video still, Background to a seduction, Roubaix, 2004.
background to a seduction
video 19 minutes, DVD from Betacam.
The neighbourhood where I lived between 2003-04, in Roubaix in the North of France, is mostly two storey homes with pitched roofs, arranged in rows, quite close to each other. For the most part it is a working and lower middle class suburb. There is not much choice around here in the way of nightlife and recreation. It's very quiet. But people are generally quite friendly and it's not uncommon to greet a stranger in the street.
The initial idea for this video was to make a series outdoor performances using prominent positions such as garage roofs and gardens, which can be viewed by the neighbours from their windows. In the film the camera moves between the banal realities of the neighbourhood apartments and the scene outside which can be viewed from their windows. Both performance and video try to create a tension between the linear narrative of the fake scene and the dull, more horizontal sense of time in the domestic spaces. The seduction scene is conceived of almost as the murmurings of a soul that has become completely alienated from its physical body, but is continuing its earnest business of being heard, regardless.
produced by Le Fresnoy, studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing, France.