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PENDANT QUE LES CHAMPS BRÛLENT
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The point of departure of this programme is unusual.   Gérard Cairaschi has invited me to be part of the jury for the Grand Prix awards at the 7th Festival of Art Schools in the Grand Est, 2016.  In fact, in 2016 the School of Art and Design in Rheims, where Gérard Cairaschi teaches, organized this festival in this city.  The Greater East Network is made up of four major art schools:  the Ecole Supérieure d’Art de Lorraine (Metz and Epinal), the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art et de Design in Nancy and La Haute Ecole des Arts du Rhin (Mulhouse and Strasbourg), and then Rheims.  The National School of Art in Dijon is historically associated with this event.

After the screening of the films selected for the Grand Prix, the idea was mooted to open the selection to films made by students which Saison Vidéo would receive in 2016.

A new selection of student films has thus been drawn up.  This selection focuses on films by second and third year students, and films from the fifth year as well as post-graduate films.  The art schools of Rheims, Clermont Ferrand, Valenciennes, Tourcoing, Bourdeaux, Brest, and Geneva are represented without there having been any specific call for candidates.  For each establishment involved, teachers have been quintessential go-betweens, informing students about the existence of Saison Vidéo, and encouraging them to submit applications.  The candidates have been born in 1990 and later, the year in which the French group Niagara released the song “Pendant que les champs brûlent” on their album Religion.

Theodore Dumas

Escarmouche

 2017, 13 mn

ESAD Reims, 5ème année 

Escarmouche is an ode to frogs—human body although slimy.  We attend a wacky ceremony, a ridiculous parade.  The action unfolds in the home of Philippe d’Orléans, and in the lower city of Metropolis, and with King Louie. To the mechanical (but insistent) beat of Ravel’s Boléro, the fiction takes shape, the sculpture becomes fantasy, and the motionless comes to life.  Th.D

Thomas Schmahl

La petite chambre

2016, 6 mn

ESAD Reims, 3ème année

I settle down comfortably in a state of advanced slumber.  The room is small, with walls all round it.  In a loop, my thoughts, in a loop, again.  A daily wander on the Internet, summoning bad dreams.  TS

Camille Varenne

Tu me chercheras et je ne serai plus

2016, 8 mn

ESACM, Clermont-Ferrand

This film is the tale of a night watchman.  He is keeping an eye on a house, and fighting against sleep.  In this wakened state, flashbacks emerge.  In snippets, these memories provide us with the history of a family living in West Africa.  The house around which the narrative takes shape has the same metaphorical status as the bungalow in Marguerite Duras’s Le Barrage contre le Pacifique/The Sea Wall .  This found footage film draws its images from the archives of a family that once lived in West Africa.  It reveals that heritage from the viewpoint of the watchman who becomes the conveyor and guarantor of that memory.  Pictures filmed at the Bindiagara cliff in Mali conjure up the cinema of Jean Rouch, and kindle the collective imagination focused on Africa.  CV

Savina Topurska

Ivaylo

2015, 3 mn 47

ESAD, Valenciennes, 3ème année

Ivaylo is a film which tells the life of a man during and after the communist government in Bulgaria.  A more or less commonplace story, but a real one.  It describes the development of a man who loves, who seeks, and who knows how to have fun and overcome difficulties.  His life is not over, and today he is still living his life as it has become.  It is just a personal story, but with a universal viewpoint.  The film is set up like a photo-story with archival photos taken in Russia and Bulgaria, as well as postcards.  It is both a fictional and a documentary film.  ST

Charles Gallay

Lebon, Alan et Emily

2016, 4 mn 55

ESA Tourcoing, 3ème année

Around an attempt at mutual understanding, two entities dialogue.  One asks:  “Human or machine?” .  The other answers:  “The algorithm represents pride in knowing about art!”.  In fact, listening to these tunes, what would Alan Turing think about the music-loving artificial intelligence of Emily Howell?  Or again:  What would Alan Turing make of this cluster of humans, who themselves admit that they are incompetent when it comes to thinking?  In this ambiguous space, the hijacking of the Turing test proposes a viewpoint on collective and individual consciousness, on kinship and vocabulary.  CG

Maurane Arbouz

Les Mouillettes

2016, 12 mn

EBABX, Bordeaux

Olga is 24 and has to go home to her mother.  This doesn’t exactly fill her with joy, but someone has died.  And when someone dies everybody stands to attention.  A girl watches her through a window in the house, and while rummaging through old boxes, Olga finds her mother’s diary describing how she was born in an egg.  MA

Robin Mognetti

Totally Lies

2015, 10 mn 59

HEAD Genève

After a workshop run by Gabriel Abrantes and Michelangelo Frammartino at the Advanced School of Art and Design in Geneva in 2015, my class and I had carte blanche to make a short film around the theme of mimesis.

 

I became very interested in a movement of young Web artists:  the digi-feminists.  Through their respective blogs, they create a double of themselves which they want to keep elusive and everlasting.  A fantasized body which they virtually incarnate and which gives their real personal an opaque quality, like armour and protection.

 

They tell themselves that they belong to a progressive feminist movement by posting #JudithButler hashtags on their Instagram profile.  For me, they have a paradoxical activity.  Through their photos, videos and websites, they support and lay claim to an emancipation of the female body, but at the same time they convey an extremely aestheticized erotic style by re-using the codes of the emotionless “woman as object”, converted to programmed and artificial desires. 

What is more, their audience is made up of teenagers busily in search of identity, becoming easily muddled with the alter egos of those artists, and with the shapely and perfected silhouettes of those artists.

 

In the film, the use of an expanse of heterogeneous and seething Web windows, taken from the Web, was a way of representing different facets of their personality, and even of their interests and of their convictions.  This arrangement makes it possible to give material form to a kind of topography of their thoughts upset by a saturation of images and audio-visual everyday stuff.  Their language is affected by this.  A mimesis has taken place between their consumption of fragmented images and their vocabulary, which is also a fragment, networked.  The Internet can imitate real life, and real life can probably imitate the Internet and its consequences.  RM

Vincent Tanguy

Unleaded Plus 

2016, 9 mn 51

EESAB Brest, 5ème année

Marisa has a job in a gas station in Los Angeles, and just when I was passing, she was changing the gas prices by hand.  Fascinated by this activity from a bygone time, I decided to record her gestures, her words, and her fleeting power in that country where, through the lens of Hollywood film, the car is a symbol  of freedom.  VT

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