Is Visual Metaphor Possible?

Bigaku 53 (4):1 (2003)

In his film "Strike", Eisenstein abruptly cuts from a shot of the slaughter of workers to one of the slaughter of a steer. Such a cutting is understood as a typical example of film metaphor, while it has been not incontrovertible among theorists whether it is a real metaphor. Do film metaphors or, more generally, visual metaphors exist in the world? We could enumerate three types of traditional theories of metaphor, i.e. the substitution, the comparison, and the interaction theory. These have a conception in common that metaphor is, just like synecdoche and metonymy, a relation between two things referred to by two words. Meanwhile, influenced by Max Black's epistemological view of a metaphor, philosophers often use the word 'metaphor' in the expanded sense including 'analog-model' or 'symbol'. It is sure that an analog-model is a mode of a recognizing the world based on the relation between two things. But metaphor is, we claim, nothing other than a linguistic phenomenon of predicative modification of a subject. If it is true, it follows that metaphor in its proper form can not appear at the dimension of such visual images as paintings and films.
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