Lora's Tears

2007-2014



The project Lora’s Tears was born out of the desire to create a work around a face, that of Hollywood actress Gene Tierney, and her most emblematic film, Laura, still considered to be a true classic of film noir today. Making reference to the work’s aesthetic, the highly unusual construction of its plot and the complexity of the actress’ character, the idea underpinning the series consists in staging an encounter between the images from Otto Preminger’s film with those of the cubist and surrealist movement, which are conjured by the treatment applied to the images appearing within the pieces.

The project finds a more specific centre point in a work painted by Pablo Picasso in 1937, the version of Weeping woman housed today in London’s Tate Gallery. Though never explicitly shown in any of the arrangements, the work is incessantly evoked by the play of superimpositions carried out by the montages within the exhibits (whether taking the form of superimposed composition effects or the choice of motifs taken from Preminger’s film), indeed the scenographic arrangements chosen, meaning the painting determines the aesthetic of the series on many levels. Other works associated with the cubist movement are also referred to in specific ways within certain pieces. Marcel Duchamp’s Nude descending a staircase notably presides over the xy3 montage – Nude at the window, the piece that introduces the series. In this sense, the attention given to painting remains constant so as to instigate a dialogue between itself and the art of moving images, creating a confrontational effect similar to those created within the artist’s prior creations (Continuations of Hitchcock, Tests of Time and the most recent Olfactive portraits).

In reference to the subject of Preminger’s film, to the fate of Dora Maar, whose face formed the subject matter for Picasso’s painting, and even in a different sense to the fate of Gene Tierney, the project effects a specific enquiry into what is to become of the artist’s model, whose appearance and form he is working to redefine. It dwells on the idea of the metamorphosis that occurs as a subject is transformed into work of art, within a process that, while glorifying the subject and instilling its surface with beauty and radiance, simultaneously freezes the person in time and cloaks them in darkness by effacing certain aspects of their personality and a large portion of their freedom. It is a kind of sacrifice (of a particularly sensitive nature in Dora Maar’s case), or even a form of vampirism that drains the life out of the subject so as to retain nothing more than a diaphanous husk. It is also the idea of metamorphising an individual into an object, indeed into an economic and cultural asset, in a movement that flies in the face of any suffering or frustration it may entail.

With regard to the black and white aesthetic adopted by Preminger’s film, the series employs specific types of materials, such as glass, crystal and mirror. These function within each scenographic arrangement to create effects of transparency and reflection, and play on distortion effects to muddy the clarity of the image. Playing on the changing rhythms that the montages create in relation to each other, they effect interruptions, but also create playful mirroring effects that, even if only in reference to Picasso’s painting, invite the pieces to communicate with each other.

Expanded to encompass five films interpreted by Gene Tierney (Preminger’s Laura, Where the Sidewalks ends and Whirlpool, and Dragonwyck, The Ghost and Mrs Muir by Mankiewicz), the series is currently made up of twelve pieces.

Eclipse
(2014)

Sidewalk
(2011)

Little Sheep - video still

Little Sheep
(2009)

Paris, Galerie la Ferronnerie

xy3 - Nude at the Window
(2007)

Split - video still

Split
(2009)

Marseille, Où - Lieu d’exposition pour l’art actuel

Lucy's Dream
(2009)

Rain/Pain - video still

Rain/Pain
(2009)

Marseille, Où - Lieu d’exposition pour l’art actuel

In Hell
(2009)

Whirlloop - video still

Whirlloop
(2009)

Marseille, Où - Lieu d’exposition pour l’art actuel

Mark's Dream
(2009)

Paris, Galerie la Ferronnerie

Ann's Dream
(2009)

Little Foxes - video still

Little Foxes
(2009)

Copyright © 2016 Laurent Fiévet