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of FATMI Mounir

FRANCE, 2006, 00:05:44

Production : FATMI Mounir
Genre : Video art
Keyword : Allegory, Eroticism, Exclusion

Summary :

As if in a dissipating cloud of smoke we can make out two bodies: a man and a woman, naked. It is almost a fixed shot, the movements are slow. The film is on a loop and in black and white, like a negative. It is hypnotic, suspended in time, against a backdrop of minimalist music, with the shrillsounds making way sometimes to deep noises, like waves on shingle or intrauterine ultrasounds...

The man is leaning over the woman, they kiss slowly. Their faces can no longer be seen. The man slowly caresses the woman, her breasts, her genitalia. And then, in the foreground, we “only see” the man's hand, caressing – and concealing – the woman's genitalia. Then a series of blurred,
molten shots; the woman's breathing; the man's hand. The images are erotic even if there is no sexual scenario, and if “something is possible”, we are not going to see any denouement. The video ends as it begun...

The question of sex and desire is rarely tackled in such a direct way by mounir fatmi. He quickly withdraws, in fact, from this frontality and puts us at an aesthetic distance, evacuating the crudeness of the naked truth and preventing the pornographic gaze. These images do, however, place us in a pornographic situation, in the sense employed by Gombrowicz. As if Hénia and Karol had grown old, we observe, we wait for what should be “possible”, comprehending, in these slow gestures, the secret human design in reference to its absolute quest for “untouched, imperfection, youth...*”, the promises of hope and of an alternative aesthetic in a world on the verge of failure.

In this context, it makes us think of Lévinas' analysis of the caress, which “aims at neither a person nor a thing”, but he writes, “at the tender”. Neither a project, nor an idea, the caress evokes the “possible”, the “not yet”, it is the “expectation of a pure future which lacks the category of
substance**”. It is also, as the erotic images of Something is possible seem to say, an expression of the perpetuation of desire. This is not limited to a factual sexual desire but entrenched in the ontological depths of the continuous effort to “preserve [one's] own being***”, in this hunger which boils down to the very essence of man. For the artist, this piece is about showing how erotic relations are existentially both epokhe - suspension of judgement - and the power of affirmation temporarily set back from a world in which everyone, including himself, is urged to take a position.

Something is possible was created in 2006 during the artist's residence at the Rijksacademie in

Marie Deparis, Paris 2007

Translation: Caroline Rossiter.

*Witold Gombrowicz – Preface to La pornographie, 1962 – Coll Folio, Editions Gallimard

**Emmanuel Lévinas- Totality and Infinity

***B. Spinoza- Ethics – Book III, Prop. VI

puce to print

Original language : _wordless
Original format : video
Aspect ratio : 4/3
Chroma : Couleur
Available version(s) : Sans paroles

rental : 100 euros

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