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We are in the third week of LIVING ROOM, section in which you can watch a selection of artists' videos without leaving your couch during this period of confinement.
This time, we present a selection of videos from Émilie Brout & Maxime Marion.
Artist duo, live and work in Paris.
"The meaning of value in a post-whatever era, the mass abundance of images - from amateur image production to professional images to algorithmically generated images - and the consequent shift of the artist from production to post-production - and from the creation of works to the generation of formats - are all recurring topics in the recent work of Émilie Brout and Maxime Marion. Since 2009 the French couple has been focusing on projects that, renovating the modernist language of film, make an extensive use of appropriated content from the web, which is freed from its status of meaningless, apparently valueless data floating in the information networks to be rearranged in complex, algorithmically generated, sometimes interactive narratives, or into powerful, iconic images."
Domenico Quaranta, AFK. Texts on Artists 2011 - 2016, 2016, Link Editions
Lightning Ride, 2017, UHD video, 7'40''
With Lightning Ride, it is poles of technology, organics and mysticism that collide with electricity as a connecting point. The video is produced from excerpts of "Taser Certifications", a sort of ceremony authorizing in the United States the use of Tasers in the condition of being tased by someone else. Filtered with the Photoshop’s "oil painting effect”, slowed down and accompanied by a disturbing soundtrack, the succeeding images show us bodies and faces whose deformations and positions evoke a feeling of pain as well as a Christian ecstacy. Everything unfolds as if the miracle of electricity, symbol of the rationalization of the world, revived paradoxically an aspiration to transcendence, antipodes joining each other and disappearing in profit of a new map of possibilities. (Sarah Ihler-Meyer)
b0mb, 2018, generative video, website, 9'58''
Production: La Villa du Parc, Annemasse, FR
b0mb is an online generative video, renewed at each viewing and accessible via a dedicated website. With an intense rhythm, it presents a montage of hundreds of images of all kinds from the internet, displayed on a musical soundtrack where one can hear the voice of Gregory Corso reading his poem Bomb (1958).
Declaration of love to the most terrible technology and metaphor of human self-destructive nature, the poem has a wide variety of lexical fields giving it an almost universal dimension. Figure of the Beat Generation, Corso seeks to produce here a poetry where the sentences would be without perspective, building his text via a juxtaposition of keywords “against” each other. The artists then performed a work of “writing reduction”, filtering and rewriting the poem in order to translate its content into queries for search engine such as Google Image. Each image visible in b0mb thus comes automatically from the result of one of these queries, selected according to popularity algorithms and displayed synchronously with the stated text, on a predefined editing. If the duration and the sound remain fixed, the images are renewed on each viewing, evolving little by little in the time, over the news.
Because of the great diversity of subjects covered in the poem and the heterogeneous nature of the images (amateur photographs, commercials, cliparts, press, definition variations, etc.), the work reveals a kind of snapshot of web culture. By a frantic sequence of indifferently innocuous, beautiful or terrible images, they also account for the violence that can emerge from it.
A Truly Shared Love (trailer), 2018, UHD video, 5'20''
Production La Villa du Parc, Annemasse, FR
He looks at her, eyes enamored. She looks at him later, while he is asleep. A cat basks in the bed. Can we imagine greater sweetness? Revisiting the fantasy of shared love, the artist duo Émilie Brout & Maxime Marion makes a five-minute video looking like the trailer of a love movie: theirs. Shot in their studio - remodeled for the occasion in a setting of extreme neutrality - the video follows the demanding specifications of Shutterstock, a platform that sells images and videos to professionals of all kinds ... Hence the smooth appearance and impeccable rigor of the plans. The objective: winning acceptance by the platform, currently examining and publishing each shot. To do this, in addition to their work on aesthetics, they have provided free spaces that will allow potential customers to slip their advertising within the film itself: this is why the characters work on computers with a green background, on which the camera zooms in a long time. As such, the images give a vertiginous impression of emptiness, factitious life, organized according to unbearable standards - to be happy, it would be necessary to be young, white, heterosexual, in a relationship, thin, beautiful ... And yet. Some clues, slipped here and there, instil a touch of malice and intimacy at the very heart of neutrality. Émilie Brout & Maxime Marion have indeed asked three artists to create works inserted throughout the film: a tapestry and a drawing of Jimmy Beauquesne, a black jacket of Ludovic Sauvage, and the poster of the film, by Yannis Pérez. Above all, they are truly in pairs, and in love - impossible not to feel it during the kissing scene, pure flash of sensuality. They try to invite a little of their private life and their art to the heart of Internet standards [...]".
(Maïlys Celeux-Lanval, “De l’amour en stock”, Beaux-Arts Magazine, November 2018)
Featuring works of Jimmy Beauquesne and Ludovic Sauvage