The Distribution of Facts and Fictions. Jacques Rancière on Politico-Aesthetic Implications of Documentary Movies



Veröffentlicht Mär 20, 2017
Mechthild Hetzel Andreas Hetzel


In our paper we discuss the political aesthetics of Jacques Rancière, specially his writings on the documentaries of the French director Chris Marker. In a first section we give an introduction to Rancière’s political philosophy, which explains political acts in terms of seizing the word by those who have no share in our societies. Such a seizing of words reconfigures the discursive regimes that decide who can say what and under what conditions publicly. In a second section we will show how Rancière’s aesthetical writings discuss works of art in a similar way as agents of a transfiguration of orders of visibility or sight. This becomes clear, as our third section will argue, in Rancière’s film aesthetics, especially in his essays on Chris Marker. Markers movies (for instance Le Tombeau d'Alexandre) focus on and at the same time complicate the boundaries between documentary and fiction; they allow us to understand a reality which is supposedly without alternatives as a result of human practice which always can be changed.


Hetzel, Mechthild, und Andreas Hetzel. 2017. „The Distribution of Facts and Fictions.: Jacques Rancière on Politico-Aesthetic Implications of Documentary Movies“. MedienJournal 37 (3), 45-57.
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