Passé simple - Adel Abdessemed
Passé simple - Adel Abdessemed
Passé simple - Adel Abdessemed
Passé simple - Adel Abdessemed
Passé simple - Adel Abdessemed
Passé simple - Adel Abdessemed

Passé simple

Adel Abdessemed

The flute player Messouad is the main protagonist of this video piece. Shot in a bar in Lyon called La Détente, nine tables form a rudimentary stage on which four nude people play music and dance, against the backdrop of a typical bar. Two men accompany the two women dancers on a flute and a bendir (frame drum). Subtitles scroll by, first in French and then, during a repeat of the scene, in English:

“Ici tout le monde s’appelle Mohammed. Vous êtes réuni [sic] avec moi dans un bar. Vous vous appropriez ce lieu vide et vous jouez le jeu en secret. Vous êtes fier [sic] de votre art improvisé. Vous vous heurtez à la caméra. Vous suscitez des conflits et vous voulez réin- venter la vie. Ce jeu est maintenant ouvert: vous êtes les messagers de la liberté.”

“Here everyone is called Mohammed. You are brought together in a bar with me. You use this empty space and you play the game in se- cret. You are proud of your improvised art. You confront the camera. You provoke conflicts and you want to reinvent life. This game is now open: you are the messengers of liberty.”

The camera records a realm of innocence and freedom, where all constraints of culture and identity have been lifted, where bodies manage to assert themselves through their own movement. They seem to come from an Edenic world, as suggested by the title, Passé simple (“simple past”). AM

1997 / Projection vidéo, 3 min. 8 sec. (en boucle), couleur, son
Dimensions variables (aspect ratio 4:3)