• video still - the woman

HER GHOST: AN HOMAGE TO CHRIS MARKER’S LA JETÉE

“Her Ghost” is an experimental film/sound performance that significantly re-works and re-imagines Chris Marker’s 1962 science fiction film “La Jetée”. It is a collaboration between DJ and producer Kode9 (Steve Goodman, UK), MFO (visual artist Marcel Weber, DE), researcher/lecturer/performer Ms.Haptic (Jessica Edwards, UK) and artist Lucy Benson (AU).

50 years from the premiere of Chris Marker’s photo film, “Her Ghost” suggestively recasts the story of its ‘parent’. With its original script, “Her Ghost” shines light onto the previously obscured figure of the woman central to “La Jetée” and the events she witnesses. Drawing from the images, narrative and soundscape of the original film, an audio-visual performance is assembled that is presented live, but off-stage amidst the audience. Each iteration of the project produces a fractionally different mutation of the film. “Her Ghost” was originally commissioned by Unsound Festival and first performed in Krakow, Poland in November 2011.

A complete synopsis as well as extensive background material can be found here.

PRESS ON “HER GHOST”

„Something between a tribute, a remake, and a singular, standalone piece, Her Ghost radically reworks Marker’s original film into a far darker, steadfastly unsentimental yet sublime assault on the senses” – Fact Magazine

„The gritty processed photography and illustration, Kode9′s rumbling sound design and the straight up gravitas of Ms. Haptic’s live narration made for a super-engaging performance that actually spoke to film as a medium rather than simply appropriating stylistic conventions from it” – creativeapplications.net

„The team’s decision to make a more emotional, abstract work out of the events described in La Jetée is a triumph of multimedia performance” – arcfinity

„Her Ghost isn’t just an exhumation of a cultural artifact, polished and presented to a new generation of film students; it’s a painstaking decoding, and you could say, a purposefully unravelled mess, reassembled in a format that in some strange way brings that “fateful” day on the jetty into another future” – motherboard (vice)

PAST PERFORMANCES

8th Nov 2013 – Centre Pompidou, Paris, France
7th Dec 2012 – BFI Southbank, London, UK
1st Nov 2012 – Arnolfini, Bristol, UK
1st June 2012 – Mutek Festival, Montreal, Canada
3rd May 2012 – Apocalypse Now (and Then), HAU, Berlin, Germany
23rd Mar 2012 – Lunchmeat Festival, Prague, Czech
14th Oct 2011 – Unsound Festival, Krakow, Poland

 One of the driving thoughts behind “Her Ghost” was to create a true homage to and a refreshed memory of the original, “Le Jetée”. This was not to be a remix or an new entertainment piece, rather a re-imagination; a carefully established new point of view on the events Marker had laid out. Not only does “Her Ghost” reiterate ideas of the original – like the man, who can be read as mankind, ultimately turning his back on the future –  it also, by introducing themes such as that of refugees through time, raises questions relevant to our time. Presenting it in the form of a live performance brings out potentials hidden in the spirals of the original’s story.

Besides writing parts of the narrative, I directed the visual side and produced it in collaboration with Lucy Benson. The imagery is created with the commitment to generate a new narrative out of the photographic stills of the original. Employing a variety of experimental techniques, the stills are processed in a number of ways to animate, distort, transform and estrange them: in one moment they are digitally amplified to create 3D sculptures that are then re-filmed through a CRT video monitor to engender a disordered impression of ghostly digital replicants; in another, the ‘play-back’ of the stills through a slide projector with a customised optical apparatus produces the impression of refracted, ambiguous memories; while projections through intricate mirror constructions create the manifold, crystalline realm of the future.

These new images are also informed by embedded references to the works of artists that Marker himself referenced, resulting in a visual narrative that is a multi-layered experience of still images that are never still, of a cosmos made out of textures and distortions, of stories told in pictures and their dissolution.