Framework 59.2 has a focus on perception. Perception is immediate, supple, repetitive, and personal, but, in contentious political times, perception can be construed as only a fixed opinion and often extremely so. This issue looks at ways in which perception, art, and politics are blended.
In the opening essay, "The Grandmaster: Socio-Political Plurality in Contemporary Hong Kong," Tom Cunliffe's geo-political focus broadens a viewer's understanding of the complexities of the internationally screened martial arts genres. In looking at The Grandmaster (2013) as Wong Kar-wai's take on the China-Hong Kong dispute, Cunliffe argues that, through the director's use of the martial arts genre and its specialized niche of the Ip biography, Wong Kar-wai subtly pushed for an overall plurality across Chinese society and for a strong voice from the younger generations.
In the dossier, Four Visual Essays, four artists, Rob Roth, MM Serra, Bette Gordon, and Michelle Handelman, who are known for their exceptional experimental talents in both film and media and for their strong opinions, were asked to create a personal essay, composed mostly of visuals and using any approach they wanted. They each made a visual essay embedded with ideas, often political, that they felt were core to their perception of the world and ones that were part of the formation of their subjective and objective selves. Rob Roth, in his Alchemy and the Magick in the Media, contemplates how watching television as a child formed his aesthetic sense. In The Films of MM Serra: Art (core) and the Explicit Body, MM Serra renames what have been called pornographic images, rejecting the artificial term of "hard core," and creating "Art(core)," a gesture toward the importance [End Page 99] of changing our perception of what explicit nudity and sex is. Bette Gordon, known for experimentally formal films and narratives, in her Film Stills from My Work: Looking at Women and Men made a montage of stills from her films with an emphasis on how she perceived the story through color, space, and lighting. Michelle Handelman, mHustlers &Empires, visuallyunfoldedajuxtaposition of images, words, and performance pieces. All these offer the option to look again and again at howwe determine meaning andhowwe read at a gut level. Framework is honored to have their artwork. [End Page 100]