Sans Sans Soleil (2018) is an attempt to remake of Chris Marker's Sans Soleil (1983). The video and related drawings present a series of documentary images. Comprised of two types, images of crowds and images of solitary individuals, the work charts a day from noon to midnight.
The work assembles a critical montage of inconspicuous images of experience in the “digital age” and thus picks up a theme that is central to modernity: the change in experience for everyday life presented by technology. This theme was central to Walter Benjamin, whose work “On some motifs in Baudelaire” figures prominently in Sans Sans Soleil. In that text, Benjamin uses Baudelaire’s art as well as his life to examine the changing relationship between the artist and the audience, the poet and the reader, the individual and the crowd in modernity.
For Benjamin, modernity was marked by disjointed everyday experiences and a disrupted relationship between the present and the past. The trepidation that was felt due to the loss of a cultural memory is still very much our condition today. But in addition, the rise of digital information has brought on a new problem from the opposite direction as Chris Marker recognized: total recall is memory anesthetized. The reservoir of cultural memory that is the internet changes experience due to its ability to preserve information.
The Chorus is a feature length film project that investigates the notion of the chorus, a character in Ancient Greek drama of “the people” that has been largely lost from contemporary popular forms of media. The film interrogates the structure of fiction by re-inserting the character of the chorus into a contemporary film (Star Wars Episode 3: The Revenge of the Sith, 2005). Situating the chorus as an example of “the part of no part” the film seeks to question the relation between its disappearance and our present plights of democratic discontent.
The Kidnapper’s Opera is based on a true story: On December 21, 1990, several young men, some of them teenagers, kidnapped the daughter of Canadian billionaire Jimmy Pattison in Vancouver. After receiving a $200,000 first payment on their ransom demands, the kidnappers decided to go on a shopping spree in a rented limousine; they were caught later that day conspicuously spending large amounts of cash at local shopping malls. Inspired by a quotation from Bertolt Brecht’s The Threepenny Opera – “What is the robbery of a bank compared to the founding of a bank?” – the film considers how inequality is psychologically experienced in our society. The explanation for the behaviour of the teenagers focuses on the false desires of fortune and personal grandeur created by advertising, the media, and a sense of lack perpetuated by globalization. Structured like a play, each scene of The Kidnapper’s Opera is set and shot uniquely.
Burning Man August 25 – 31, 2008/ Democratic Convention, August 25 – 28, 2008, two-channel video 23:00 , 2009
Leda and the Swan, 2011
Commodities Start Talking at Millionaire Fair, 2010
Ultimate Fighting Championship, Cologne, Germany June 13, 2009