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Online videos were digitized with the support of the Regional Council of
Nord / Pas-de-Calais and digitization plans 2009 and 2010 of the french Ministry of Culture.


of FATMI Mounir

MOROCCO, FRANCE, 1999, 00:19:06

Production : FATMI Mounir
Genre : Video art
Keyword : Communication, Memory, Word, Relation

Summary :

It begins like a holiday video, with the camera being used to film nothing in particular, little things: an insect, the wind, a look, little words, words “like the leftovers of a meal”.

Then, in a bookshop, there is a man with bright eyes with people flocking around him. Paul Bowles, both absent and present, without a word, smiles. Paul Bowles: foreign, familiar. He is fragile here, despite his legendary severity, lost, alone as if he were a child, between music and words. “I want
words which welcome the foreigner in his country of exile, words which return from exile, words like this extraordinary foreigner” we hear, in a murmur. Long meditative tracking shots take us towards a road, the road of another land, of exile, or return...

Fragments and Solitude is about words, both articulated and silenced, in a father's gaze, the words “written” in these poetic phrases that punctuate a route and examine history “at the pace of remembrance, of reflection, suspended on a methodical uncertainty, a provisional subjectivity.”*

It could be a video of a family holiday. Children play and women do the washing or beat rugs on the roof terraces, before the eye of the camera.

Fragments and Solitude is about the failure of words, broken links; of the impossible concurrence with the self that we're chasing. It speaks of the impassable horizon of one's island and the pitfall of incommunicability, of the acute consciousness that being with is not being together, that speaking is not communicating. “All these fragments of the world form only one single word. All the words in the world cannot speak of solitude.” And if, in their attempt to tame the real, words were to hide those “thousand fleeting nuances and the thousands of profound resonances” ** of individuality?

So Fragments and Solitude is about the difficulty in becoming oneself, in where we come from and where we are going. It is about the struggle between “the abdication of one's ascribed identity and the construction of a new subjectivity from a tabula rasa. This dialectic of solitude articulates both a sense of entrapment and a fierce determination to compose a viable subject 'in order to live in meanings and bodies [and images] that have a chance for a future' (Haraway 1991, p187).”*

Translation: Caroline Rossiter.

*Tarek El Haïk- “Fragments and solitude - Introducing the video work of Mounir Fatmi,
Frameworks, n°43, 2002, New-York - Tarek Elhaik co-curated the San Francisco Arab Film
Festival from 1998 to 2000 and was Film series curator at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies at
UC Berkeley from 2000-2002. He has taught Arab Cinema at San Francisco, State University and
is currently a Ph.D. candidate in socio-cultural anthropology at UC Berkeley.

**Henri Bergson – Laughter – P 156- PUF Coll Quadrige – 1995

puce to print

Original language : french
Technical information : English version : 19 min. 05 sec.
Original format : video
Aspect ratio : 4/3
Chroma : Couleur
Available version(s) : Verson originale française et version originale française sous titrée en anglais

rental : 120 euros

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