Context: Stereo JLG / the editing of the trailer
The artwork currently unfolding in the pages of the Irish Times is the latest iteration of an artwork which Paris-based artist John Lalor created 4 years ago at the Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, in response to a major exhibition at the Pompidou Centre, Voyage(s) en Utopie, Jean-Luc Godard, 1946-2006, A la recherche d’un théorème perdu, celebrating legendary Franco-Swiss filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard.
Installation photos: John Lalor, Red Marker = Video, Centre Culturel Irlandais, Paris, 2006:
Photos Barbara Laborde 2006
John Lalor’s Statement: stereo jlg/the editing of the trailer
Cross hatching and depth of field
So the use of the red alcohol marker being a type of metaphor for video regarding its usage, its history, its very invention, leading eventually to its relationship to cinema. How it would be regarded as a type of impertinent art form, in some way democratic perhaps like bleaching agent with its arrival into every home in the latter part of the 20th century. Then video’s rapidity, its eventual exclusion or omission of laboratory developement. Compared to red marker and its position in relation to pencil/crayon or classical rendering ie. the instant drying of red marker. Imagine drawing classical landscapes with a red marker with its constant emphasis on cross hatching. Would the red marker be compared in some way as comics to literature.
The text on Godard stereo jlg/the editing of the trailer will be rendered in red marker instead of red paint, rendered in 7 columns on three walls taking the aspect of a wall painting, thus addressing the space in its entirety in a three dimensional way. In this case only one thousand words will be rendered giving a glimpse of the text. The corrective editing furnished by the word processor recognises the name Godard but not that of Ken Loach, resulting with a capital letter for the first and not for the latter. This logic will follow through on the wall painting but not on the printed text on paper, the entire text will be found according to the wall plan of the room printed on paper also in 7 columns.
An actor will be asked at a later stage to talk the text out, walking from room to room rather like Belmondo in à bout de souffle, smoking a cigarette, just talking out the text which he will evidently have learned. The event will also be filmed, a camera tracking the actor from behind, the event will be treated as a suprise performance rather than a problem of re-presentation in a classical way. The actor will also be given the choice of learning either the entire text or just his favourite parts once again emphasizing the idea of editing.
In conclusion the text stereo jlg/the editing of the trailer will also make its way into journalism being printed in 7 red columns again and then simply scattered throughout the newspaper, wherever it lands ie. through tragic or joyful headlines, through the sports pages, deaths wherever it lands literally. Rather like the tv series Twin Peaks existing through, news headlines, the various commercial breaks, advertising, etc.
john lalor 2010
“Voyage(s) en Utopie” – a major exhibition designed by Godard – was the result and residue of an initial project “Collage(s) de France”, conceived by the filmmaker with the former director of cultural development at the Pompidou, Dominique Païni. This exhibition was abandoned in 2006 after much public and media controversy. The final exhibition carried the traces of the initial project – an exhibition about a failed exhibition – as attested by the many maquettes, the hand-written sign bearing the name of the unfinished project crossed out forcefully in marker and the official museum disclaimer at the entrance of the exhibition justifying the abandonment of the project for artistic, technical and financial reasons.
The end result was an experimental exhibition at the crossroads of cinema, theory and the visual arts – a plethora of objects, symbols, signs, found texts, films – a veritable construction site presented and laid out according to the various methodologies of collage, montage and juxtaposition constituting a highly personal vision and theory of cinema – a gigantic puzzle. Museum audiences, usually presented with paths and pre-digested accounts, had to rely on nothing but their intuition to guide them.
Lalor’s text grew out of his encounter with and response to Godard’s exhibition. It flows along, unpunctuated, personal and authentic – walking in his mind, sketching things out, a flâneur amidst his own thoughts and ideas.
The latest version of the artwork ‘Stereo JLG’ – currently published in the Irish Times – constitutes an exploration of ‘Journalism’ –one of the 4 modalities the artwork investigates, as outlined in Lalor’s statement above.