Inductive Photos (Part One)

Création by Louis Sclavis and Fabrice Lauterjung

HDV Film, black-and-white, 22 min, 2011
Music : Louis Sclavis
Production : Le Bureau 31 and LUX Scène Nationale de Valence

 

The film is constructed from three narrative layers operating in palimpsest.
It all starts with photographs taken by Louis Sclavis and everything starts from them. In this, they are these inductive photos of the title.
They appear for the most part enlarged, as if observed with a magnifying glass, according to the logic of an investigation whose stakes remain mysterious. To their fixity responds a sequence which is repeated throughout the film, declined according to different rhythms. At first abstract, the white form that unfolds there guesses to be a swan. To this are added the fragments of a text, scrolling, disseminated in the space of the screen. They are residues of Mimesis, written by Stéphane Mallarmé. The shot of the swan, also of Mallarméan influence, refers as much to Loïe Fuller’s serpentine dance as to the poem The Virgin, Vivacious and Lovely Today. Everything operates in ricochets, the photos leading to the swan leading to the text, leading the film towards a quest for white – last ricochet towards a 19th century literary obsession, of the Ultima Thule fantasized by Edgar Allan Poe in his Narratives of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket to the whiteness of Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

 

Inductive Photos (Part Two)

Création by Louis Sclavis and Fabrice Lauterjung

HDV Film and Super-8 film digitized, Color, 18 min, 2012
Music : Louis Sclavis

Production : Le Bureau 31 and LUX Scène Nationale de Valence

 

The film begins where the first part was interrupted, with a white screen, before gradually giving way to more and more distinct shapes, which lead to the hands of a blind woman reading a text in Braille. From then on, the whole film follows the path that this reading induces. Scattered words and incomplete sentences are given to read – these are extracts from one of the letters Denis Diderot wrote to Sophie Volland, the one dated June 10, 1759; Louis Sclavis’ photos appear dug by cropping seeking to extract from them other narrative situations – snowy landscapes seen from a train, station and silhouette of a man, silhouette of a woman, old cinema hall with empty armchairs, clearing, red sky, forest, road and still snow. The narration proceeds by apparitions, as if what these hands read in contact with the roughness of the paper was translated into photographic moments and fragmented sentences.

 

Inductive Photos (Part Three)

Création by Louis Sclavis and Fabrice Lauterjung
HDV Film and Super-8 film digitized, black-and-white and Color, 19 min, 2013
Music : Louis Sclavis, Vincent Courtois
Production : Le Bureau 31 and LUX Scène Nationale de Valence

 

After the first part placed under Mallarmé’s “swan”, a second, more colourful, which progressed to the rhythm of the hands of a blind woman reading a letter from Diderot in Braille, the third and final part takes us into a series images in black and white: first a forest from which flies a flight of birds, abstract shapes that turn out to be faces, then a round of children dancing around a fire. In rhythmic and pictorial counterpoint appear the moving, though jerky images of a woman in a red dress. She is dancing, soon joined by a man wearing a black suit. A few isolated sentences and words scroll in varied rhythms, as possible residual traces of a bursting of the text from which they were taken – In Praise of makeup by Charles Baudelaire. Gradually, the patterns in colour and those in black and white meet and blend.