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Lascaux & Cinema


Was the cave art of pre-history a cinema forebear?

"cave art can't possibly be visual art think about it for a minute think about those things on the walls of caves they aren't even pictures of things the idea that these things are pictures would lead to the question of what kind of pictures they were is this a naturalist picture or is it not a naturalist picture im thinking of arnold hauser and finding it rather comical...a comical disquisition on whether this is paleolithic naturalism let me propose rashly what these pictures were these pictures were movies the only way you could see those pictures was to go in there with torches of some sort or other torches flicker the damn things move they move and you have a movie going film festivals declined in the neolithic and that took care of the whole thing ever since then nobody knew what the pictures were about because as pictures they looked funny but the reason they looked funny had extra spots and things or missing parts was that nobody was supposed to be looking at them standing still and when they were moving they didn't look so funny they looked scary or exciting now looking scary or exciting is not a "visual" property in this case it was a cinematic property and nobody would assume cinema was visual with the exception of certain underground filmmakers who have treated us to endless exhibitions of "visual" properties color shows and the like "[1]

1.^David Antin, "Duchamp and Language", in Anne d'Haroncourt and Kynaston McShine (eds.) Marcel Duchamp, The Museum of Modern Art, 1974, p.108.

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