04 October 2009

White light, white heat

In the Nuit Blanche, I'm rarely struck by the artistic value of a piece. What usually motivates me to walk around town at night, and face the crowd is the display of the piece, the use of the night, the use of the exhibition space, how it meets me randomly. It's a very paradoxical event made to bring art out of the galleries, in the urban space, at nighttime, free for everyone to encounter. But it turns out to have become less about art and more about fun. That's why videos for me hardly work in that context : you don't look at the video, you look at the light it makes around. Therefore is the Nuit Blanche a guilt trip into enjoying light and sound at night, out in the air, in dark corners, churches, window stores, gardens, old dusty historical buildings? I think so very much. Is it art? Sometimes. I remember one of the early Nuit Blanche, Alain Séchas was taking over the Palais de Versailles. It was very compelling. But I'm not sure it had to do with the Nuit Blanche itself and I gather the new look at contemporary art by the curators of Versailles had started then.
Last night, I just went around my old neighborhood Le Marais (I should post about it one day, about how it's slowly becoming soulless) where you can usually find dozens of pieces displayed around because there are so many of those old dusty historical buildings.
Nothing of note, except some sort of inflated pink ring over the Archives Nationales which makes for super cool pictures (the invasion of the alien art from Planet Crowd Pleasing?) and a lonely chair in front of gallery Yvon Lambert, which displayed in its window a video of which I don't remember the author's name nor what it was about. And yet I did sit on that chair. I guess I was too distracted by the experience...
Maybe that's why I'm still glad the event exists, first because you should always try to turn the city into a playground once in a while and second because dark corners do offer the best place for your imagination.

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23 April 2007

Superficiel at the Elysee! Vote for Superficiel!

A new piece is on Superficiel: Aurélia presents a diaporama music video of her "night at the Elysée" during the Nuit Blanche 2006. Eyes Need Sugar, Open House and Guys and Dolls joined their forces to set-up a special clubbing night at the Elysée Montmartre for the event and asked Raphaël and I to think of a visual installation, at the crossroads between interactive art and VJing.
We worked-out a VJing program in 3 parts: classic VJing with Isadora with material we created or hijacked specifically for the occasion (from TV shows), an interactive part with SMS sent by the audience and a compilation of our Superficiel work on DVD (the DVD would run during our breaks cos we were on stage from midnight to 7am). It was a long, long, long night. But I must say super exciting as well.
We also designed a singular videoprojection setting: a 10m screen split in 2 was set behind us, 2 lateral screens would be at the immediate sides of the crowd next to the stage, and further, on each side on the club there would be 3 ceiling projections. Our 2 computers were sharing half of all the projections but in a assymetrical way, which gave a pretty nice immersive sensation for the clubbers.
Aurélia's work sets a very personal and intimate mood in a hysterical public event - it makes this 1m27s video quite a contrasting experience.


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