The Swiss film director, Francis Reusser, has just passed away. He was 78. He had been ill for quite a while. To quote Frédéric Maire, head of the Swiss Cinémathéque, (my translation) “He was, without a doubt, one of the key critical Swiss witnesses of the end of the last century and the beginning of this one, while continuing to grumble, to love filming and to love life.”
I first met Francis at the Fine Arts School in Geneva in the early 80’s. I was what they called a ‘mature’ student. He was one of my teachers and head of a cinema workshop with François Albera. Francis wasn’t afraid to speak his mind. Maybe that’s why we didn’t always see eye to eye. That said, he had the cinema in his blood and he undertook everything with passion as can be seen in these few photos extracted from my Art Notebooks from 1982.
Some people when they listen to music do so with their fingers and thumbs. Don’t believe me? See the gallery below. These are all people ‘listening’ to a concert given by the Gobi Ensemble, a Mongolian group playing to celebrate the Chinese new year in Neuchatel. Surprising really, when the sonorities of such music demand to be listened to with your whole body… Click any photo below to visit the gallery.
I have added several photos to the Art gallery taken at the opening of Alexander Hahn’s exhibition entitled All the World’s a Stage that took place at the Kunstraum Oktogon, Bern on Saturday September 12th. I hadn’t seen Alexander for nearly 25 years when I was in my ‘video’ phase. It was really good to meet up, although a busy opening is not necessarily the best place.
I had a quick look back in the archives and immediately found several articles I wrote about Alexander. Here is one in English from the first and only issue of the bilingual Scope Magazine in which Alexander was the feature video maker. It dates from November 1992. (Click to see full page version of these articles.)
And a review in French of his video Dirt Site in Number 19 of the quarterly magazine Gen Lock.
See the new photos added to the Secret Paths People gallery. This photo (taken from one of my notebooks) shows the now professor François Albera but then teacher at the fine arts school in Geneva in discussion with the late filmmaker Johan van der Keuken during a visit of the latter to Geneva in the 80’s.
Video Days is a new photo gallery dedicated to a key period in the history of video art at the beginning of the 80’s. All the photos are taken from Alan McCluskey’s Art Notebooks. He was particularly active during this time, making such videos as La Jonction, La Terre Promise and Game as well as a number of short videos about artists.
I have added a new series of fragments from my notebooks in the Notebooks Gallery. The above image is from Notebook 12 (Pg.34). These were the so-called terrorists from a scene from my video La Jonction. With hindsight, they seem unlikely candidates for terrorism. If you recognize your younger self in this or the other photos, do get in contact! It’s been a long time.
I have published a series of photos from the thirty-seven art notebooks I kept between Summer 1991 and October 1997. It was a period when I was busy making art videos and met such people as John Cage, Bill Viola, Bernard Noel, Johan van der Keuken, David Mach, Philip Sollers, Nam June Paik, Manuel de Oliviera, Steve Dwoskin, Robert Cahen, Jean-Paul Fargier, Jacques Mercantor, Francis Reusser, Cherif Defraoui, Jean Ott, …
Above, a couple of photos of people attending the opening of my exhibition at the CAC Voltaire on Friday September 4th, 2009. The exhibition space was right next to the ticket desk for the Cinema in the Maison du Grütli where a series of screenings were taking place in honour of the International Video Week. The latter was a sad occasion as, following the death of André Iten and political changes in the Geneva government, the Video Week was no longer to take place. My exhibition had been possible thanks to the warm welcome of Rui Noguera who had run the CAC Voltaire since its beginning. He too was subsequently ousted by the same “political and administrative” forces that decided it was time he retired.
In the last of these three photos from the opening of the exhibition in the Centre de Santé in Colombier you can see the gentle curve designed by the row of water photos. I had intended to trace a straight line and have them all at the same distance from the floor, but the roof was curved and a straight line looked out of place. Relaxing the string that was to help ensure they were horizontal, it traced out a natural curve that suggested a wave of water … so that was how it came about.