Online streaming the Friday 16 October at 22:23 (UTC+2)
A visual, verbal wandering in which the border between intimate monologue and collective dialogue is blurred through the universality of questions of identities.
French artist based in Nancy (FR)
Lea Jiqqir pursues a career as a musician in the psych-electro duo Taxi Kebab, keeping a foot in visual creation.
Can you tell me about the starting point of Peregrination I? What was the impulse that led you to do it?
For a long time now, I have been focusing my practices (drawing, video, music, photography) on the same point: that of questions of identity in the broadest sense of the term. Over the years, each stratum of my identities has been added to the questions in which my work is constructed. When I started working on Peregrination I, it had been a while since I had done any “plastic” work, and I was in a kind of “off period” in my work as a musician. So I felt a visceral need to allow an expression of the questions that are daily and deeply fundamental in my work as well as in my private life: those of genealogy, of my identity as the daughter of a Moroccan immigrant, of a Franco-Moroccan woman living in France, of my late father’s past and his identity troubles… In order not to get lost in these identity whirlwinds, I write a lot. That day I wrote a text that became the film’s text in a very impulsive way. I recorded a first one-shot reading, with what I had at home: a poor quality zoom and my cell phone. The result was audibly poor, but after further tests, none of the takes had the first intention of the first reading of the text, in which changes were improvised during the recording.
It was only a few days later that I rummaged through my poorly organized hard drive, and reviewed a number of rushes shot the last time I was in Morocco. It was my first trip to Morocco without seeing the few members of my family who live there, and with whom the ties have been greatly strained and degraded by family history and time. These rushs were shot in sequence shots on a long winding road in the high Atlas. I hadn’t set foot there for quite some time, I knew, as I was shooting, that I would one day use these images.
Concerning the image, what material did you use to film? Did you first think about the shape of the film or did you write the text beforehand?
As we can guess above, I’m not the queen of the “stuff”, and I like the gesture and frustration of “material insufficiency”. At that time, I had the opportunity to go to Morocco with much better equipment, and yet I limited myself to keeping my old Canon camera light, a pair of batteries and good memory cards.
And, as also said before, it was more than a year after the realization of these images that the text was written. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad habit, but I often leave the material aside, sometimes I forget it, sometimes I put it away and reactivate it halfway, sometimes I grab it because I know for a fact that this is what I need, and that “it’s no coincidence that I did it, and kept it”.
How long did it take to develop the film as a whole?
The images were shot over the course of a single day. The text and audio recording took me approximately half a day. The choice of the sequence shot, the color grading, and the sound editing took one or two days. I didn’t go back on it until I had to create subtitles.
Can you tell me how your film fits in with your work? Does it represent a break or a continuity with the rest of your creations? Is Peregrination I the first chapter of a film series?
My work is very “chopped” in time and in the mediums I use. Having now a full-time professional activity as a musician, video work from personal archives is the one I prefer when I’m “at rest”. Since my beginnings at the Beaux-Arts de Nancy, my work has been strongly anchored in a narrative and autobiographical register, in genealogical research, anthroponymy, and in a form of poetic setting of the disorders of my family history. In a perpetual evolution, notably on a “psychological” level, Peregrination I is only a fraction of the process of reappropriation of my family memory, of my identities, of acceptance… Its plastic form is its own and is linked to a moment T of “what I have to tell”, “what I need to tell”. It is thus well in a continuity of the rest of my work. Where I can’t express certain things, like through illustration or music, I sometimes find a medium that “sticks” to this need for narrative expression.
Where, on the other hand, it can appear to be a rupture, it is more in the way I bring my discourse. In Pérégrination I, although it borrows a certain poetry, my text is much more frontal in intimacy than in other mediums. I feel that it is received more as a raw testimony rather than a suggested image.
If I titled it Peregrination I, it’s because, without planning a future video work Peregrination II, I know that this need to write and use speech is chronic, and that for me the video image in sequence shot is significantly linked to this impulse of expression.