This text is searching for representations of the cinematic screen in film theory. I do not intend to touch the realm of other screens, for example the television screen. In a second step I will try to show the ways in which specific art performances approximate the screen. My assumption thereby is that the screen in the cinema is – epistemologically speaking – an object which is basically an object of elusion.

The function of the screen within the dispositive of cinematography is to be the surface of the projection of the film. In other words, its function is to disappear. Whenever the screen is in use as a screen, the screen is a screen, the screen itself disappears. The fabric body of the screen is a borrowed physique. The impossibility to perceive the screen is the precondition for perceiving the projected film. Even when the screen is not in use for projection, in many theaters the curtains are drawn to hide it – just as if to avoid a horror vacui.