In an article dedicated to Pier Pasolo Pasolini’s Salò o le 120 giornate di sodoma (Salò or The 120 Days of Sodom, 1975), Roland Barthes asks himself if “at the end of a long concatenation of errors, Pasolini’s Salò is not, all things considered, a properly Sadian object: absolutely irredeemable: no one indeed, so it seems, can redeem it.1 By using the verb redeem (récupérer in French), Barthes implies simultaneously that there is no salvation nor excuse to justify Pasolini’s poor gesture of “realising Sade” and “irrealising Fascism”2, as there is no way one could make use of this film in the future.

Redeeming also became a common strategy among contemporary art practice, and this is what makes Pasolini’s work even more appealing now, as these artistic gestures of recuperation were spreading at around the same time that Pasolini was making his movie (the 1970s). A question then arises: did Pier Paolo Pasolini leave a legacy to contemporary visual art? In order to discuss this question, I will focus my attention on a recent exhibition called When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013 and more specifically on an essay written for the catalogue by French curator Pierre Bal Blanc, entitled Footnote for “When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013”: On Reproduction and Re-production.

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When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013 is, as the title suggests it, a re-enactement of a controversial show curated by Harold Szeeman: Live in your head: When Attitudes Become Form, held in Bern, Switzerland, in 1969. The show became a historical event for contemporary visual art due to the curator’s approach to exhibition practice which brought together young artists of the 1960s belonging to the post-pop and post-minimalist movements, ranging from Arte Povera to Conceptual and Land Art, among which were Carl Andre, Robert Barry, Joseph Beuys, Mel Bochner, Daniel Buren, Joseph Kosuth, Sol LeWitt, Richard Long, Mario Merz, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Robert Smithson and Lawrence Weiner. Here, the artist’s body became an integral part of his work, which was no longer meant to be hanging on the wall of a gallery or art museum. Performances and installations were two of the prevalent practices that blurred the frontiers between media and genres.

Pasolini Salo

Kunsthalle, Bern

Curated by Germano Celant in collaboration with Thomas Demand and Rem Koolhaas, the 2013 exhibition was sponsored by Fondazione Prada and held at Ca’Corner della Regina, an 18th century palazzo in Venice. Prominent contemporary art curators – including Claire Bishop, Benjamin Buchloch, Boris Groys and Anne Rorimer – brought their contributions to the exhibition catalogue, which also contains an impressive collection of data, documents and photographs concerning Szeeman’s original exhibition, and archival work made by the present exhibition organizers.

Pasolini Salo

When Attitude Becomes Form 1969/2013 (Ca’ Corner Della Regina, Venice)

One of the catalogue’s texts is by Pier Bal Blanc. As the title suggests, the text is intended as a footnote for the exhibition. Blanc’s essay uses Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film Salò to address some important features that affect contemporary visual arts, such as imitation and repetition, authorship and authority, but foremost the connection between realism and the effect of reality, as well as the role of the contemporary art market. The starting point of his argument seems to be the rephrasing by Marx of a Hegel well-known remark that states, “all great world historic facts and personages appear so to speak twice. And Marx says: He [Hegel] forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.”3

Using examples from the 1970s (Roland Barthes’ article on Salò, Pierre Klossowki’s text on Sade), but also from the contemporary art scene (Marina Abramovich’s performance Seven Easy Pieces, which consists in re-staging older performances created by other artists and herself), Blanc discusses the Barthesian perspective that opposes realism (Balzac’s novel) to the effect of reality (Sade’s novel) and applies these two concepts to Pasolini’s mise en scène of Sade’s 120 Days of Sodom.

Blanc’s article is generous in its references, ranging from Marx and Napoleon I to Marina Abramovich, Walter Benjamin, Claire Bishop, Pierre Klossowski, Roland Barthes, Pier Paolo Pasolini and Salò, Sade’s novel and Blanc himself. One can see two main axes around which his argumentation is built. The first one revolves around the idea of performance. He is here concerned with Abramovich’s show, which he considers with a critical eye. The critic opposes her show to his own exhibition La Monnaie vivante (The Living Currency), which he claims to have “staged” rather than “curated” (as it is the case for Abramovich). This exhibition is a remake of an eponymous text by Pierre Klossowski. The central concept for Blanc is Claire Bishop’s notion of delegated performances, which are characterised by the “uniqueness of the live act, in that they are designed to be reiterated”; “activated by a third party, they contradict the authenticity of the artist’s body” and “denounce and exploit the practices of globalised industry and thus reiterate certain of these practices in their work.”4 As a show, The Living Currency is constituted from live performances where dance, theatre and music meet through the body of the performer in order to problematize its relationship with the economic system and the history of performance as an art strategy. As the rhythm and flux of the public influences the performer’s movements, the show has a limited mise en scène, part of the happening being dependent on the spectators. This is of major importance as it shows Blanc’s practical and theoretical concern for performance and spectatorship, and his critical stance towards the art market and history, issues which we will find and discuss further in this article.

The second section of his essay deals with Pasolini’s adaptation of Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom understood as a delegated performance. The link between the sections is a quote from Roland Barthes’ book Sade, Fourier, Loyola, from which Blanc borrows two of his key-terms: reproduction and re-production (in relation to what Barthes calls realism and the effect of reality):

Between the social novel (Balzac read by Marx) and the Sadian novel, a kind of general to-and-fro-manoeuver then occurs: the social novel maintains social relationships in their original place (society as a whole) but anecdotizes them for the sake of individual biographies […]; the Sadian novel takes the formula of the relationships, but transports it elsewhere, into an artificial society […]. In the first instance we have reproduction, a word one may use to think about painting, or photography; in the second instance, there is, one might say, re-production, repeated production of a practice (and not of a historical ‘picture’). The consequence is that the Sadian novel is more ‘real’ than the social novel (which is realistic).5

These four terms are to be re-encountered as part of Blanc’s argument in the case of Salò, and they are linked to tragedy and farce, but first and foremost, they are connected with spectatorship and performance, two fundamental elements in understanding Pasolini’s Salò.

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Pasolini Salo

Poster for Salò (Pasolini, 1975)

Pier Paolo Pasolini’s last movie, which closely preceded his murder, is still highly controversial today. This is due, on the one hand, to the violence associating sadism and fascism in a re-creation that disaffects the eye of the beholder. On the other hand, the film suffocates the spectator with explicit theoretical references that range from Sade, Dante Alighieri, Friedrich Nietzsche, Marcel Proust and Ezra Pound to a bibliography of the French critics and philosophers who most influenced Pasolini (Roland Barthes, Maurice Blanchot, Simone de Beauvoir, Pierre Klossowki, Philippe Sollers).

Pasolini Salo

Bibliography in opening credits of Salò (Pasolini, 1975)

But what is Pasolini’s connection with contemporary art? Why does the curator Pierre Bal Blanc finish his article, indented as a “footnote” to a re-enactment/re-staging of a 1960s exhibition, with Salò? Why does he make Pasolini his main argument?

In order to answer these questions, we have to go back to the word “footnote”, which is a key term in Blanc’s argument. At first glance, we could consider the presence of this term in the title itself as a simple gimmick, a theatrical gesture intended to ironically minimize the importance of his own essay while thereby pointing towards it. There is actually no reference to this notion until the second half of the article, when Blanc notes that Pasolini’s adaptation of Salò

aroused one of the greatest controversies in the history of literary adaptation or, if one prefers in the reproduction (remake) of a text in images. The posthumous work, he adds, released only days after the filmmaker’s tragic death, has sometimes been interpreted as the cause for his brutal murder on the beach at Ostia. This event has become inextricably entwined with the film’s interpretation.

“Pasolini’s death haunts the film as an external index,” Blanc writes, “it operates as a footnote, as a sign of the outside.”6

There are two important elements here. The first one is the film as a reproduction of a literary text and the reception issue. The second concerns the intertwining of Pasolini’s work and biography. Yet, something else is also at stake in his affirmation: Salò’s controversy as a remake of Sade’s novel and thereby its implicit analogy with the 2013 Venice exhibition as a remake of the 1969 show. Let’s see how each one of these ideas has been developed and linked to the exhibition.

Barthes vs. Deleuze: Reproduction and Spectatorship

Pasolini’s Salò is the result of an esthetic and political thought, or as Georges Didi-Huberman puts it, in Salò, Pasolini’s “imagination is political”.7 The intertext is not simply rich, but stuffy and oppressive. Now, more than ever, Pasolini’s aesthetic thought has had to illustrate a political reflection which had haunted him for some time and which had become one of the main themes in articles he published in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra – among which the most famous is “The Disappearance of the Fireflies”, which opposes “fascist fascism” (the Italy of 1944) to the “the fascism of consumer society” (the Italy of 1975).

“It is not so much the memory of the fascist era that inspired me to make Salò, but the spectacle of the contemporary world, […] the unprecedented violence now exerted on the body.”8 Pasolini’s film involves a twofold oppression: on one hand, a physical violence (fascism and the Republic of Salò) and on the other hand, a violence inflicted on the mind of those living in the capitalist society and subjected to bourgeois values (the film is saturated with literary references, creating a stifling effect).

In Salò, Pasolini takes a stand against this danger that, in his view, kills the Italian people, and destroys the innocence of bodies and minds:

I felt real love for them (the Italian people, rooted in my personality. I could see with my ‘senses’ how the power of a consumption-based society modeled and deformed the conscience of the Italian people, finally arriving to an irreversible degradation. This was something that did not occur on the fascist fascism period, during which individual behavior was totally disassociated from the conscience.9

We must also take into account that the parallel between Sade and Nazism is not an invention of Pasolini’s, but an affinity that can be traced back to the origins of modernity and the logic of Enlightenment.

For Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, the roots of fascism (and of industrial capitalism) are to be found in Enlightenment and its philosophy of the (bourgeois) subject freed from any external guidance. His independence has as consequence an utilitarian logic of manipulation of the other, doubled by a philanthropic rationalization. Sade represents the extreme of this logic of manipulation, stripped of all moral or philanthropic attributes. He thus exemplifies through his amoral characters the advent of Enlightenment values where personal pleasure becomes a machine that reifies bodies and minds.

Roland Barthes who beautifully wrote on Sade’s oeuvre, arguing in favour of a Sadian universe that is exclusively a universe of language/discourse, accused Pasolini of naïveté, of taking Sade literally and of fantasising (derealising) fascism at the same time as he was figuring (realising) Sade. The problem is that for Barthes “Sade can in no way be represented”. What bothers Barthes the most is that it is not Pasolini’s world that is bared in Salò, but the viewer’s glance, “our glance stripped naked, such is the effect of the letter.”10 But in this case the letter has a different technical support (image, cinema) than Sade’s oeuvre (language, text).

In Sade, Fourier, Loyola, Barthes stresses the fact that “Sadian crime exists only in proportion to the quantity of language invested in it, in no way because it is dreamed or narrated, but because only language can construct it.11 For Barthes, “écrite, la merde ne sent pas12, because, he says: “Sade always chooses the discourse over the referent; he always sides with semiosis rather than mimesis: what he ‘represents’ is constantly being deformed by the meaning, and it is on the level of the meaning, not of the referent, that we should read him.13

However, Pasolini considers cinema as a language of reality: “Cinema is a language that expresses reality through reality itself.”14 In this sense, he develops the concept of the free indirect subjective, considered by Gilles Deleuze to be a particular case of perception-image, “a reflection of the image in a camera-self-consciousness” that “takes on an extremely formal determination”15 because “the camera does not simply give us the vision of the character and of his world; it imposes another vision in which the first is transformed and reflected.”16

Pasolini Salo

Pasolini on the set of Salò (1975)

This means that the camera does not simply show what the character sees, but follows him and considers him with a critical glance. By doing so, the camera goes “beyond the subjective and the objective towards a pure Form which sets itself up as an autonomous vision of the content.”17

In linguistics, language is characterized by its double articulation, which means that a sentence can be broken down into minimal meaningful units (monemes – words or parts of words). These units can at their turn be subdivided into minimal phonological units (phonemes – which have no meaning, only a distinctive role in pronunciation). For Deleuze, Pasolini’s cinema functions as a language of objects. It is “provided with a double articulation, just like language, (the shot is the equivalent of the moneme, the objects appearing in the frame – cinemes, equivalent to the phonemes).” Therefore, the particularity of Pasolini’s practice in Deleuze’s eyes is that the object visible in a shot no longer reduces itself to a referent and the image to a portion of the signified. Here “the objects of reality have become units of the image, at the same time as the movement-image has become a reality that ‘speaks’ through its objects.”18

Deleuze concludes that Pasolini’s critics did not understand the “conditions of principle that constitute cinema,”19 which basically means the specificities of its technical support, the cinematic medium seen as a system of signs. Its preliminary conditions, in Deleuze’s perspective, belong to semiotics and not to linguistics (which is a branch of semiotics) and they function independently of any language system.20

So, what if cinema became the means/the medium for condemning a crime? Not just the place where one can ‘fantasise’, ‘realise’ or sublimate a crime (Pasolini claims to experience a kind of “fascination with the sadistic orgy”), but also, and above all, the means/medium for denouncing the fascism of consumer-society. Thus, cinema is no longer mimesis, but it becomes spectacle, a trap for the viewer eager to consume images.

Yet Pasolini questions the cinematic medium itself, as an instrument of power. In his last interview, the filmmaker talks about a formal diagram (schéma formel) of the movie as well as of a “moment of illumination”. He identifies the latter as being the moment when he decided to situate the action in fascist Italy. Nevertheless, the film has an a­historical dimension and while its characters are fascists, they have archetypal traits that suggest the cyclical nature of time and power relations, because “all power is anarchic” and “sadomasochism is part of human nature”.21 What shocks in Salò is not nudity or sexuality, but a sort of Sadian, disarrayed eroticism reducing sex to a power-submission relationship, which reifies the body and destroys the other.

Deleuze considers Salò, as well as Teorema (a film written and directed by Pasolini in 1968), as a “geometrical demonstration in action” where “unbearable bodily figures are strictly subject to the progress of a demonstration.” 22 But where Teorema is “a life problem,” as it involves a problem from the outside, Salò is “a pure dead theorem, a theorem of death”, as it depicts “not in vivo fascism, but fascism at bay, reduced to a pure interiority, coinciding with the conditions of closure in which Sade’s demonstration took place.23

But if it is a demonstration, what is it used for? One might say it is used to criticise the very instrument, the cinematic medium itself. By its use and abuse, Pasolini goes beyond the spectator’s limits of endurance and confronts him with his own passive-aggressive position.

In this sense, the best examples are the torture scenes that take place in the yard at the end of the film while each of the Masters take turns in taking part and watching them from a distant window. Unbearable, one can not see these shots without covering one’s eyes. (However, is it possible to watch them if we cover our eyes? Why not simply stop the movie?) The Masters watch the torture scenes taking place in the garden through binoculars that highlight the distanciation and imprint their shape on the screen. They also turn them around and get to see the scenes in close-up shots.

Rogobete Image 6 Rogobete Image 7 

The “binoculars” sequence in Salò (Pasolini, 1975)

Alain Michel Boyer notes that this kind of framing “challenges the rectangle that usually governs cinematic representation”.24 In addition, this technique super(im)poses on the viewer’s perspective the perspective of the executioner; the gaze of the viewer is forced to identify with that of the Sadian Master. Another detail is added to the experience – the chair on which each Master takes turns sitting (an exquisite chair designed by Charles Mackintosh, one of the most famous Art Nouveau architects) has its back carved in the shape of an eye, reminding us of the viewer’s own seat in the movie theatre: This is the chair of the cinema spectator, ours […] we agreed to see all this, we are not at all innocent, and it means that we will go down in the yard when our turn comes. The binoculars flipping gesture symbolically confirms that the seats of the voyeur and the one of the torturer are reversible.25

What is inconceivable, then, is not that Pasolini “realises” Sade, but that he puts us face to face with the possibility that we ourselves realise Sade. That we – the audience – are not innocent, as we find ourselves in front of a screen we can break through. Pasolini breaks the screen for us, he puts the executioner’s binoculars in our hands, sits us in his chair and shows us that if we can bear to see the torture (even diagonally), we can descend into the court and take the Master’s place. Out of curiosity? Out of conformism? The banality of evil and sadistic fascination exist in each of the spectators, it would be inconceivable not to accept it.

Pasolini’s Un-reproduceable Performance and The Consumer Society

I would like now to return to the 2013 show and to Pier Bal Blanc’s article. If in Pasolini’s Salò there are three (main) temporalities: the 18th century (Sade), 1944 Italy (fascism), 1975 Italy (the contemporary era), we can also find three temporalities in the Venice show: the 18th century palazzo, the 1969 original show and the 2013 re-enacted show. By developing his main argument around Salò, Pier Bal Blanc draws a parallel between the two re-enactments and questions the practice of reproduction, of intertextuality, but also the very question of the original and the copy.

This is due to the fact that the exhibition he is writing for is supposed to be a copy, a re-creation (as identical as possible) of the 1969 show. As Thomas Demand ­– one of the organisers – notes, a fundamental curatorial decision was made to set up the internal spaces and the rooms of the Bern exhibition on a 1:1 scale of the different levels of Ca’Corner della Regina. This means that the curators actually decided to cut out the levels of the exhibition, in their totality, from walls, floors to art installations – and insert them in the Venetian palazzo. As Celant puts it, their purpose was not to “adapt” but to “plug the whole of When Attitudes Become Form into the container”, in order “to bring back the past exactly as it was”.26

The Bern version of the exhibition has a near mythical reputation, not only because it presented some of the most important avant-garde artists of that time, whose works often presupposed an anti-market trend, but also by bringing them together in an avant-garde location (Kunsthalle Bern), during a delicate, but very dynamic historical period (the end of the 1960s), and proposing them to share and investigate this space through installations and performances.

Pasolini Salo

Pasolini Salo

Lawrence Weiner exhibitions, 1969 (Bern) and 2013 (Venice).

In this sense, Blanc’s essay punctuates an important art-historic fact that appears for the second time, and now in the context of the internationally acclaimed art event that is the Venice Biennale, hosted in a historic luxurious building (the 18th century palazzo). Thereby, the implicit question that Blanc’s text arises would be: is the 2013 show a reproduction or a re-production of the 1969 exhibition and, furthermore, is it a farce or a tragedy?

The French curator never explicitly provides an answer for these questions. However, by drawing the parallel with Pasolini’s remake of Sade, he suggests an analogy that does not only concern the practice of reproduction (opposing the original to a copy/adaptation), but also, and foremost, concerns the critique of capitalist consumer-society and, by implication, the art market. Moreover, we should remember that this critique is central to the concept of the “delegated performance”. This is the reason why Blanc claims “Pasolini ‘outsources authenticity’ in that he shifts his aesthetic choices in order to break with the logic of historical paradigms, much in the way that hiring ordinary people to take part in a performance breaks with the paradigm of performance as an artistic practice.”27

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Blanc’s article ends with a reflection on Pasolini and the direct link he notices between his work and his biography:

From master to victim, Pasolini did not hesitate to act out in his flesh and intimacy the primordial and blind violence that he reenacted on the film set, by becoming the referent in reality for the crimes perpetrated in his film and projected on the screen. In his project to recreate the episode of the 120 Days, Pasolini achieved tragedy by avoiding farce. He did so, not simply in spite of himself, in combining fiction and the reality of his death, but by adopting an anarchic attitude (the reproduction of a practice) that demonstrates that it is possible to die from a desire to live in the present.28

By putting these two last quotations together, we can not ignore the importance critics gave to Pasolini’s death as in the interpretation of his last movie, as a testamentary gesture, which provides the work with an even darker shade. In this violent, obscure death lies a sort of ultimate performance that enriches the significations of Pasolini’s œuvre through an enigma. What at first glance was a sex murder became later on a political paid assassination where the anarchic attitude of an “artistic reproduction of a practice” met the brutal reality of anarchic political activism.

Blanc’s conclusion, however, does not make any reference to the context of the Venice exhibition. Yet his final assertion on Pasolini is provided with a footnote that states:

This text was commissioned from me by the Fondazione Prada and its artistic director Germano Celant as a contribution to the project “When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013”, conceived and organised by the Fondazione in Ca’Corner della Regina, Venice. The project reconstructs the exhibition mounted by Harald Szeeman in 1969 at the Kunsthalle in Bern with the sponsorship of Philip Morris. After reading the examples discussed in this text, it seems that the only instance of reality that the reiteration of this exhibition can “re-produce “ occurs in the shift from the social dictates of narcotics (Phillip Morris) to those of cosmetics (Prada), to which this footnote provides the link.29

Beyond being a medium for denouncing political and economical crimes, it seems that Pasolini’s strategy in Salò is, by its form as well as by its content, a critique of power relations inside society as a whole and also of the institutions (in this precise case, the institution of visual arts) and their capacity to commodify the gestures of the avant-garde.

Salò is based on the use and the abuse of the cinematic medium understood not anymore as a poetic (as it is the case for Pasolini’s other films), but as a critical tool meant to trap the spectator and force him to acknowledge he is not just a passive instance in the art-making process and in the process of signification of an artwork. Another aspect is the political implication of the aesthetic gesture. In addition to the artist, spectators are actors on the historical scene where art, economics and politics intersect each other, and shape the scene. In this sense, Pasolini’s case is extreme. His murder acquired an aesthetic value that opens doors to new posthumous interpretations of his work in relation to the performativity of an act of murder.

Death, which haunts Pasolini’s Salò, operates as an external index to it, as a footnote, says Blanc. So does Blanc’s footnote to his own article. Without the footnote (to which the title in its turn functions as an external index), the text makes no sense because it makes no reference to the exhibition it was commissioned for. But it also works as a factual, performative conclusion to the series of re-enactments analysed inside. Thus this strategy will only function if the spectator will read the last footnote and reflect on the performative and political aspect of what was staged for him in the exhibition, and in the essay itself. He can then decide what is farce and what is tragedy.



  1. Roland Barthes, “Sade-Pasolini” (originally in Le Monde, Paris: 1976), in Stanford Italian Review, special issue “Pier Paolo Pasolini: The Poetics of Heresy” (ed. Beverly Allen), II:2 (Fall 1982), pp. 100-102.
  2. In this article Barthes explicitly says: “In short, Pasolini did twice what he was not supposed to do. From the point of view of its worth, his film loses on both sides, for all that which fantasises (irrealise) fascism is bad; and all that which figures (realise) Sade is bad.” Ibid., p. 100.
  3. Pierre Bal Blanc, “Footnote for When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013: On Reproduction and Re-production” in When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013, exhibition catalogue (Fondazione Prada: Milan, 2013), p. 437.
  4. Ibid., p. 439.
  5. Roland Barthes, cited in Pierre Bal Blanc, Ibid., p. 438.
  6. Ibid., p. 440.
  7. Georges Didi-Huberman, Survivance des lucioles, (Minuit: Paris, 2009), p. 55.
  8. Pier Paolo Pasolini in Alain Michel Boyer, Pier Paolo Pasolini Qui êtes-vous ? (La Manufacture : Lyon, 1987), p. 262 (own translation).
  9. Pier Paolo Pasolini, “The Article of the Fireflies” in Ecrits corsaires, (Flammarion: Paris, 2009), p. 185 (own translation).
  10. Roland Barthes, “Sade-Pasolini”, p. 100-101.
  11. Roland Barthes, Sade, Fourier, Loyola (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989,), p. 37.
  12. For Barthes, Sadian libertinage is a fact of language: “For the rest, everything is left to the power of the discourse. The little-considered power is not merely evocative, but also negative. Language has this property of denying, ignoring, dissociating reality: when written, shit doesn’t have an odour; Sade can inundate his partners in it, we receive not the slighted whiff, only the abstract sign of something unpleasant.” Ibid., p. 137.
  13. Roland Barthes, Sade, Fourier, Loyola, p. 37.
  14. Pier Paolo Pasolini, interviewed by Michel Random, Pier Paolo Pasolini: vivre et encore plus, Institut culturel de l’audiovisuel, see:
  15. Gilles Deleuze, Cinema 1: The Mouvement-Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Hammerjam (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986), p. 76.
  16. Ibid., p. 74.
  17. Ibid., p. 74.
  18. Deleuze, Cinema 2: The Time-Image, trans. Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Hammerjam (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1986), p. 28.
  19. Ibid., p. 286.
  20. Pasolini explains what the sign in cinema means for him : “The image is a sign, and within a sign there is always the signifier. When I choose the face of a man, that face is a sign, and there are of course signifiers in this sign. When I speak of an image, it is just as if I were speaking of word. Just as the word is a sign within a linguistic system and it carries its own meaning, the image carries within itself its meaning much more mysterious than that of speech, because infinite. So that’s the difference between cinema and literature. The sign in literature is the word that has several meanings which are conventional, it is a pact that we have established, while the sign in film – image – is full of mysterious meanings.” See Pier Paolo Pasolini: vivre et encore plus, op. cit.
  21. Pier Paolo Pasolini, Salò, d’hier à aujourd’hui, in Salò ou les 120 jours de Sodome (1977), Carlotta-Films.
  22. Deleuze, Cinema 2, p. 174.
  23. Deleuze, Cinema 2, p. 175.
  24. Alain Michel Boyer, op.cit., p. 262.
  25. Hervé Joubert-Laurencin, Pasolini: portrait du poète en cinéaste (Paris: Cahiers du cinéma, 1995), p. 281 (own translation).
  26. Germano Celant in When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013, p.405.
  27. Pierre Bal Blanc, op. cit., p. 442.
  28. Ibid., p. 442.
  29. Ibid., p. 442.