Ann's Dream

2009


Ann's Dream - video still


Video editing or video installation for 2 video-projectors.
2 video loops, 27’.






Ann’s Dream employs images taken from the opening sequences of Otto Preminger’s Whirlpool of 1949 and a drawing by Pablo Picasso in 1937 showing a sleeping Dora Maar. It is the only installation from the Lora’s Tears series that reveals its references to the Spanish artist’s work and directly integrates them into the film sequence.

Shown in the form of a single montage or two montages projected side by side within the exhibition space, the piece plays on effects of embodiment and disappearance of its figures, and focuses most particularly on the body of Ann Sutton’s character, played by Gene Tierney. Ann is trapped in a series of cross fades played either in the forward direction or in reverse which, while abstracting her tangible being, work to duplicate her. She appears to be the central hub around which all of the piece’s constituent motifs are played out or brought together. With the body’s ability to provoke openings and closings of the frame in the background, the spectator’s gaze is maintained on this body, drawn in through a series of rotational movements.

This process of bringing the figures into being, before decomposing them, which is further complicated by regular appearances of Pablo Picasso’s drawing, serving to offer further perspectives of Ann Sutton’s image, is devised in the spirit of Don Siegel’s classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Beneath the gaze of menacing, nameless figures who, leaning over it, appear to analyse its every reaction, Ann’s body loses its cohesion, only to be reincarnated a little further within the image. Overcome by weakness, it falters before collapsing on the ground or, in precisely the opposite movement, slowly straightens up like a plant reaching towards a light source. Caged in by the figures surrounding it, mirroring those of the spectators standing before the projection, the body seeks to escape their control and stop moving, at the cost of a degree of artificiality. Wave-like, opening movements lead us to believe the body will finally be freed, but it never escapes.

Unlike the other two montages making up the three dreams of the series Lora’s Tears, Mark’s dream and Lucy’s dream, the extracts chosen from Whirlpool cannot be seen as constituting dream sequences in the truest sense. It is really Dora Maar’s portrait that introduces this dimension within the work so as to disrupt our perception of it. The use of slow motion reinforces this effect by creating a sense of drowsiness. The dream’s representation is, nonetheless, very different from that employed in the other two montages. Excluding the spectator from its content, Ann’s dream opts to retain only the external manifestations, while displacing their vibrations.

Brief images of crystal vessels with the silhouette of Gene Tierney passing behind them are reminiscent of the installation Xy³ – Nude at the window, which includes a montage based on excerpts from Otto Preminger’s Laura behind an array of bottles and carafes. Resonating with the themes explored in this inaugural installation of the Lora’s Tears series, their presence underlines the fragility of a body that is repeatedly emptied out within the projection and signals the process of vampirism set in motion by the montage.

If, through reference to the themes of Don Siegel’s film, the spectator’s gaze finds itself inherently vilified by the set-up, due to its highly particular propensity to objectify the subject viewed, to suck the life from its body in its insatiable scrutiny and it also sign-posts the exchange dynamic instigated by the piece between the representations of the bodies of Dora Maar and Gene Tierney. It cannot be said with certainty which – drawing or film – feeds off the other, insidiously appropriating its content.



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Copyright © 2016 Laurent Fiévet