films, the article describes an expanded definition of Linda Williams’s body genres, in order to create a new category of horror: the horror of materiality.

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