Whistle

2012-2015



While closely linked to the tools, objects, and images used in the series of installations entitled Tests of Time, the Whistle series—like Swing High, Swing Low—comprises videos that are all variations on a theme: a woman absorbed in the contemplation of one or several birds in a cage.

From self-assured to somewhat intimidated, these women manifest different degrees of assertiveness in cinematic excerpts reworked to play back and forth, sometimes reflecting a resolution to take their fate into their own hands and other times reflecting a certain passivity in regards to those around them. As the cage—an explicit object of imprisonment—proposes a metaphorical dimension, the different attitudes presented occasionally seem to hint at a kind of emancipation.

The women’s whistling at the birds and the symmetry of the shots in which both women and birds figure together instigate a gradual process of identification between the two. It is as though the women are caught between hope and frustration, projection and withdrawal, and face themselves as they watch the birds move about in this series of variations on feminine desire, expressing either a kind of determination to realize one’s dreams or a renunciation of seeing them take form.

From another point of view, this relationship between interior and exterior more simply initiates a reflection on the figure’s relationship to the context of its representation, and even the different connections that the viewer is likely to make between himself and the cinematic image, of which each shot proposes an illustration, thanks to the gaze of the characters and the extra framing introduced by the cages they observe. That is, unless you consider that it is rather the viewer’s embrace of the videos that finds itself discreetly examined in this mise en abyme through these attentive women whose attitudes likely correspond to those of the viewers in the exhibition space. Their whistling would, then, transform into more or less incisive commentaries in a kind of self-reflexive critique.

Tune #14 - Johanna
(2015)

Whistle
(2012-2014)

Tune #13 - Ema
(2014)

Tune #12 - Gabrielle
(2014)

Tune #11 - Christiane
(2014)

Tune #10 - Teresa
(2014)

Tune #9 - Sibyl
(2014)

Tune #8 - Lucienne
(2014)

Tune #7 - Kate
(2014)

Tune #6 - Blanche
(2014)

Tune #5 - Melanie
(2014)

Tune #4 - Marion
(2014)

Tune #3 - Anne
(2012)

Tune #2 - Irena
(2012)

Tune #1 - Tess
(2012)

Copyright © 2016 Laurent Fiévet