14.12.2002 — 16.3.2003
Sylvie Blocher - Living Pictures and Other Human Voices
artist(s): Sylvie Blocher
curator(s): Enrico Lunghi
Sylvie Blocher's work deals with themes such as the word, affect, emotion, femininity in the body of men, masculinity in the body of women, singularity, the Other, authority, as well as the subversive power of these features deeply hidden within each of us. In order to reveal and fix these features, for the past ten years Sylvie Blocher, has been relying on video as a means to "confer motion to the images and give them back the word".
A major part of the show will be made up of the Living Pictures video series. After having decided to stop producing any type of object since 1992, Sylvie Blocher has been working on this series of videos in progress. They are all realised along the same scheme: the artist questions various individuals on a specific subject; the viewer will only hear the answers. The interviewed individuals are contacted via classified ads: all those who take an appointment will be in the final editing.The shooting is done in one take, without any previous castings. The individuals thus appearing in front of the camera make up "fake groups" ("faux groupes"), as the artist calls them. "Sometimes I like them, sometimes I hate them," says the artist. "I first have to face my own affect before I start working". The artist's questions cannot be personal, neither can they be repeated, but they are ambiguous in order to allow all forms of proximity or distance, of intimacy or aloofness to happen. She asks her "Models" to imagine the presence of a loved or hated person behind the void of the camera. During this face-to-face with the other, Sylvie Blocher records everything, later on picking out the moments of abandonment, when the individuals set aside any kind of assigned or made-up act and pass beyond themselves: "They are no longer playing a role, they simply are". This way she creates a singular and unsettling space in which people appear as subjects in rupture with their own social identity. They no longer recognise themselves. This passage always happens by way of an inner turmoil, when emotion overwhelms them and makes them weak, as an uncontrolled appearance of their Self. Other works (Nuremberg 87, Le jugement de Pâris, Pratiques quotidiennes pour rendre la vie présentable etc.) give an idea of Sylvie Blocher's multiple commitment to political and human issues as well as to topics involving memory.
La violence c'est le lisse (1995), the only work in the show which is not a video (collection FRAC Bourgogne), is made up of a slogan/sentence and drawings on the wall. The erotic drawings of heterosexual, homosexual, and animal couplings, as well as drawings consisting of lists of sexual insults taken from the French dictionary of erotica are hardly visible and contrast with the slogan thereby breaking its "powerful" aspect. This work will be shown in the Casino Luxembourg lobby and acts as a kind of preamble to the rest of the exhibition.
The catalogue is realised with the support of the AFAA, Association Française d'Action Artistique, Paris.
Sylvie Blocher, Men in Pink, vidéo, 2001. © Christian Mosar.