Cinema and the Problem of the Real between Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Lacan

  • Pietro Bianchi University of Florida
Keywords: Gilles Deleuze, Jacques Lacan, Gaze, Cinema, Real, Psychoanalysis


Against many recent philosophical debates that consider the Real as “the great outdoor” beyond the mediation of language and abstract thought, Gilles Deleuze and Jacques Lacan offer two examples of a different conception of the Real of vision that tends neither in the direction of an objective materialism without a subject nor toward the dualism of modern philosophy. According to Lacan, the gaze is not only a sign of the return of the repressed in the visual field, but it also indicates a register of experience that is halfway between activity and passivity, the subject and the object. In the case of Deleuze, on the other hand, the image does not primarily concern the human experience of vision but is rather an attribute of things themselves, a mode of expression of the ontological structure of reality. Following their line of argumentation, cinema becomes an instrument through which a non-humanistic dimension of the gaze emerges in the texture of imaginary reality.