A Filmic Allegory

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This paper proposes a material-semiotic analysis of the figure of the heliotrope through an allegorical reading of the short film “Sunstone,” 2017, by artists Filipa César and Louis Henderson, presented internationally beside a number of exhibitive projects and forums of discussion. This paper reads this film as emblematic of a new understanding of the photology that has traditionally characterized Western culture in a way that marks a turn toward ethical, social, and situated practices. The material-semiotic analysis of this film focuses on the role of operational images, the notion of texture of light, and the strategic functions applied by the work, which is relevant to a new reading of allegorical methods of representation. Through an analysis of this film, this paper proposes a way of thinking of allegory as a mode of speaking of difference and “the Other” between the representational and what remains in the opacity of what is not—or cannot—be represented, yet.