My artistic researches led to the creation of installations, of which only a few included video. Shortly therefore, I made my first films, which were often very short and do not constitute an overly consistent body of work. I used very diverse forms (experimental, animation, music videos) for decidedly varied subjects, and although it is possible to identify certain recurring themes (the intimate, homosexuality, rebellion...) I made them with a certain light-heartedness, even humor.

Today, my cinematic work is marked by more serious themes and my films allow me to carry out a single line of research: they question violence and its possibility to erupt in our society. Nevertheless, violence remains something difficult to analyze or conceptualize. Any definition of it is a partial one, probably because the very act of violence remains unthinkable. As citizens of developed Western countries, our lives are distinguished by relative calm with respect to other geographical areas or other periods of our own history. If I could describe the political nature of my work, I do it insofar as it seems important to me to offer audiences the opportunity to think about the relative calm that characterizes our society.

For this reason, I examine history and specific historical events that I believe are exemplary and difficult to comprehend. Working on history allows me to examine the present without having to tackle it directly. A historical act of the past, a repository of violence, remains an example of any act of violence, whereas when one deals with a contemporary event it is linked to a more specific geographical context that thus removes from the act its universal character.

My work is based on using archive footage that allows me to examine history in an obvious manner, in the sense that archives themselves depositories of history (for the past 100 years, almost historical events were filmed and 20th century history becomes mixed up with the representation of itself). Moreover, working with archive material allows one to critically question the production of images end the ideologies that inspire them.


by ]ean-Gabriel PĂ©riot
Pesaro film festival, 2007