Bismuth and Claire Fontaine's joint venture 'Exhibitions' consists of a series of videos in which curators mime an artwork of their choice. The aim of the project is to render a certain form of protagonist presence to the body of the curator. By using the physical potential of communication to describe a plastic form, language becomes secondary and another type of wordless comprehension is instituted and shared with the spectator.
Link # 7
video on TV screen, carpets
Continuity and discontinuity are fundamental themes in Link. The artist's starting point and basic material is the film classic « Sleuth » (1972), an English ‘whodunnit' spoken in slang, by Joseph L Mankiewicz (featuring Michael Caine and Lawrence Olivier). The original film is shown being run on different television screens in different apartments. The editing in the original movie corresponds with changes of location in the Pierre Bismuth's « remake». The use of « Sleuth » is significant since all the filming took place on the same set. By constantly changing scene in the different apartments, the artist's Link becomes a paraphrase of the original's adaptation.To make this piece the artist is (still) looking for producers who will each finance 170 seconds of his remake.
The Jungle Book Project
« I was always fascinated with the way children can watch the same video or listen to the same record over and over again, several times a day, for weeks or months. In December 2001, looking for a present for my god-daughter, I wanted to see if « The Jungle Book » could pull her out of her several-months'-old addiction to Winny the Pooh. The idea was not to buy one version, but three or four. I wanted to see how an 18-month-old baby would react to watching the same thing and hearing something different each time. Somehow, before I could send her the tapes, I was fascinated by the experience of listening to all the dubbed versions.»
double projection on wall
"The Party" is a video based on a text that was written after listening to the soundtrack of a Blake Edwards' film. Without having ever seen the film, in the time of a single uninterrupted hearing, a typist was given the task of describing the ambiances and the actions implied by these atmospheres while transcribing the dialogue as she could. Confronted at the same time with problems of sound, interpretation, memory, and speed of execution, she produced in this way a new scenario in which the objectivity and subjectivity are mixed, giving as much information on the progress of the film as on the process of comprehension. The text, then added to the image, acts as a set of subtitles. It intervenes like an absurd commentary, moving ahead of the images, and so, becoming the main action.
In 'Untitled', Pierre Bismuth's strategy of short-circuiting cultural products and Cory Arcangel's interest in low-end technology come together. The two wryly sabotage Guy Debord's now classic indictment of late capitalism, the film La société du spectacle, by simulating a constant weakness of the video projector, the instruction 'Change Bulb' appearing over the images througout the film.