In Women are Heroes, you film what went on behind the scenes in your latest exhibition. Why did you make a film of this?
When I launched into Women, right away I wanted to bear witness to this project in film. The photos were lacking a human dimension that you can only really get in video, with people who tell you why they wanted to be photographed and the reaction of people in the street.
Why the theme of women?
The theme came to me naturally. I wanted to bring art into places where it doesn’t exist; places where there is conflict or that have been in conflict. I realised that the streets are run by men. The condition of women in a country is an indicator of its cultural, social and political level. Using the image, using public spaces, all that puts the women’s issue in a new perspective.
Where did you go to paste your photos?
We went to Brazil, Cambodia, India, Kenya, Sudan... What emerges from it is this strength and dignity that is alive in all these women, but above all it is their pride in the country they are from. This is a different picture from the one we get in the media.
And from the cinematographic point de view, the eye of the photographer that goes behind the film camera, how did you find that?
I wanted to make my images move, for example with shots on a train. It’s like a new playing field as a filmmaker. We moved onto a higher plane with the interviews, in the documentation, but without destroying the spontaneity of these encounters. And that is what gives the project its power. People come and they say “This was done with three arms and it’s amazing! What is it?”
Exactly, that is what leads me to ask you about infiltration art. What is it?
I don’t know if there is a definition. We do illegal pasting, we show another face of things. This art form is done with guts. People say to themselves, “How is it possible, here, in what I thought was the worst place?” We show that it is possible, that there are not just drug dealers and so on.
These exhibitions demand a lot of time and involve taking risks. Even more so with a camera over your shoulder.
By definition, the illegal aspect means taking risks: you don’t know if at the end of the day you will go back with half the team at the police station or with fabulous pictures.
And at last the film is in Cannes.
Yes, we have been editing for six months. I didn’t want any sponsors. I feel these people trusted me and it wasn’t so that they could be picked up by some brand. The Cannes selection really made us want to show the film right away. A bit like this spontaneity when we paste a poster. It’s a great relief to be able to do it; it’s the promise that I made to these women, that their stories would go somewhere.
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The Daily 2010
JR: "I wanted to make my images move"
the 19.05.2010 at 12:00 AM - Updated on 22.05.2010 at 12:31 PM