filming concept is simple: I ask people to stand at a place
of my choosing; then, I disappear.
They do not
where I am hidden.
I do not cast participants: everyone is welcome. They come as they
and this is how I want to film them (they do not play a character).
I do not give them any particular instructions, other than to stand
in place during the filming.
I am interested in what this generic situation
produces: being at a certain place, at a certain moment.
one person to another,
none of these “performances” is the same. Nuances
are minimal, so the viewer is drawn to the details.
I am using the
video camera as magnifying glass to reveal micro events and gestures
that go unnoticed in reality.
As time passes, we observe how they
behave, how their bodies and gazes move, how they stand.
Roaming around, their respective gazes or stares carry an intriguing
meaning. Are they looking for me?
Are they pretending to wait
for someone else? They are waiting, but simply for the end of
Sometimes, they feel uncomfortable; other times, they do not.
They may imagine - wrongly, usually - that people around them
notice the filming. Passing through the frame as they walk around, “extras” are
not aware of the filming. Interactions with the “performers” happen
though glances or grazing, ephemeral encounters between reality
STANDING in Times Square, NY (2020)
Scouting for locations, I look for places where
participants will be surrounded by the crowd but slightly detached
location helps them to forget the camera, as they are distracted
by the people around.
I try to “catch” moments when
they are lost in their thoughts.
After the sudden and ephemeral
moment of “awaking”, they “reconnect” to
the space they inhabit and people surrounding them. I like these
back and forth between the inner and the outer worlds.
A filming rarely lasts more than 20 minutes. It
can be shorter, depending on what happens before the camera.
Duration is also based
on my capacity.
In order to hide, I put myself in uncomfortable positions: straight
body, arm extended.
During the filming I can’t move: I don’t
want the participant to see me. I must stay hidden
and keep the
camera, directed toward the participant, as static as possible.
Time increases my discomfort and,
my hand trembling, unwanted camera
The impact of the passage
of time on each participant is difficult to predict. I especially
like the first seconds
of the filming,
when the participant is discovering the situation and “diving” into
it. However, I must be patient.
The best moments can happen towards
the end of the shoot;
despite my shaking hand, I cannot stop filming.
a break incurs the risk of losing beautiful moments. As
I rely on uninterrupted long shots, the filming looks like a
countdown before I have to stop.
STANDING in Times Square, NY (2020)
My intention is to
generate and enhance the tension between participants’ awareness
of being filmed and the fact - the illusion? - that they
seem to forget themselves. How does the spectator react
to this ambiguity? How does this tension shape, in turn,
As spectators of the video, we watch people who
watch people. Across the screen, duration has various and opposite
lassitude, nervousness, stillness, etc. Sometimes the participant’s
gaze seems penetrable: his gaze absorbs the spectator’s.
Or, uncomfortable in the situation, their faces close, avoiding
eye contact with passers-by, “rejecting” the
I see the participant’s gaze as a reflective
surface, a mirror of the spectator’s presence in front
of the screen.
Standing is a conversation between the viewer
and the viewed. While the
spectator’s gaze is “directed” by the participant
appearing on the screen, the participants, despite the hidden
camera, offers a performance to invisible and imaginary spectators
who will see the show.