Fernand Deligny, edited by Marlon Miguel
Leiden University Press, 2022
Fernand Deligny, “poet and ethologist,” is principally known for his work with autistic children, and for his influence on the revolutions in French post-war psychiatry. Though he did not consider himself a director, scriptwriter, historian of cinema or a theorist of the image, cinema is constantly called into his social, pedagogical, and clinical experimentations. Also, he elaborates on the image to reflect on autistic perception and to radicalize his critique of humanism and discursive language. Deligny emphasizes that the camera is an apparatus mediating collective relationships. Furthermore, more interested in the processes of making, he distinguishes “camering” from filming. Freed from the need to produce a finished film, it is a “film to come” that is emphasized. The several film projects structure Deligny’s experimentations inasmuch as they emancipate them from their supposed aim — that of normalizing psychotic or re-educating deviant subjects.
This volume provides Fernand Deligny’s essential corpus on cinema and the image. It shows both the role played by cameras in many of his experimental “attempts” with delinquents and autistic children, as well as his highly speculative reflections on image.