The Narrative Function of a Magic Rhetoric in Alejandro Jodorowsky's Works


Alejandro Jodorowsky is a director from Tocopilla Chile. He was born in 1929. As an artistic generalist he could be considered a „multi-artist“. How do we recognize the narrativ character of his work? In wich way is the narration rhetorically structured? What is the function of Jodorowsky's narrative? For Jodorowsky language is a physical process that corresponds to the nature of the nervous system. In his opinion humans have an intrinsic potential to create beautiful, poetic and „healthy“ language. Healthy means to use language to elevate the level of consciousness. For that primarily the sublime language of art and poetry would be useful. Jodorowsky’s psychomagic acts focus on establishing contact with the subconscious. But this does not happen exclusively with words like in psychoanalysis but through exercising artistic actions. Because actions are better suited to communicate with the subconscious than words. As such he brings together the terms art and magic. This connection is inspired by mexican folkhealers who also treat art and magic as equivalent. Their processes could be compared to a performative act of a magic show. Jodorowsky calls that the „holly trap“. The sociologist J.L. Moreno already showed important relations between acting and healing. His concept of psychodrama can be defined as the science that explores the truth with the help of dramatic methods. The intention is to provoke a „catharsis of action“. Here reality and fantasy fulfill a function in the world of objects, people and occurrences. Both psychodrama and psychologic are strongly problem oriented and require a certain amount of engagement. Scheuermann considers design to be a cultural practice. The design object is a rhetorically composed product that resembles the artwork. It could be assigned to the epideictic rhetoric (genus demontrativum) or celebratory speech. The important part consists in the intended affections of the adresees. In Film that means the achieving of important goals for the protagonist and the viewer wich then appears as pathos. Arend thinks that the goal of communicative rhetorical acts is to compensate the lack of shared experiences. Richards thinks that the metaphore (ornatus) is the main form in wich human thinking is generally expressed. Poetiks is the theory of writing . According to Arend Poetics can bee described as a special case of rhetoric. Particular is that it gives instructions for processes in certain fields. Also the poet should be erudite and have moral integrity. Scheuermann describes Filmrhetoric as a continuation of semiotics. It creates a systematical relation between Film and language and allows the connection of the terms film and rhetoric. The catharsis in Film comparable to homeopathy achieves healing in the sense of a purifying cleansing of the spectator from mental cramps that are related to social conflicts. Jodorowsky also accuses the Ego for being responsible for destroying our self-concept. Flusser compares the cinema Hall with the Basilica. Jodorowskys healing promises are comparable with certain religions. For Kleinwaechter the Medium Film is well suited to contain religious motivs because religion generally works with healing promises. The narration of Jodorowsky is not lead exclusively by its images, the images themselves become narratives with simultaneously occurring events. Mathois describes this symbolical imagination as the representative element in his cinematographic decisions. This way of filmmaking can be traced back to the identity of Jodorowsky as a poet. The narrative character can be described as a sensitive manipulation for positive development. The surreal properties try to approach the subconscious. The core element is an imagination influenced by magical ideas. The rhetorical structure is embedded in a cultural practice of design. Metaphores are used to distance themselves from rationalism. The metaphor is used for consultation and artistic representation. The narrative function consists in the intention of healing with artistic techniques. Psychomagic functions as a rhetorical apparatus of artistic methods to create a narrative of imagination for introspection with the intention of healing.



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