Split

2009


Split - video still



Video installation for one or two video projectors or a rear projector.
1 or 2 video loops, 16’.

The two parts of Split, composed of excerpts from Laura, are projected onto two walls which are slightly offset from one another so as to create a passageway within the exhibition space.

Like Rain/Pain and Mark’s dream, Split presents a series of variations on Pablo Picasso’s Weeping Woman. A cracked clock constitutes the central motif around which the ensemble of the piece is figuratively structured, putting forth Time as a major theme of the work.

The passage between the two walls creates a breach at the center of the image. It materializes a sort of temporal fault into which Otto Preminger’s work is submerged, provoking a series of imbalances manifested both through the use of double exposure in the video installation (where different sequences from Laura are stacked atop one another – sequences that don’t seem to have any particular relationship to one another as regards the film’s internal structure) and the rhythmic variations that affect the video’s flow, which are occasionally further altered by changing the playback speed of certain passages. The visitor can repair the rift in the image created by the installation’s scenography by watching the video from particular angles. Conversely, the visitor can also situate himself in such a way as to expand the gap at the center of the image and to heighten the deconstructive effects which the installation uses in reference to the Picasso painting.

The rift created by the installation’s layout renders the figures’ appearances disjointed – split, lacerated, or even flayed, the bodies and faces represented seem subjected to an advanced decomposition. But it is not the representation of the undead that is privileged here, as might be the case in Ann’s Dream, for example; in this version, the springs and cogs are exposed, showing the characters to resemble rather automatons whose gestures and movements are calculated with precision. This evocation contributes to highlight the cinema’s mechanical aspects as well as its capacity to circumvent the passage of time, showing after showing.

As with the video, the characters too are subjected to effects that give rise to the confusion of identities and identity splitting that allow Split to come back into contact with the themes approached in the other installations from this series that have to do with Gene Tierney’s psychological problems.

Furthermore, like Dragon’s Kiss, Split affirms references to religious painting. The work creates a procession of haloed figures through its use of double exposures, celebrating both the status conferred upon the stars of the silver screen by the public and the endurance of their images.

For its first showing in Paris, the video was rear projected onto a window of the la Ferronnerie gallery that gave onto the street. A door jamb served to split the image and distribute its components in two sections in accordance with the original arrangement imagined for the installation. Visitors were able to access the whole image by entering the gallery, though the image itself was inverted, which, though it reestablished certain motifs employed by Otto Preminger (such as the broken clock face), distorts the image and dislocates the perception of it.

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Copyright © 2016 Laurent Fiévet