A video essay about Pedro Costa’s film Ossos (1997) and its representation of the Lisbon neighbourhood of Fontainhas.

The essay considers the formal techniques used to express the community that lives in this neighbourhood and to in some ways extend it to the viewer in the sense of Jean-Luc Nancy’s concept of community. However, it maintains the ambiguity of meaning that recognizes that the viewer cannot have access to this space or people simply by watching a film – the film closes that door.

Essay written by Christopher Heron, edited by Christopher Heron, sound recording by Pavan Moondi and narrated by John Cohen.

This video essay was first published in June of 2012.

Works Cited

Blanchot, Maurice. The Unavowable Community. Trans. Pierre Joris. Barrytown: Station Hill, 1988.

Costa, Pedro. “A Closed Door That Leaves Us Guessing.” Rouge 10 (2007). http://www.rouge.com.au/10/costa_seminar.html

Foucault, Michel. “Of Other Spaces.” 1984. Trans. Jay Miskowiec. The Visual Culture Reader. 2nd Edition. Ed. Nicholas Mirzoeff. London: Routledge, 2002. 229-236.

Lefebvre, Henri. The Production of Space. 1974. Trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith. London: Blackwell, 1991.

Nancy, Jean-Luc. The Inoperative Community. 1990. Ed. Peter Connor. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2008.

Sante, Luc. “The Space Between.” Letters from Fonta√≠nhas: Three Films by Pedro Costa. New York: Criterion Collection, 2010. 22-25.

Soja, Edward W. Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory. 1989. London: Verso, 1993.