Video installation, dvd loop, 2008
courtesy Jousse Entreprise, ParisThe Screening is both a performance and the film it features.“One night, in a forest. Owls, furets, foxes... The usual activities of the beasts are disrupted by rays of lights: it’s a group of humans. They gather in front of a white surface onto which, when it’s dark again, shadows start moving.”This synopsis is both the narration of the what appears on the screen, and the one of the whole evening: An audience is guided into a forest by torchlight. They sit in a glade, before a screen, and a film projection starts. At first reminiscent of a wildlife film, as it progresses a certain continuity with the truth emerges, people having the feeling of watching themselves on screen - the film, The Screening, depicts the situation as experienced, but from the specific viewpoint of the natural, surrounding world. It's a ‘mise en abyme’. Not quite a duplicate, it is, rather, a distorting mirror, one that stretches reality from behind the bushes."A few years ago, in summer, I was in Locarno film festival to
present a short film in a parallel section. One night, on the Piazza
Grande, as I attended one of the famous outside screenings, I've
experienced a very strong moment with a film and the real time... and
weather. I don't remember the film very well, but the scenario didn't
really keep the audience focused, and we could feel the wind
beginning to blow. Then, in the film, the weather started to darken,
as we heard a first thunder in the sky... A few shots later, the
actress appeared to be watching the clouds, wondering about the
weather... then, at the very moment a close-up showed her looking up
and saying "it's raining", a heavy rain started! The counter-shot of
this image was the synchronized reality... it was beautiful!
I think the coordination continued for a few shots, the characters
sheltering from the rain while people opened their umbrellas...
Thunderstorms and summer rains often happen in Locarno, and people
are used to them, they remain seated with their umbrellas. But due to
the precise synchronization of reality and fiction, this experience
was a strong moment on the footpath leading me to my recent
performance work, "The Screening", which you can have an idea about
in this exhibition."