Friche la Belle de Mai – Tour 5th Floor – 41 rue Jobin – 3e
November 12, 2021 to February 13, 2021
The avis de passage (delivery notice) that we sometimes find pinned on our door tells us that a rendez-vouswas missed out but in the meantime it gives us another chance. The future is taking it’s revenge on the past. Finally, this is what art is, delivery notices of our transit on earth, like traces left behind us rather than attached meanings or messages.
To create this exhibition, we started by following the poet and philosopher Walter Benjamin and his bookPassagen-Werke (Arcades Project). It was after illegally crossing to Spain to flee the horror of the nazi camps in September 1940, that he lost his last manuscripts and he took his life. The route of exile criss-crossing of yesterday and today.
The hypothesis that was used as a roadmap for this exhibition, was that the keys to accessing the passagesare the loving, poetic and revolutionary passions. And this is how we invite you to navigate among these art works in transit, without a goal, being open to the unexpected. Every passage contains red herrings. We must be wary of the signs. Do not enter this labyrinth without desire.
Ralph Rumney / Joseph Marendo (France)
Photographic portrait of the situationist Ralph Rumney, the father of psychogeography (1957). He lived for a few years in Manosque, the city where Les Instants Vidéo was born. He died there the year the festival was forced into exile to Marseille.
“Psychogeography explores the relationships between neighbourhoods and the inner feelings they cause.Venice, like Amsterdam and bygone Paris, offer several possible changes of scene.”. An invitation to get lost, to stroll about would say Walter Benjamin.
Desire (2016) / Richard Skryzak (France)
Desire, can it still today be expressed as a pure Desire? For me, it represents the guiding principle of artistic creation, as well as of life. This is the reason why I outline it in a night sky as a plane, and combined with the moon light. So that it continues to enlighten us with its multiple chords. Before it fades away like chalk marks do on a black board. I strongly believe that Desire is in danger.
And that creation is one of the means available to us to save it.
Iskra, et bientôt l’étincelle embrasera la prairie (2017) / Pascale Pilloni (France)
Iskra (in Russian, the Spark) was the name of the newspaper founded by the bolshevik revolutionary Vladimir Ilitch Lenine. Sometimes all it takes is one little spark to ignite the fight of an angry people. And suddenly, nothing can never be the same again. The same goes for revolutions and for desire that set bodies on fire.
Il tempo consuma (1978-2021) / Michele Sambin (Italy)
In 1978, I realised Il tempo consuma, setting the video on a loop thanks to a process I had just invented.
In 1980, for the Mostra Camere incantate in the Palazzo Reale in Milano, I created an installation presenting a series of videos realised with the same method of loops.
In 2021, using news technologies to adapt them, I create a new immersive installation with the historical video. A technical-poetic disgression from analog to digital.
“Michele Sambin: Arché/Techne” is a project by Cineclub Canudo, supported by the Italian Council (9th Edition, 2020), program to promote Italian contemporary art in the world by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Culture. Arché/Téchne is a tribute to Michele Sambin, a total artist, who crossed the different fields of creativity making them interact with each other: from painting to drawing, from cinema to video, from theater to music. A solitary experimenter, against the tide, ahead of his time, whose brilliant intuitions make him a pioneer in the field of video art. The focus of this project is on the work Il tempo consuma, proposed for the first time as a live performance in 1978 and later as a video installation with the videoloop technique.
Wasser (2021) / Marie-Pierre Bonniol (France – Germany)
Wasser is a series of five short experimental films about water and its states, hydraulic forces (Wasserkraft), the transformation of flow into energy and metamorphosis dispositives. Wasser proposes a plunge into the waves based on the myth of the Bachelor Machines, which is the main theme of research of the director, and more particularly the tidal, astronomical Bachelor machine that supplies energy to the island of Morel’s Invention, the novel by Adolfo Bioy Casares published in 1940 in Argentina. Filmed mainly in France, Germany, Iceland and Switzerland in 2019, Wasser invites us to travel through the different states of water. The series also invites us to observe its transformations, in an analogical writing that also deals with the transformation of the production of subjectivity into the production of artworks, and generally the transformation of current into power. With a vision coming from the field of Aesthetics, but also extremely contemporary on the destruction of the ecosystem and the transformation of the water networks, the director continues through this film her research on what allows, opens and orientates transformations, with also a pronounced interest in the archaeology of machines, media and projection mechanisms.
With the support of Goethe Institut in Marseille.
Haschich in Marseille (2021) / Renaud Vercey (France)
“It should not be said that the past illuminates the present or the present illuminates the past. An image, on the contrary, is where the Old meets the Now in a flash to form a constellation. “Walter Benjamin (Paris, capital of the 19th century)
An immersive visual and sound space of two video projections and three loudspeakers offer to relive the stroll of the German philosopher Walter Benjamin in Marseille, his senses sharpened by hashish, in 1928 in a cosmopolitan and resolutely modern city. In the same years the filmmaker Laszlo Moholy-Nagy evokes in the documentary Marseille, Vieux-Port, the same images as in Benjamin’s text, in particular this new vision of the city allowed by the transporter bridge which then sits in the perspective of the Canebière.
Pasos (Frontières) (2009) / Olivier Moulaï (France)
“To honour the memory of anonymous human beings is harder than honouring the memory of famous ones. The idea of historic construction is devoted to this memory of the anonymous”. An installation on the tracks of the route to exile of Walter Benjamin, that gives a voice to other stories of exile.
Camille (2021) / Brigitte Valobra (France – Spain) & Wald (Tunisia – Spain)
Camille is a video art installation on silence inspired by the sculpture of a bust by Camille Claudel (1864-1943) Young woman with closed eyes (model with bare shoulders and inner look). In addition to a tribute to Camille Claudel, in a very slow movement bordering the apparent immobility of this sculpture, through a transparent light, we enter the vibration of her work beyond time. Moreover; we evoke here the disorder caused by the circumstances of early strict confinement in Barcelona 2020 with an underlying evocation of the final mental isolation of this artist.
The Crossing (2021) / Andrew Johnson (USA)
The Crossing stares at the instability of freedom, the fragility of democracy, the precarity of revolutionary spirit and the vulnerability of memory.
The Crossing is transfixed by what cannot be held. It stares as shadow and substance flutter, as democracy and revolution waver, as freedom fades and blackened lamps inhale spirits for a spell. Night and morning seep. The confines of memory do not hold. The Crossing is witness to what cannot be borne. It gazes at sentinels on street lights, as power arcs and dies, to where saddles straddle trafic lights and wired speakers hang. Twister strings numb the air with the decay of a minor chord. Fumes of desperation still ignite.
The Crossing is dedicated to all those no longer at liberty to struggle.
The door (8’ – 2020) / Hasan Daraghmeh (Palestine)
“The process is the project is the production is the product of repetition, accumulation, and then, erasure. Like a minimalist composition, we (think) we know where this is going, and part of the fascination is that we need to find out if our prediction is correct. Doors are opened and doors are closed. This is something that is both actual and metaphorical. Our knowledge of time and space is built that way. Repetition and rhythm are structures that are close to the core of things. The beating of our heart for as long as we live. The succession of days and nights, of nights and days, and the seasons in which those days and nights occur. Construction and deconstruction. As the screen fills with little boxes, a sort of architecture is built. Then it is systematically unbuilt. The film must loop, the processes will not end. The audience may be mesmerised, sort of hypnotised, if they give themselves up to the artworks inner logic, if they give the time it takes for the work to take its time.” “Jeremy Welsh”
Timeline (2021) / Hamza Kırbaş (Turkey)
”The events that take place in the world we live in and the relationships we establish with these events form our memory. Our memory is not a structure that we create individually only by ourselves. The relationships we establish with nature as a whole and with other people are all influential in the formation of our memory. Therefore, our memory cannot be considered independent of economic, social, cultural, and political transformations. As the French sociologist Maurice Halbwachs stated in the concept of “collective memory”; Having a collective memory means that individuals who make up a group or a human community have a common image of their past and, thanks to this image, become aware of their unity and originality. “Collective memory is a group seen from within… It [collective memory] provides the group with a self-portrait that emerges over time; because collective memory is an image of the past and allows the group to recognize itself by the total set of images.’’ In this case, the thing that pushes individuals who are attached to a group to act jointly will be based on the common image of their past, in other words, “collective memory”. Thus, it would be appropriate to say that memory with the characteristics Halbwachs wants to describe is “communicative memory”.
Play it again Nam (30’ – 1990) Jean-Paul Fargier (France)
A portrait of the pope of film track, of his visual and musical experiences right up to his recent video robots. A portrait filmed in Seoul, New York, Boston and Cincinatti. Where does Paik come from? Where is Paik going to do? Is Paik clear and neat?
Music, Ulrich Lask
La traversée du rail (2014) / Robert Cahen (France)
This video shows the ballet of bicycles, motorcycles and pedestrians at a railway crossing in China in a tumult of engines. The central and stable presence of an almost deserted rail in contrast to the incessant parade of people and vehicles creates a partition of the image between the fixedness of the camera and the feeling of eternal passage, of flux, supported by an editing with a barely visible loop.
Sign (10’35 – 2021) / Robert Cahen (France)
A film by Robert Cahen with music by André Bon (Four Doors )
About Four Doors, André Bon writes: “These doors open onto four soundscapes that express in order: tension, relaxation, expectation, ecstasy.
About Sign, Robert Cahen writes: “Symphonic breathing in four movements where music and sensuality of images are offered in counterpoint by subtle shifts. A short story of a meeting to be deciphered.
Haïku With Suspended Time / Eleonora Manca (Italy)
Three video-haiku that, like the pages of a diary made up of images, sounds, and words, mark a new time:
(Not Now): Personal and collective stories interpenetrate. Excerpts of the original audio recording, of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, interspersed with the ambient noises captured at the time of the video shooting (slowed down almost to the maximum), are borrowed to explore the concept of “suspension”and interrupted path.
Stories of interrupted paths, after only 73 seconds of flight. Of fades. Of suspended memories. Of memories memorized and sent back. Of “flight tests”. And then of paths regained, little by little. Equally imperfectly functional.
The Curfew Hour: Confusing the plague, knotting the thoughts: we are reborn continuously. Audio was recorded wearing an Ffp2 mask just after an asthma attack.
Little Relief Archive: About when tried to change your skin again. About when, reading Lucretius, you rediscovered that “touch is the sense of the whole body”, and went in search of a new skin.
Waiting for the Wind to Turn (2019) / Esmeralda da Costa (Portugal – France)
A triptych set in three acts, according to a non-linear but cyclical time. The video features protagonists of a radical otherness: wind, water, fire and earth rise up and bear the traces of a human world whose waste stagnates on the surface of the waves. An impossible mirror, as our rupture with nature seems complete, Esmeralda Da Costa tries to commune with the elements, making herself one thing among things. Anonymous, in an equally interchangeable place, she appears from behind or in a fetal position, the body woven by a nature that affirms the continuity of life and whose sublimated perception of the outside world is transformed into itself.
Kalopsia (10’03 loop – 2016) / Laura Cionci & Alessandro Zangirolami (Italy)
In the video Kalopsia you have the sensation of emerging from a large architectural body. From the first shot, which deceptively shows us an exterior, we gradually pass through dilapidated rooms and dark places.
LOVE POeTRY ReVOLUTION (2021) / Julien Blaine (France)
I should start with mad love,
this is the most complicated to explain.
The simplest originally
but the most complex in its path or paths:
confused, convoluted, subtle
cloudy and clear
hidden and obvious…
So I’ll end up with it!
Mad love / Poetry / Revolution (2021) / Pierre Mérejkowski (France)
Pas à pas’sage (miroirs) / Louis Michel de Vaulchier (France)
Poem accompanied by coloured felt-tip drawings inspired by Alice in the mirror by Balthus.
The White Swan And Its Undeniable Influence On Our Culture / Colin James (USA)
(A poem to be heard)
The idiosyncratic pedestrian asked
for information as I cruised by
obeying the speed limit.
His words came at me
like a wah-wah from a trumpet.
Parts of me responded.
My foot hit the brake
while my head did a three sixty fearing
it was the wrong way round again.
Discombobulated, disorientated, distracted,
I pulled over at a bus stop,
heard footsteps running and then
a more discernible vocalized request,
” Did I repair computers?”
Perhaps, but at what cost?