Note: If you see this text you use a browser which does not support usual Web-standards. Therefore the design of Media Art Net will not display correctly. Contents are nevertheless provided. For greatest possible comfort and full functionality you should use one of the recommended browsers.

Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathMarker

icon: previous page

expressed. So one could say that there is a unique level of meaning for both the linguistic and the visual, as Marker himself formulated in his photographic novel Le dépays. «The text comments as little upon the pictures as the pictures illustrate the text. It is natural for these two serial sequences to intersect and refer to each other, although it would be unnecessarily tiring if one attempted to make them oppose each other. It might be easier to like them in their disorder. Accept simplicity and doubling, as one normally accepts all things in Japan.»[10]

The Model of Haiku (Roland Barthes' «Empire of Signs»)

Besides Eisenstein, another role model for Marker's parallel counterpoint editing of images and texts was Roland Barthes' book about his journey to Japan, Empire of Signs. Barthes' own drawings and his studies of painting and writing gave him a certain limited sensitivity for this dialectic. He described Japanese culture as a tightrope walk between visual and linguistic signs, as the writing of images and the painting of writing. He also used haiku as a model,


since he thought that the way haiku glided unnoticeably between linguistic linearity and painterly simultaneity annulled two basic criteria of Western writing the description and the definition. Haiku gestures toward references, making simple, designative statements that are not subject to evaluation and interpretation like photographs, it is the ideal image-text without commentary or illustration: «The text does not 9comment : upon the images. The images are not 9illustrations : for the text. Both simply served as a place to start exploring a kind of visual stagger something perhaps akin to the loss of meaning, called satori in Zen. Intertwining text and images should make it possible for significants (body, face, writing) to circulate, exchange. The retreat of the sign can be read in this.»[11] Thus, Barthes' «intertwining» of the two elements text and image infers an noncausal synchronicity rather than a correspondence or a commentary. There is a specifically coincidental «encounter» between the two forms of expression, which neither communicate with nor allow themselves to be compared to each other, but are instead competitors. According to Barthes, this encounter

icon: next page