Curatorial Statement

»Do you remember how we used to train our thinking? We usually started with a dream…«
Le livre d’image – Jean-Luc Godard

For about twenty years I have accompanied Jean-Luc Godard; editing images, tinkering with digital technology and 3D, fiddling with sound, editing, colors and production. The making of a film takes us several years, we work on it during the day and it works on us at night. In our little editing room we live through it from the inside, the film racks surround us. The first script develops in the rows of shelves. Each compartment corresponds to a film chapter, a sequence in which the books, the images, the music, the texts and the sounds are arranged – the sources from which the film is assembled. The whole film is contained in this scénario administrant la mise en scène of raw material spread out in the room from left to right, from top to bottom and into the depths.

With Jean-Luc’s hands on the video machines, the images on the magnetic tape gradually line up in a track. A first pathway. We let them run, accompany them forward, and back again. The film appears on the screen in the montage chamber. Later, it will take on a life of its own, taking viewers along on its journey on other monitors or screens, but also setting its pace for them.

Sentiments, Signes, Passions expands, unfolds and multiplies the little editing room and stages it as a film space. Here, the visitors’ pace defines the course of the film, they themselves become the time-giving cursor, a little as if they were miniatures traversing the film’s shelves like a forest. The exhibition aims to convey emotions without adding words, by placing space and time between the film elements in order to give visitors a privileged insight, to give them something to see and think about.

The entire film content of Le livre d’image is reproduced in hundreds of fragments via about twenty loudspeakers and forty second-hand flat screens – used devices of different sizes, years and models: Positioned in space, they enter into a dialogue with each other in the montage jungle. At perspective intersections, disparate, creaking wooden chairs invite the flâneurs to pause, to receive from preferred viewing angles. They offer a window on reality, for reflections between the outside and the inside world, between present and memory. The chairs represent our fragile, brittle, impermanent human condition.

In the heart of Haus der Kulturen der Welt, at the edge of the Tiergarten, located in the heart of Berlin, in the heart of history, a resonance of the livre d’image and its components emerges on a more global level in a constantly renewing here and now, and thus with us. Sentiments, Signes, Passions understands itself as an opportunity to feel freely and for oneself what this film proposes: the attempt to say something about human beings and what happens to them, what shapes them, sometimes plunges them into abysses, in any case permanently changes them; a critical look at the twentieth century and fleetingly also at the times before.

Fabrice Aragno