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L'espacement des temps
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L'espacement des temps

a series of screenings at Médiathèque
7 July - 26 September 2015

7 - 18 July 2015
La journée de Vérène, chômeuse
Florence Cornu, 1979, 17’
La conquête du temps libre
Alex Mayenfisch / Madeleine Denisart, 1992, 52’ (sur moniteur)

21 - 31 July 2015
What I’m looking for
Shelly Silver, 2004, 15’

4 - 15 August 2015
6 Bagatelas
Pedro Costa, 2001, 18’

18 - 29 August 2015
Europa 2005 – 27 octobre
Jean-Marie Straub / Danièle Huillet, 2006, 11’

1 - 12 September 2015
The Dead Weight of a Quarrel Hangs
Walid Raad, 1999, 17’

15 - 26 September 2015
This Day (Al Yaoum)
Akram Zaatari, 2003, 86’
screening at 11:30 am, 1 pm, 2:30 pm, 4 pm













 

A young woman looks back over her day. She talks about being unemployed; her last job, which was temporary and insecure; her fruitless job hunting; about hours spent in the administrative maze; and also about the film projects she has managed to come up with in what little free time she has. She includes all the “minute details” of her daily life. She describes the time whose rhythm sways her days (clock time), the strict, alienating, timetabled organization of her everyday life.

La journée de Vérène, chômeuse (Florence Cornu, 1979) is the departure point for a series of screenings entitled l’espacement des temps. This short film is one of the very few documentary-style videos dealing with social issues in 1970–1980 in French-speaking Switzerland to have survived, the fragile trace of a nascent, minority, decentralized “video memory” (1). As both a document on the social condition of the unemployed and an essay on time, this video suggests that time is both a political and an aesthetic issue. It serves to initiate this program’s reflection on the notion of historical time in relation to film-making practices, a critique of the concept of homogeneous, empty time that capitalist industrial society has gradually imposed since the 19th century. (Social) time and (social) space, dominated by exchanges, become the time and space of markets. The everyday is established in accordance with hourly demands, repetitively. There is, however, “a great struggle, sometimes visible, sometimes invisible, around time just as there is around social space. For their use, for how they are used. For the possible production of a different time and a different space” (2). The arts of the moving image have reflected this struggle. They have, moreover, contributed to producing, actively, other times, temporalities that question the idea of a quantitative time always equal to itself – as shown by the recollection of Vérène videoed in a long sequence shot, followed by sequences comprising photographic images which break up and condense different situations evoked by a single image, shattering any illusion of movement and temporal continuity.

L’espacement des temps comprises a selection of films in which time takes on a palpable consistency in its most everyday dimension – daily life at its most ordinary (idleness or work, which may be the work of the film itself), or rocked by extraordinary events, torn apart by war. The films have all made appointments with history and with time. They are all attentive to silences, to empty moments, to the desires which cut across them, to bagatelles, to minute details – to each detail. They thus proceed from a common attitude (one dear to Walter Benjamin): that of the chronicler who makes no distinction between major and minor events. “Nothing that has ever happened should be regarded as lost for history” (3). Time is written. Everydayness takes shape in the films, in direct contact with the filmed – or filming – subjects. Attempts to write history as it unfolds, and new links established between heterogeneous temporalities which open up the everyday, here become invitations to explore the complexity of historical time.


Curated by Maria Iorio & Raphaël Cuomo



footnotes
1. See Guy Milliard, “Difficile naissance d’une vidéo-mémoire”, in Vidéos socioculturelles des années 70 et 80 en Suisse romande, Centre pour l’image contemporaine, Saint-Gervais Genève, 1999. A copy of the text is kept in the FMAC Médiathèque archive.
2. Henri Lefebvre, Eléments de rythmanalyse. Introduction à la connaissance des rythmes. Editions Syllepse, 1992.
3. Walter Benjamin, “Sur le concept d’histoire”, in Œuvres III, Gallimard, 2000 (1940).
4. See Raymond Bellour, « Des temps de mouvements », La querelle des dispositifs : cinéma, installations, expositions, P.O.L., 2012. English translation : « The Time in Movement ». Viva Fotofilm, 2010

credits
stills from La journée de Vérène, chômeuse (Florence Cornu, 1979)