Claudia Imbert is an artist who works in both still photography and films. Her film works are cinematic experiences indicating her prerequisite technical understanding of the format of film only obtained through formal training and experience. Imbert started her career in feature film which gave a sense for portraying visual experiences where the use of film is not intended to add a multiple dimension to her work, but it is essential to its comprehension.
From 2008 to 2010, each of the four works of Claudia Imbert are intended to be viewed in an endless loop with no beginning or end. Imbert’s film works are meditated experiences; they are not meant to tell a story. Her works are observations, isolated acts of contemplation; of moments suspended in time. All works are captured in one continuous shoot, Imbert allowing the events to follow of their own accord. Earlier works such as le palmier (2008) and le toit (2009) were shot from a fixed position. As we watch for the wind blowing in the palm tree (le palmier, 2008) to a rustling frenzy, or watch as the wind dances with the rising condensation from a roof’s chimney (le toit, 2009), we wait in quiet anticipation of what might unfold. No clarification arrives. The films are subdued and concern something that does not involve complying with a story or a scenario. The creative process is formal yet the scene is not directed. It cannot be. The artist is filming her observation of nature – in the case of le palmier (2008) the artist’s intention is to show and indeed assist in the transformation of what is vegetal into something that is animal. The architectural surroundings give the impression that the palm tree is caged – like an animal, which shows its force. But it cannot escape from its cage and never will. le toit (2009) shows smoke rising from a chimney in a continual and imprecise way, which is never the same. This is an every day observation, a seemingly mundane occurrence but in fact upon contemplation the action is spontaneous, inedit and eternally random. This is what Imbert wishes to draw our attention to.
Her most recent film les corps flottants (2010) was commisioned by ARTE television, following her still series documenting water polo players. The resulting 2 minute 11 second art film was extracted from the 52 inch film formatted for ARTE. What interests the artist in regard to the polo players is again the repetition; in small rituals (such as tying on their team caps). Only film can reveals the personality and particularity of the individuals on the polo team.
Imbert’s film works are often associated with her still photography. le garage (2009) is associated with la famille incertaine, an ordered series of family portraits. This work is as much like a classical portrait as her still series, the camera focusing this time on a central ‘character’ - a woman who is locked in a trance-like state staring out the window of her car in lightly falling snow. The footage is again shot from a central fixed position however there is a slow zoom of the camera, fixed than moving in on the woman, increasing our expectation of something to follow. The woman is lost in thought, sitting in her car in the middle of winter, at a garage (the title our only indicator of her situation), The artist’s intention is to give the viewer the impression that the woman is waiting. The looping of the film gives us the impression that the woman will wait forever, interrogating the nature of reality, and subverting the traditional relationship between the viewer and the viewed.
Cinematic films have habitually given us the expectation of a storyline, and in particular of a beginning and end, which can mean that our consciousness is often inattentive to recorded fragments of intended meaning. Art films give us the space within which to observe, deduct and ingest imagery as unique experiences that perhaps pertain to embedded codes of our reality. Imbert’s films give us the potential to indulge in profound and productive meditations on elements that structure our reality, and to contemplate that perhaps all in our sphere of reality there is indeed randomness.
Imbert completed her studies at the Ecole Supérieure de Réalisation Audiovisuelle (ESRA) in France in 1993, followed by professional work in feature films and continuing education at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD), France in Photography and Video in 2008. The artist has consistently worked in both film and still photographic mediums and currenly lives and works in France.
Sascha Gianella Art Contemporain
FINE ART REPRESENTATION
June 22 - September 16, "Promenades photographiques de Vendôme", France
July 21 - 26, 2012 to "l’Eté photographique de Lectoure", France