Enregistrer – Le bal des choses

Lou Le Forban
22.09.07 → 22.09.14

cneai = initiates ENREGISTRER, a new hybrid projection program at the crossroads of the visual arts and moving images.

As part of the Enregistrer cycle at cneai =, Lou Le Forban presents an installed version of his first short film, Le bal des choses, produced at Fresnoy, accompanied by two series of drawings. At the heart of this exhibition are objects, their propensity to lead an autonomous life and generate a multiple, labyrinthine narrative. Gradually, gestures are added to these objects: grasping, caressing, rubbing, throwing, breaking, selling, stealing, playing… Passing from drawing to animation and film, the works on show divert elements of everyday life to slide progressively towards the absurd, becoming in a joyful animism, objeu to use Francis Ponge’s term. The result is an explosive encounter between a stiff brush and a hairy wallet, a coffee pot drinks the cup, an orange cries without us knowing what it’s crying about, gloves breathe before a good morning’s housework, a rope binds lovers together after they’ve weighed anchor, and we no longer know who’s leading the dance.

The project for this film stems from a combination of his love of burlesque cinema, his plastic and performative practice, and his observations of the city of Marseille. Petr Kràl defines burlesque’s relationship with objects as “a joyful, poetic animism “. Objects in the films of Keaton, Chaplin and Tati take on multiple roles: they can be diverted from their original purpose to serve their heroes, as in the case of the inner tube transformed into a funeral wreath in Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, and conversely, objects can change characters. But they can also gang up on humans, as the mechanical bed does in Charlot rentre tard. If we consider the historical context of these films, in the early 20th century it was the proliferation of objects linked to industrialization, and later for Tati, the Trente Glorieuses and Europe’s transition to a consumer society. In 2022, the mass production of objects continues, but is widely criticized for its impact on the environment. Moreover, the contemporary world is producing numerous dematerialization phenomena (books, documents, images, data). The fantasy of science-fiction writers “to give consciousness to inanimate beings” now seems very close with connected objects and artificial intelligence. You can already converse with your speaker or your telephone.

Le bal des choses was shot in Marseille, where Lou Le Forban grew up. She has always been struck by the circulation of objects in this city. This has a lot to do with social, political and meteorological factors, as well as its geographical position as a Mediterranean port. All it takes is a torrential storm for the sewage system to overflow and spill out into the sea, carrying lots of garbage that ends up in the water or on the beaches. The wind, the Mistral, lands the neighbor’s laundry in your home. The garbage collectors’ strike regularly results in the streets being virtually clogged with rubbish and bulky items. An illegal market, once razed to the ground, is rebuilt a few meters away. Finally, poverty and sometimes even destitution keep first- and second-hand objects circulating, sometimes found, sometimes “fallen off the truck”.

{Opening September 7 at 5pm (Salle Clarkson, Maison Internationale). Continuous screening until September 14}.

{avec la participation du DICRéAM}