Living Pictures

L'Annonce Amoureuse

Video installation, 1993-1995 / 14 min Floating screen 250 x 225 cm / 17 flat, IKEA-style, units painted in trompe-l’oeil / Chapelle des Carmélites, Saint-Denis.

I shot L’annonce amoureuse [The Love Announcement] with the 13 winners of the Michel Simon Prize, with Judith Henry and a non-actor, Fabrice Rozié, with whom I had started the tests late in 1993. The Saint- Denis Film Festival had asked me to make the trophy which was to be awarded by Roman Polanski. I had agreed on condition that I could be introduced to the prize winners, so that I could persuade them to take part in my project. I met them all at the Café Weppler, Place de Clichy, in Paris, and explained the filming conditions to them: they would make a lover’s announcement addressed through the camera to a person of their choice, and they would do this without a script and without make-up. I made it clear to all of them that there was no psychoanalysis involved. The shooting was tricky. They all accepted the risk of stepping out of their actor’s profession, despite the fact that some of them had famous names, and although the video would be screened before the jury’s verdicts. Each one of them left me with very strong memories. The recording time ranged from half an hour for some up to seven hours for one of them…

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