Jane Campion’s "controversial" film, The Piano, contributes to the formation of a feminist discourse through offering the emergence of a negotiation between the oppressed sex, the feminine, and the oppressing discourse of masculinity. The kind of encounter that is represented in this film is not one of hegemonic nature; it is not a reversal of already existing hierarchy of genders through a simple act of negation, since such negation will simply reproduce a mirror image of the masculine, hence it will be trapped in its economy. The Piano avoids such reproduction by rejecting the vocally produced discourse of masculinity and offers a new language through elements of silence and music as alternative modes of speech. Clarification of the key terms such as 'voice,' 'silence,' and 'negotiation' basically from a Bakhtinian point of view contributes to the justification of the aforementioned thesis. These formulations will then be applied to recent debates concerning The Piano and to mostly psychoanalytically oriented theories, which are supposed to offer parallel claims in another realm. To justify these claims, I will elaborate on Kaya Silverman’s consideration of psychoanalytical theory that criticizes it for conceptualizing women’s voice as an essential inablity of expression. Such image is also reproduced and represented in classic Hollywood cinema. I will finally try to show that the discourse which is offered by The Piano will pave the way toward a 'cartographic' (Deleuze & Guattari) consideration of the gender issues and the relationship between the conscious and unconscious.
|Keywords:||Gender, Feminism, Psychoanalysis, Dialogy, Cartography, Film, Voice, Silence|
PhD Candidate, Iranian Institute of Philosophy, Tehran, Iran (Islamic Republic of)
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