Through the Looking Glass


Bussy St Martin, Domaine de Rentilly

Conceived for the Domaine de Rentilly, this work proposes an extension of the piece February 2011 – Return to Marienbad, presented at the same time as part of the exhibition Chambres sourdes.

A pair of binoculars suspended by wires attached to the ceiling have been placed in front of the windows of the room in the castle where the video installation is projected so as to point out a bench at the other end of the park. Coming to sit on the bench after having walked alongside the water’s reflective surface, the spectator can listen to the video’s soundtrack through speakers placed in a wooden box attached to the back of the bench while looking at the castle from afar.

Articulated around a play of echoes that directly solicits the spectator’s memory of the images discovered some minutes earlier in the space devoted to the installation and now no longer within sight, this experience performs a temporal redeployment of the experience proposed on the castle’s second floor. By offering an additional perspective on the Domaine de Rentilly, and more particularly on the castle’s architecture, this piece enables the spectator to better appreciate the analogies created between Alain Resnais and Alain Robbe-Grillet’s film (redefined in the video February 2011 – Return to Marienbad) and the environment in which he finds himself upon coming to sit on the bench. The necessarily unfaithful memories of the images from the video projection find themselves prey to the parasitic spectacle that presents itself to the viewer through a phenomenon that sheds new light on the effects of manipulation and variation set into play by the video installation and which recalls the dynamics at play between the film’s fictional characters.

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Copyright © 2016 Laurent Fiévet