Five Types of Stain

The bloodstained garment is a classic feature of detective fiction, cinema and TV (Stage Fright, CSI, Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte), serving as trace, symbol, clue and narrative device. It suggests guilt, but keeps the precise nature of its origins a secret; it asks to be read, but remains illegible to all but the most skilled of interpreters. The stain is a narrative in condensed form, a mute witness that threatens to blow the criminal’s cover, for the successful criminal is one who escapes pristine, with no stain. Kitty Hauser will probe at the semiotics of stained clothing (with more than a glance at its prehistory in Christian iconography and primal shame), and consider its role in the construction of cinematic and novelistic narratives of crime and deduction. Kitty Hauser has won several prestigious awards for her writing and criticism in art and visual culture. Her book Shadow Sites was published by Oxford University Press in 2007.

ICA Cinema 1 Thursday 15 May 2008, 16:30