Chris Marker directed over 60 films and was very well know for his use and development of the 'film essay'. He was also a writer, photographer, multimedia artist and performance artist who dealt with the subjects of war, revolution, image, text, the museum, travel and foreign cultures. In this show that variety is shown with Petite Planete a series of books by Marker, a multi media installation Zapping Zone( proposal for an imaginary television, 1990-94), representaions of his alter ego the cat as well as some of his most famous films. A Grin Without a Cat 1977 is a three hour documentary that I feel manages to capture that point of time in the last centuary when our focus for protest as a people switched from fighting oppression to fighting against unemployent and poverty and the corruption of the rich.
You can see he nevery stopped developing and embracing new techknowledy with the virtuall museum Ouvoir:the movie 1977. In this piece he deals with the art world with the same curiousity and ferosity he did with political topics but in a more direct way. In his other films he uses the editing process to comunicate to the viewer but with Ouvoir he is manipulating well known imagery and presenting it to us in an unfamilar way.
Chris Marker: A Grin Without a Cat
London, United Kingdom
Chris Markers most famous film La Jete 1962 imagins a future where Paris has been devastated by a nucleur catastrophe. This exhibition has a rare version of the film which has a moving picture section at the begining with the rest of the movie a collage of still images.This opening sequence somehow eases you into the film and makes you forget that you are watching a movie made of still images much in the same way you forget you are reading subtittles when watching a foreign movie. This is his most dream like movie but it made me realise that often the secret ingredient to his films is his combination of dream and fact. I find my mind often wonders and imagines while at the same time takes in the information and facts in his movies.
La Jetee's main phocus is time and this made me think about time in relation to art and how often as artists we dont fully grasp what we are creating or the meaning of events in our lives untill years later much like the main character in La Jetee.
Marker conceived that cinema was like a time machine but the real time machine is our minds and our obsessions are the fuel for these travels.
''If they were able to conceive or dream of another time, perhaps they would be able to live with it'' La Jetee 1962
''Nothing sorts out memories from ordinary moments. Later on they do claim remembrance when they show their scars''
La Jetee 1962