Abstract

This essay studies narrative collaboration in film, focusing on The History of the Luiseño People, produced collaboratively by performance artist James Luna and filmmaker Isaac Artenstein. The film uses the ephemeral quality of performance art to allegorize the loss of a material history that would register its story. Rather than invoking division, plurality, and ambiguity, Luna and Artenstein limit their film's historical space to the media and the domestic, and its temporality to a version of what Walter Benjamin called "nowtime." Although History's apparent collaboration with negative stereotypes of Native Americans has angered many critics, McHugh reads the film as an instance of Benjaminian "profane illumination." Her essay details Luna and Artenstein's profane apprehension of the historical, as she considers their strategies within the contexts in which the film was funded, produced, distributed, and exhibited.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1456
Print ISSN
0162-4962
Pages
pp. 429-460
Launched on MUSE
2008-11-21
Open Access
No
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