The inadequate archive: ethical remaking in Silvia Kolbowski’s After Hiroshima mon amour
Jones, David Houston
French Cultural Studies
This article considers Silvia Kolbowski’s video installation After Hiroshima mon amour as an instance of ethical remaking. In remaking Duras and Resnais’s Hiroshima mon amour (1959) in the shadow of the Iraq war, Kolbowski taps into an existing repetition dynamic: Kolbowski foregrounds the impossibility of an end to the conflict in Iraq by reference to a film concerned with the memorial persistence of Hiroshima. Kolbowski’s practice further recalls the concern with remaking in Derrida’s account of archive fever. In Derrida, to archive is both to record and to erase: repetition compulsion is bound up with the death drive. Kolbowski contests Derrida’s conception of the archive by reshaping the memory and amnesia of Hiroshima mon amour through two interrelated strategies: first, an iterative process focusing on a film which is itself concerned with repetition; and, second, by problematising the classification and archiving of her own work.
© The Author(s) 2013. Accepted version deposited in accordance with SHERPA RoMEO guidelines. The definitive version is available at http://frc.sagepub.com/content/24/4/417.abstract.
Vol. 24, Issue 4, pp. 417 - 429