Publication Details

Khorana, S. (2007). Photography, cinema and time in Jane Campion's The Piano and Gail Jones' Sixty Lights. Outskirts: feminisms along the edge, 16 (May), 1-5.

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Using the logic of the absence-presence of light (through mimicking shadows and remnant ghosts) in the images/time-images of Gail Jones’ Sixty Lights and Jane Campion’s The Piano, this paper attempts to frame time such that the over-exposed past becomes the blank page of the future. I propose that history, when viewed in the light of the present, enables a truly open future for female and postcolonial subjects. It is important, therefore, to think of the blank page emerging from the over-exposed image not as symbolic of a psychoanalytic lack of the phallus, but as an open response in the wake of the excesses of phallogocentrism and Eurocentrism. Such a conception of the past and the future in terms of an excess and a lack that do not constitute a dialectical relationship requires a re-visioning of the Hegelian view of time as “linear, progressive, continuing, even, regulated, and teleological” (Grosz, 1995: 98). Following Bergson and Deleuze, Elizabeth Grosz problematizes the common philosophical view that history is the basis of learning from the past, and the idea that by reflecting on it, we can improve the future: