2011 Mixed Media
Après-Coup proposes an examination of and new addition to the cinematic vocabulary of the psychological thriller and horror genres from the 1940’s through the 1980’s. Films such as Marnie, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, Eyes without a Face, Nightmare on Elm Street, Dead Ringer, The Girl who Knew Too Much, The Dark Mirror, Sisters, Repulsion and Hellraiser are disassembled and reconfigured in order to isolate their codes and conventions. The result is a new narrative constructed through a sequence of cinematic instances (images, sounds and objects) that deliberately mis-remember the films themselves.
Stock characters, cinematographic techniques, sound effects, scenographies, props and other conventions therefore appear in isolation: the woman in peril, the monster inside, mental traumas transmogrified into physical form, twins or doubling, flashbacks, telephones, scissors, hair, blood and mirrors. These elements are mixed and made into new combinations in order to produce what is at once a derivative and original way of viewing cinema. Presented in the gallery through models, film sequences, soundtracks and props, “cinema” becomes frozen, broken down into its parts. A ‘walk-through’ film, the installation encourages visitors to construct a narrative founded from a collective memory of film watching, and a psychological memory drawn from personal experience.
The term Après-Coup (“afterwardness”) is a Freudian theory which proposes that memory re-prints and mis-remembers. It is a concept that is often deployed in thriller and horror narratives, where past events, especially traumatic ones, are exposed, revisited, or provoked through various psychiatric techniques.
Curated by Alexandra Midal
In collaboration with Bill Turpin and Nick Williamson
Installation at the HEAD, Geneve, Sept – Dec 2011, photographed by Baptiste Coulon and Raphaelle Mueller
Stills from the video loop Walk (2011)