Laurent Quénéhen is a Paris-based photographer and curator. As part of his curatorial activities, in 2002 he invited a dozen European visual artists to participate in a programme of short video works entitled Love Video. Shown first in Paris, then in Moscow and other places, this programme was followed in 2003 by Romance, A Song of Love in 2004, Rose and Green in 2005, and Living for Living in 2006. The theme of each compilation, often inspired by an existing work of art, rests invariablyin relation to the representation of intimate feelings and relationships. The chosen themes allow for a great variety of works, yet the films are united by certain formal characteristics: short duration, non-narrative structure, the importance of visuals over text, etc.
A Song of Love
Cinema is indeed something profoundly shameless. It is capable of magnifying gestures. The camera can open a zipper and look for the hidden. If I find it necessary, I will have no hesitation in doing it. Jean Genet.
A Song of Love is a selection of films about meeting the other person. Yet, it would be more accurate to say that they relate stories about non-meeting rather than meeting, like in an eponymous short film by the French writer Jean Genet made in 1950 (forbidden until 1975). In this film, the viewer, together with the prison guard, spies on a prisoner caressing himself while thinking of his companion separated from him by a thick brick wall. There is an exchange between the two people, however unusual. The films in A Song of Love are also about the exchange with the invisible other. The visible part of a film on this subject can equally well reveal both what is present and what is missing. Solitude leaves room for many things to happen.
The Life of an Artist: The Success
2'57, 2003, France
some irony, some humor.
to be sufficiently light, to speak of tragic without looking so.
La Notte (The Night)
3'28, 2003, France
To the song of Adamo, letters line up to form the lyrics of this song. Inside these letters are hardly noticeable pictures of love scenes.
If I Were You
7'02, 2003, Germany
If I Were You is composed of two stories told simultaneously: a man and a woman prepare to murder each other at the same place and the same time. The increasing dramatization culminates in a paradox.
2'15, 2002, France
Aquarium is part of a series of 10 videos entitled Book of Sketches #3. These videos are playful and borrow certain elements from childhood memories which, behind their naïve looks, hide existential problems.
6'14'', 2003, France
A woman is bound to the floor of a closed area by three long leather cords. This dark and reddish area becomes the scene for a strange ritual: the dancer pulls on cords, makes movements trying to liberate herself but in vain. Like an insect, she struggles until she drops with exhaustion and accepts her state.
For it is possible that in order to move forward, one doesn't necessarily need to leave
1', 2004, France
What you feel for the other is not necessarily what he feels for you. So you are wondering if love is not always something off the beat.
2'37, 2004, France
In a pastoral and quiet setting a body is lying on the ground. A body of a drowned person.
3'35, 2004, France/Poland
What do women do in the kitchen? They make soups with the balls of their men: a small symbolic vengeance which gives an appetite.
8' 18, 2003, France
This film is a study of two situations which degenerate simultaneously: one presents a couple coming home after an ordinary evening out, the other takes us inside where a couple of bad boys play poker. While it's totally illogical and absurd, the sadness of both situations undergoes a transformation only to become the joy of life, despite the violence of the film.
1' 05, 2003, France
for if I want to be an artist, if I do it seriously, I still want to look like a jerk.
Hmm, that will be it for today.
You know, however, that to jerk has another meaning?
You are so right, doctor, I replied while getting up from the couch.
Monday, March 8, 2004
4' 21, 2003, France
Jean Luc Godard once wrote that a film exists by the viewer.
What would happen if every viewer was creating his own script of an already existing movie? Here is an example.
Today - nothing
25'', 2004, France
It's a crossfade with a white, untouched day.
And if Tomorrow
2'45, 2004, France
Gazing far away, into nowhere, hiding one's face in pillows - it's a story about feeling nostalgic, like many other ones. No special effects, a film in black and white - is its author looking to make things more poetic or more bitter? From the trivial to the precious, from the emotion to the irony, each of us binds himself as he can to what intimacy gives. The romantic can exist in the most ordinary setting, like in this film.
Living for Living
Living for Living (Vivre pour Vivre) is the title of a film by Claude Lelouch about the life of a couple, infidelity, then three people in a relationship, and finally the solitude.Short films presented in the programme address the question of waiting for the ideal love, the relationship one dreams about and the reality lived by the other person.
Today I met the love as a dense and blue spit. M.Q.F.
3', 2005, France/Poland
Régina is a film about the beauty of birds flying, about the sun rising, about the gentleness of a scented hot bath and about a girl who catches the reflection of her pretty face. Only on the other side of the mirror, behind the beautiful fronts, the death wanders around, the anguish slowly penetrates the everyday life.
A ceaseless anxiety in the heart of happiness, das unheilmliche.
C'est plus Sûr (This Way it's Sure)
2'01, 2006, France
I would like to simply film the ceiling while she's asleep next to me
1'49, 2005, France
Parade is a silent and visual dialogue between two mechanisms.
Fragment d'un Discours Amoureux (Fragment of a Lover's Discourse),
8', 2003, France
Maud Querol Ferrer
"the door still open
Don't told me that
the door still open
One day you're gonna regret what you said"
When it's Most Beautiful
3'40, 1999, Germany
In All wishes start from here a woman and a man sit down at a table again and again.
Trying to get in contact with their vis-a-visthey meet themselves sometims. After some moments the visitor mentions the impossibility of a real communication. The scene is a video construction with the seduction of a real image.
Where it Clicks
8', 2006, France
Where it Clicks is the place where a man meets a woman under absurd circumstances and where the question of having a child together arises in a way no less absurd. Where it Clicks is the story where one fights, shouts and loses the nerve between men and women public bathroom of a New York train station. Where it Clicks is a movie with no certainty but one: time keeps running, clock keeps ticking even if sometimes it ticks out of joint.
Chambre X, (Room X)
3', 2005, France
A strange night in a London hotel room. Between the absence and the waiting a young woman is trying to fall asleep . There is no noise except for the strident telephone ring.
Ma Sur Adore Mon Frère (My Sister Adores My Brother)
3'40, 2005, France
My sister has intrusive attitudes and gestures regarding my brother who decides to take revenge in a pitiful manner.
La Reine de la Nuit (The Queen of the Night)
3', 2004, France
Carine Doerflinger takes hold of elements of daily life and manipulates them in different manners (little effects like music, sound or a particular inscenation) to take them out of their original function and out of their usual context and so gives them other senses, other meanings.
Le Paradis est où Je Suis (Paradise is Where I Am),
4'41, 2005, France