As part of the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale, the winners and the projects awarded at the Young Arab Architects (YAA) international competition will present their work at the Ca'Asi, from 28 August to 15 October 2012. On this occasion, Valérie Jouve’s National Centre for Visual Arts "Traversée" programme will be held throughout the event.
If making a provisional assessment of the "state of things" could lead to a painting of the wandering through nomadic geographies, the recent cartography of the state of the world in the era of its globalization draws the borderline states of deprivation.
Cities, places and non-lives, transit zones, fragments of continents, sketches of countries: geography reorganizes other chaotic logics, now distant from the psycho-geographical configurations dear to the situationists, for which a poetic reconfiguration in dialogue with the imagination was claimed.
The contemporary geography of migration and its landscapes resemble more what Mike Davis calls "the lines of the nightmare" about the megacities of the present, the Dead Cities, than the figure of the void linked to the representations of modern cinema. The essay entitled Hellish paradises - the hallucinated cities of neo-capitalism studies how "The utopia of spaces dedicated to consumption, ownership and control has itself diffracted into as many bursts of quartz, as many iterations of Los Angeles, in the desert of Iran, the hills of Kabul, or the enclose and secure suburbs of Cairo, of Johannesburg and Beijing."
For some years now, the encounter between contemporary art and documentary has proved particularly fruitful, the document and the archive as a question and method constitute a real horizon of thought for contemporary creation. Moreover, the elaboration of the archives crosses a question about History and the personal stories, singular, which testify to the impossible displacement of their characters, confronted to the immensity of hostile territories and crumbling architectures.
The territory of the documentary then designates a work of common film peculiar to the artists and the filmmakers: that of disposing in a non-linear way the film elements, apart from strictly narrative structures. Many contemporary films that fall under these «new contemporary Arab representations» highlight the points of friction, the inadequacy between destinies and geo-political realities, through the narrative of a rise towards chaos, a systematic delineation of spatio-temporal coordinates.
Valérie Jouve’s film is part of this perspective of a cinema of the precarious reality.
Valérie Jouve, Crossing, 2012, projection/7 portraits (Co Producciones SL, 2012)
New Arab cinematography: cartographies, architectures, portraits of cities
The film received support from the National Centre for Visual Arts (Image/Movement Commission).
Photographer and filmmaker, Valérie Jouve explores in her work urban territories in crisis, in the generic form of the "crossing" (Marseille, Munster). In its photographs and films, the city constitutes a collective space reinvested as a measure of reality, in the form of montages that unfold the story of the inscription of the characters in the complex urban landscape.
The artist thus describes his film Crossing which is the portrait of seven Palestinian cities, with the exception of the Gaza Strip: The crossing of the territory is dictated by a quirky and improbable trio, a child, a puppeteer and his puppet, his double misidentified (as a vector element of links). Their relationship is tender but noisy. These two characters are not the protagonists of the film but more the smugglers of this territory, putting into play the human relationship, extracted from the simple reading of the conflict, to restore the reality of life there, with its clashes but also its moments of tenderness, to laugh, a land in its reality free of its drama, a kind of small utopia, even if the drama can reappear – only at a specific moment in the film – not to be denied.”
Pascale Cassagnau, head of audiovisual, video and new media collections, CNAP