Carlotta's way


Video editing, 93 min.

Carlotta’s Way makes use of superimposition to bring together a short extract of Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo that has been greatly slowed down and reworked to play backward and forward with a series of details of Diego Velasquez’s Las Meninas.
The piece is divided into fourteen chapters, each of which is devoted to a part of the painting that the passage from the film overlays in varying degrees of opacity, sometimes playing forward and sometimes backward. Putting the painting’s motifs into motion and redefining its texture, a series of complex and continually renewed interactions takes place between the filmic and pictorial elements brought together in the piece. New readings of the works seem to propose themselves and certain elements proper to these are highlighted.

While the video’s title echoes that of a film by Brian de Palma, which proposes numerous responses to Alfred Hitchcock’s body of work, it most particularly introduces a reference to the character Carlotta Valdes, whose painted portrait – which is not without a certain number of correspondences to the representation of the menina Doña Isabel de Velasco, who stands to the right of the Infanta – plays a decisive role in Vertigo. Presiding over multiple connections between fictional and pictorial worlds to the point of generating an abundance of figurative and temporal superimpositions, it effectively invites both characters and viewers to take comparative approaches similar to those that the editing provokes through its combination of film and painting.

In line with the character’s status in Hitchcock’s film, this reference highlights the contaminating effects of Velasquez’s work on the aesthetic of Vertigo, the latter’s tendency to feed on the former’s substance, and even the film’s propensity to incarnate its different figures. In this sense, the reference summarizes the complex interactions at work in the video that point out the progression of our gaze in the principle of the analysis itself.

The 93 minute-long work can be exhibited independently or in combination with its counterpart, Returning Carlotta’s Way.

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Copyright © 2016 Laurent Fiévet