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of FATMI Mounir

FRANCE, 2005, 00:10:18

Production : FATMI Mounir
Genre : Video art
Keyword : Allegory, Space, Memory, Relation

Summary :
"L’homme sans cheval” is a trilogy around three forms related to the themes of downfall, physics, metaphysics and that of the historicopolitical. It comes in the form of a global reflection on the precariousness of a human condition which is hanging on to the conviction of its mastery and which is as much endangered by an “indecision principle”—which could apply just as well to human existence as being a form of the absurd—as by the historical options which it determines and orientates in this historicist mistaken belief denounced by Popper: in the face of its aimless destiny, man’s power is shaking at its foundations.

A man (the same as in movement 02) dressed in impeccable cavalier garb appears at the top of a path, in a damp and deserted semi-urban landscape. The rider "starts to kick a book, pushing it infront of him as he walks along. Violent and systematic kicks - whether he does it out of revenge or pique, we do not know"*
The title of the book is History. But what History does the horse rider want to strike out at or destroy? Is it a "fantastical construction (...) that we should be able to master, one that we conquer and shape at our will?"* Is it, as Hegel wrote, this History experienced as "energy, the passion of peoples and, at the same time, a formless scramble of events"* or is it thought of as a "progressive self-realization of spirit," a rationality whose purpose we do not know.
The man without a horse 03 invites you to form your own interpretation. Is it to disperse the illusions of the concept of historical "progress" or, on the contrary, to think that we need to believe in historical progress as a ‘practical’ guideline, refusing to see our own history getting out of hand, and working towards a better future for mankind?
Is it the "end of history"? The angry gesture of a book being destroyed and dragged through the mud appears to confirm the rejection of a History as "a justification for all sacrifices," and the "principle of arbitrariness and terror," a form of resistance to this History that "suggests another kingdom, an unfounded dogma imposed by those who benefit from it". “Man,” mounir fatmi tells us at the end of the video, "is the sole hero of his own history." No determinism can oppose such an existential postulate. But will the individual resist History? Despite the confidence of his steps and his determination to destroy, in the end, the man nonetheless collapses in the mud.
An act of resistance, the destruction of the book may be seen as an assertion of human freedom as man grows aware of his alienation and his relentless effort to escape determinism. But, in the end, freedom is simply the power to resist death, like an impassable ontological reality we have to conquer again and again.

Marie Deparis

Translation: Julien Castel, Suzan Leclerq.
Editing: Caroline Rossiter.

puce to print

Original language : french
Original format : video
Aspect ratio : 4/3
Chroma : Couleur
Available version(s) : Version originale française sous-titrée anglais.

rental : 120 euros

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