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Hicham Berrada

Hicham Berrada, ‘Concordance des temps’ (Tribute to Jean Epstein)

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Hicham Berrada
Hicham Berrada, ‘Concordance des temps’ (Tribute to Jean Epstein)
3 min 20 s
Format & Technical

Single channel 4K video

LOOP Edition
Ed. 2021

Curator Pascale Cassagnau introduces Hicham Berrada's work 'Les Fleurs' (2016), an evocation of August Strindberg's 'Inferno'.

In his text The Intelligence of a Machine, filmmaker and film theorist Jean Epstein writes that:

“This upheaval in the hierarchy of things becomes more acute through the cinematographic reproduction of either accelerated or slowed down movements. Horses hover above an obstacle; plants gesticulate; crystals couple, reproduce themselves and heal their wounds; lava slithers; water becomes oil, gum, pine pitch; man acquires the density of a cloud, the consistency of vapor; he has become a purely gaseous animal, with feline grace and ape-like dexterity. All the partitioned systems of nature are disarticulated. Only one realm remains: life.” In a way, Jean Epstein pays homage to the sculptural power of experimental film.

In his work Les Fleurs (2016), which is an evocation of August Strindberg’s Inferno, French Moroccan artist Hicham Berrada (1986, Casablanca) records the looped deflagration of a sphere in an exploration of matter. A hemisphere of iron nanoparticles is subjected to high-pressure jets and recovers its initial shape. The economy of slowness, the figure of the loop and the repetition of chemical cycles are constant tropes in Hicham Berrada’s films. Les Fleurs is a representative sample of his work as an artist researcher and lab technician given over to scientific experiments and protocols and who attempts to explore the plastic transformation of natural matter through the potentialities of film, revealing the complex temporal modes that organize a concordance of cycles. Thus, the Augures mathématiques series or the Les Fleurs series organize an elastic time that distorts all spatial references, inviting spectators to embark on a subjective, progressive, and infinite journey that leads to an experience of perceptive disorientation. 

Pascale Cassagnau

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