This text deals with the phenomenon of violence from the point of view of its forms of expression, arguing that the formidable visibility of violence in our iconosphere is due in great part to its symbolic effects. In other words, violence is now a captivating show because, among other reasons, humans have managed to build several figurative formulas that are able to conjugate both economic and aesthetic efficiency. This article gives an account of the representation of violence in the discourse of cinema, television and documentary by analysing the formal strategies at work in each discourse and by pointing to the differences between the regimes of transformational and referential writing. Several revealing examples are used to point to the formal mechanisms that give support to the aesthetic models in which audiovisual inscriptions of barbarism can be found.
Violence, representation, audiovisual, semiotics, figurative