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"LES UNITÉS I - La main - Séquence I" / 2018 --- Vidéo loop Hd - Duration : 20 min, Stéréo sound // Broadcast on laptop or tablet // Résidency "Cité Internationale des arts" Paris / France


The films "Les Unités" seek to study the dynamics between an environment and its occupants by relying on the study of the units of measurement present on the cane of the builders. They install scenes that invite behavior and the creation of forms in constrained contexts, first of all by the space and the point of view of the camera, then by the zone of intervention suggested to the participants.
Here we measure with the body and collectively, with his foot, his forearm or his thumb... The collective impulse becomes the subject of the observations, how to act together on the same work? The objective of these films is to accompany the plastic research around the project-objects by recording the behavior of the invited participants. They do not seek to expose the creation of a form, even if it takes an important place on the screen, but rather the gestures and attitudes of each, solo or facing the other.

The eye of the camera interacts with the participants, it is one of the components of the context and the silent witness of the performance that takes place there, it imposes its presence. The context of the capture already intervenes in the attitudes of the participants, they are sensitive to it and some know they are being observed. Video recording makes it possible to isolate an area to be observed, the objective eye sensation is reinforced by the sequence shot format, in real time, without modification in post production. Observe, interpret, project intentions in intuitive gestures.

"Les Unités I - La main" who more specifically observes the hands (palm, span and thumb), the proposed scene is a large table filmed from above. Its format requires speakers to get up to reach the other and what is in front of them, without ever entering completely into the field of the camera. Awareness of an objective above their head will lead them to consider the edge of the table as a limit that they will not cross, they spontaneously take into account the frame and the off-screen.

This off-screen is supported by the sound, the voices that accompany the gestures, by a hand or material that emerges from outside the frame without us being able to see any face. Two sequences, a first in the style of making of, exposes a moment of "assistant", one seeks to define a framing. The voices tell us that two people are collaborating to mark the edge of the image. The first gives the instructions, the second tests the edges.


Apart from a few fingers appearing, leaving or skirting the edges, nothing moves, the intention of the action is off-screen. It is indeed an act of collaboration between two people, a common goal. The second sequence is more direct, a little less than twenty minutes of exchanges between several participants facing earth, cords... While one plays with the eye of the camera, the other grabs, makes and accumulates until the first joins him in his gestures. There is here an intuitive jubilation to be manipulated which will produce a typology of forms favorable to exchange.

Each film is prepared in parallel with the design of the objects, these objects are the result of a round trip between the preparation of a film, the development of possible formal scenarios proposed to the participants and the observations after filming. They will all be brought together under the question of units, so the palm will rub shoulders with the foot, the cubit and the thumb... and they will be presented alongside the objects from the studies. It is indeed a research that is at the same time Ethnographic, Anthropological and Aesthetics of Design.

Thanks to Anne-cécile, Sophie, Yannick, Pauline & Isabelle for their participation.











@Cédric Canaud - 2018