untitled (landscape)

2008, HD video (1 min 55)

Fixed shot of a handwritten phrase taken from the book Ecuador, written by Henri Michaux, which reads “l’horizon d’abord disparaît” (“the horizon disappears firstly”). A hand enters the frame and outlines the writing with the tip of a pen, in contact of which the words vanish.

preface to a cartography of an imagined country

2008, installation, 2 video loops (103 min 56), variable dimensions/
Photo: ©Sylvain Hitau/ Chapelle Vidéo, Collection: Département de la Seine-Saint-Denis
Photo: ©Sylvain Hitau/ Chapelle Vidéo, Collection: Département de la Seine-Saint-Denis

Work inspired from my reading of Ecuador, Henri Michaux’s travel diary written in 1928 after a journey to my country of origin. I inversely re-wrote a chapter of the book – that is, from the end to the beginning, from right to left, and from bottom to top. Two cameras filmed my hand simultaneously as I wrote, one in full shot and the other in close-up. This material was later edited backwards, so that the video reveals the impression of a pen withdrawing the ink instead of leaving it on the sheet of paper. Thus, the text disappears while it ‘unwrites’ the words, leaving the pages completely blank.

cartographies 1. the crisis of dimension

2010, HD video (18 min 40)/

An open book lies on a table. The page to the right has no printed text. A hand enters the frame and wanders over the blank page with ink-load ed fingertips. When smudging the page, the ink stamps on the surface and reveals the missing text. This video is part of a series inspired by Henri Michaux’s book Ecuador (1929).

cartographies 2. a terrible wind blows there

2015, HD video (3 min 10), sound

I recite until getting breathless the poem “Je suis né troué” (“I was born full of holes”), extracted from Henri Michaux’s book Ecuador (1929). The video shows the different attempts to declaim until the end of each stanza without breathing in while exhaling cigarette smoke, restarting each stanza in the same manner. In the montage, the takes of six successive attempts were superimposed so that the profile opens out, multiplies and the voices mount on each other, forming a kind of 6-voice polyphony.