Piercing the screen of the dispositif: interrogating the ideological effects of the perspectival image

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In the exhibition, ‘Piercing the Screen of the Dispositif’, held at the Tent Gallery at the Edinburgh College of Art in October 2017, images of the film House: After Five Years of Living – made by Charles and Ray Eames in 1955 – were extracted, dissected and spatialised. Using Jean Louis Baudry’s concept of the dispositif in film studies, and Jacques Lacan’s notion of the image/screen, this essay provides an analytical critique of the Eameses’ film and their representation of the domestic interior through the screen. The aim is to extrapolate and identify, through design-based research, some of the components in the configuration of Baudry’s dispositif.

Through drawings and the construction of a physical structure, the exhibition proposed an alternative architectonic assemblage of such components, suggesting new subjective and material consequences in the process. In this sense, in this essay, the use of drawings and models acts as an analytical instrument in which the specificity of the studied medium (in this case, film) is suspended, unpacked, and deconstructed to re-construct an apparatus that proposes an alternative ‘disposition’ of its images. As an extension, it also proposes the representation of a domestic interior that is not simply constrained to a visual experience, but which expands as a visual landscape and a spatial performance within the gallery space.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Number of pages15
JournalARENA Journal of Architectural Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2021


  • Dispositif
  • Charles and Ray Eames
  • Jacques Lacan
  • Jean Louis Baudry
  • cinema
  • film
  • screen
  • perspective
  • gaze
  • exhibition
  • house
  • domisticity
  • gallery space
  • visual culture

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