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Suture

 

Explanations > Identity > Suture

Description | Discussion | See also

 

Description

When particular subject positions are unavailable to us a 'wound' is created. Language enables us to 'suture' (ie. stitch) these wounds by replacing the unavailable positions with other subject positions that are more readily available. This generally reinforces the status quo.

Suture, according to Miller, is 'that moment when the subject inserts itself into the symbolic register in the guise of a signifier, and in doing so gains meaning at the expense of being.'

Suture refers to the means by which the subject, who does not exist outside language and cultural codes, is 'articulated' with available positions. The subject is thus made to appear at the point of origin of language, although they are actually absent.

Suturing binds the subject to the signifier.

Discussion

Suture is much discussed in screen theory, for example in descriptions of the effects of the reverse shot. Murder movies creates terror by delaying suture with the killer being unseen and extension of the whole sequence.

Where a subject has no existence outside of language and cultural codes, suturing is a method by which the subject is articulated into a given position.

When people are sutured into a position, they enter Lacan's symbolic register, where meaning is created through language and culture. In doing so, they move away from the raw 'real' world outside of their interpretation.

A significant effect of suture is that it makes us forget that the camera is there as we are drawn into the scene.

See also

The Symbolic Register, Interpellation

 

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