(These still images illustrate the process I used but they don't reproduce the original aspect of the video faithfully. For a better view, please refer to the video excerpt.)
For several months, I've been carrying hundreds of ink jet prints in my pockets. These images were taken from various video sequences showing the conflict between Israel and the Palestine I previously recorded on TV. Each second of the videos leaded to 25 still pictures I printed and cut.Through this process, the news images, usually immaterial and intangible, were given a materiality, a new body made of paper and ink. I could put them in my pocket; I could manipulate and circulate them. Like a protester who holds the portrait of a missing person (martyr or prisoner), I could use these ersatz to summon a distant reality within the realm of my own experience. After I printed all these images, I started a new kind of diary. When working in my studio, going out walking, meeting people or visiting exhibitions, I systematically brought these printed images. In each photograph I took to keep the memory of my everyday life, one of these still pictures appears, right in the middle of the image. These news images that interpose between my camera and the various events of my everyday life are reminders of a disturbing reality one is usually willing to forget. These images taken from TV truly function as screens, in every sense of the word: They are showing and hiding at the same time. Can this frustrating diary, where souvenir photographs of some pleasant personal experiences are spoiled by the intrusion of a more violent reality be seen as the expression of a guilty conscience? This interpretation seams particularly relevant regarding the pictures I took in Japan just after I arrived in Kyoto for a six months residency: The peaceful setting of a Zen garden at the Daitoku ji temple is disturbed by the violent image of a corpse lying on the ground. In another picture, a tank invades the joy and colourful streets of Osaka. For me, that's a mean to make two distinct realities coexist in a single picture. This permeation of two opposite kinds of experiences appeared more clearly after I built a video out of the images of this visual diary. The original video sequences I previously break up found their movement and their proper rhythm back while the background of the images, the traces of my own personal experience, transformed into a stroboscopic pattern of subliminal images, each snap lasting a 25th of a second. Apart from the existing tension between two incompatible states of mind, a second tension was added, made of the confrontation of two different temporalities: the supra-individual one of History and the more transient yet more vivid one of our intimate experiences.
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