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The Makes

Eric Baudelaire

The artist book from Eric Baudelaire combined the text "That Bowling Alley on the Tiber: Tales of a Director" from Michelangelo Antonioni with founded film stills from japanese flea markets. (English)

The title said what we need to know, and mounting works as well: an Assembly photo black and white, from Japanese cinema, next pages torn from a book, including paragraphs remain readable. These texts are extracted from notes work published by Michelangelo Antonionis "That bowling on the Tiber".The texts are what Antonioni called “narrative nuclei,” ideas, fragments of stories, notes for films he thought about, but never made. They transcribe intentions that were often impossible to film, because they test the limits of cinema itself, limits which Antonioni is exorcising through this writing process. The most interesting transcribe intentions he describes as impractical, not for reasons of production, but because they contain limits searches that can make a movie, limits to exorcise writing. Recontextualized these narrative nuclei come to life with the filmstills that surround them, found photographs from 1960s and 1970s Japanese cinema collected by the artist during a residency in Japan. The process is reminiscent of Eisenstein’s collision-montages, or Aby Warburg’s Mnemosyne Atlas, since it delves into the unconscious memory of images and plays on the narrative possibilities that emerge from the space between juxtaposed images. But it is very much an assisted Mnemosyne, because the orphaned film-stills are put back into movement by a text that functions like a program dictating the reading of these images. The program deliberately hijacks the stills from their original context, transposing them to a new space, filling the void left by Antonioni’s unrealized intent. What feels like a remake, is actually just a make. Or rather the traces of a make, since there is no actual movie, just a ghost of a movie behind a document attesting to its possibility – a movie that exists only in the imagination of the viewer facing the finished piece. 

The title says it all. The structure is as follows: a group of black and white Japanese film stills opposite pages torn from a book, certain paragraphs of which are still legible. These texts are extracts from working notes published by Michelangelo Antonioni in That Bowling Alley on the Tiber and Unfinished Business: screenplays, scenarios, and Ideas. In them, Antonioni outlines scenarios, or “narrative embryos” as he describes them. The most interesting transcribe ideas which he considers to be un-makeable, not for reasons of production but because they push filmmaking to its limits; limits which he exorcises in writing.

Hence this is a juxtaposition of the intent for a nonexistent film and real but orphaned images (orphaned in that they are taken from Japanese films I have never seen, and are removed from their original narrative context). From this assemblage comes the possibility for a film, its seed planted by Antonioni but its texture dictated by a remix of existing films of which I have no recollection.

A text restores motion to the orphaned images and, in this relationship between text and images, the text dictates the movement, deliberately extracting the images from their context to fill the void left by Antonioni. It resembles a remake but in reality is a “make.” A hollow make as ultimately there is no film.” Eric Baudelaire

 

"The Makes" is the first book of LE BALs L´Anti-Collection. LE BAL wishes to encourage the creation and circulation of artists’ books. This ambition gave rise to the Anti-Collection, which is based on a simple premise: a talented designer/graphic artist chooses a previously unpublished work by a photographer, videographer or filmmaker and, with them, creates a book/objet d’art. This book will be proposed as a limited, signed and numbered edition, including a first printing.

 

Here is a link to a video that will make the understanding of "The Makes" clearer.

http://www.ubu.com/film/baudelaire_makes.html