Curated by Vincent Meessen

Ever since L’entrée du train en gare de La Ciotat by the Lumière brothers (1895), the camera-as-machine has entered an alliance with the vehicle-as-machine. At the beginning of the 20th century the idea of the travelogue consisted in approaching the film as a voyage, and the spectator as its passenger. This mechanical alliance between camera and vehicle will condition the modern ideal in many ways, more precisely its concept of a unified time and its imagery of progress.

Compiled from the Argos archives and augmented by some recent work, this programme brings together a series of contemporary artists’ films which make use of vehicles and their imagery - as instruments or rhetorical figures. Through their temporary cohabitation, these films enter into dialogue with two other structural types of artistic practices: the document and the performative gesture.

Each in their own way, these films set about a ‘micro-politics of transfer’. They create shifts in the economy of the mechanical and in the order of the visible, as they are inherited from modernity. They confuse our image of everyday life through their use of movements that are discontinued, gyrated, inverted or random. This way, they show how our age, the space age, requires the invention of appropriate translating tools.

An evening at the Film Museum will be the occasion to rediscover seminal film works which not only announce the moving image’s lack of discipline but also its predisposition to dismantle the official geographies.

Marcel Broodthaers
Un Voyage à Waterloo (Napoleon 1769-1969)
1969, 13’, 16 mm, b/w, sound

Marcel Broodthaers
Au-delà de cette limite
1971,7’30”, 16 mm, b/w, silent

Gordon Matta-Clark
Fresh Kill
1972, 13’, 16mm, colour, sound

David Lamelas
The Desert People
1974, 48’, 16mm, colour, sound

Gordon Matta-Clark, Fresh Kill, 1972