Sea, walks, streams of thought

The cliché has it that in near death experiences we get to see our lives flash past us in a moment. Using the metaphors of water and walking, the films in this programme present different ways of visualizing the stream of thought and the concatenation of images in memory.

Martine Rousset adapts a verse by Borges (“The sea is an ancient language that I cannot decipher”), capturing calligraphies of light on the relief of the waves. In her film Mer, distant cries and the pulse of the tide blend together on the shore to evoke, with the intensity of a Proustian correspondence, summer, the beach and childhood.

In Passage du désir, Jakobois unleashes a train of desire, with re-filmings of sports events, urban images, sacred arts and gay porn, fuelling an experience that is a blend of exaltation and sombreness, of celebratory memory and frustration.

In Sécan ciel, Jean-Michel Bouhours portrays a breakwater, alternating at high speed between black and white photographs and colourful drawings, exploring the particular quality of an intermediate point between photography and drawing, and a powerful simile of the colour and abstraction of memory.

For a whole year Gary Beydler films a seafront promenade. Each shot at Venice Pier features unpredictable variations depending on the time of day, tide, weather, season, number of pedestrians or camera speed, suggesting the simultaneity we might experience when walking in a place we know well.

Finally, Barbara Hammer, accompanied by the music of Pauline Oliveros, constructs the ananthropic experience —that is, not subject to a human dimension— of a doubled time and space that take us at dizzying speeds through places of “high energy density”, from the New Mexico desert to the heart of Manhattan.

Mer, Martine Rousset, France, 2003, 16 mm, 18’

Passage du désir, Jakobois, France, 1988, 16 mm, 11’

Sécan ciel, Jean-Michel Bouhours, France, 1979, 16 mm, no sound, 9’

Venice Pier, Gary Beydler, United States, 1976, 16 mm, 16’

Bent Time, Barbara Hammer, United States, 1984, 16 mm, 22’

16-mm screening. Copies provided by Light Cone.


5 February 2023


The Auditorium
Admission fee

€ 4 / € 3 Concessions
5-session pass: € 15 / € 12 Concessions
Friends of the CCCB: free of charge

Tickets on sale at the CCCB ticket offices ( / 933064100) and online.
Passes are only available from the ticket desk.

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