“Beyond the Edge of the Frame.” Transgression and the Aesthetics of Nostalgia in Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio
Abstract: This paper addresses the concept of nostalgia in the postmodern theory of culture and endeavours to show how it operates in practice in Derek Jarman’s Caravaggio. As an affective tool in artistic conceptualisation, the aesthetics of nostalgia allows the director to move continuously in and out of the cinematic frame to experiment with time, movement and sound. Hence, the nostalgic dimension of the film will be explored from two perspectives. Firstly, the socio-historical point of view will be analysed to take into consideration ideological implications of nostalgia in postmodern culture. Secondly, this reflection on the mechanisms of past formation will be combined with Jarman’s insertion of queer perspective into the consumption and historiography of art. Thus, the paper proves that the past becomes a liminal space in which Jarman constructs an alternative discourse free from socio-cultural constraints, activating a reactionary force towards the oppressive system.
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