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Title: Glacis
Authors: Bloomberg, R
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Haus der Kulturen der Welt
Citation: Screened at: Les Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid 2014 New Film and Contemporary Art Program: Karl Marx Avatar. Gaité Lyrique, Paris, January 2014; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 7 June 2014
Abstract: The film explores the remnants of the French bourgeoisie, a world slowly but inexorably undermined by the forces of acceleration and globalised finance capitalism. dividing the sequences are still frames taken from the history of French aviation, the developments of which were a particularly bourgeois pastime of the 18th and 19th centuries enabled by family industrial infrastructure. The notions of speed and acceleration associated both with flight and post industrial capital are contrasted to slowness and investment associated with bourgeois values and the old industrial elites. Self professed Bourgeois are filmed in their family (secondary) homes performing role playing games that they themselves have chosen. These sequences are followed by "cinematic" sequences designed by the performers and produced by the film maker. The French aviation threads that bookend the chapters are accompanied by a narrated voice and composed of a single frame image. That image degrades over time. The degradation of the image is a result of algorithmic scripting that obliterates the traditional notion of decay by performing in fast forward, 1,000 years of the opening and closing of a jpeg image until the image itself is degraded to the point of being unrecognisable. This process formally performs the undermining - by technologies - of the temporal weapon of tradition and manners mobilised in the project of bourgeois hegemony. Glacis is an ancient military term that denotes a field of view unimpeded by obstacles where the enemy other is clearly visible, figured against the nothingness.
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