MÉNAGERIE

VIDEO — 1988

This cycle, partly inspired by the books of hours (richly illuminated medieval manuscripts with prayers for the 12 months of the year, illustrations of the seven deadly sins and so forth), presents a series of nine tragicomic visions of the human body.

Each of the nine different video scenes is set in a cage, a microcosm inhabited by various human and animal characters, and presents a different aspect of a deranged universe in which the body reigns supreme.

Familiar categories are abolished, proportions inverted, the workings of the body go haywire to the point of becoming mere mechanical gesticulations.

The cages are thematically arranged, each depicting a physical state or function (immobility, mobility, the different senses etc.) in an ironic, agonizing or oneiric mode.

Taken as a whole, the nine scenes form a sort of wacky Noah’s ark, whose aesthetics give it the disturbing and yet familiar strangeness of the uncanny.

 

"Ménagerie", video by Cécile Babiole (1988)

CREDITS

Vidéo for Canal+ TV chanel,
Music : NOX,
A coproduction : Ex Nihilo/ Canal+/ CNAC Pompidou/ MCC St Etienne (1988),

REWARDS

Prize winning at Montbéliard and Saint Herblain festivals, 1988.