Godard as Multimedia Installation Artist
Jean-Luc Godard, at 73, is one of Europe’s most prolific contemporary artists.  I would like to thank Michael Temple for his useful comments on a draft version of this essay, and Nicole Brenez for her practical help. In the six years since the release of Histoire(s) du cinéma, his eight-part videographic history of cinema, and history of the twentieth century through cinema, he has gone on to produce an astonishing quantity of work in a variety of media, thus confounding those critics who thought his historical project some sort of testament. Much of this recent work has been made in collaboration with his long-standing companion, the photographer, filmmaker and writer Anne-Marie Miéville.  Besides her extensive photographic and audiovisual output, Miéville has published several books, including Histoire du garçon, Lausanne 1994, a tribute to her late brother, Alain, comprising texts and photographs, and three volumes based on her film and video work: Nous sommes tous encore ici: dialogues de film, Paris 1997; 2x50 ans de cinéma français, Paris 1998, co-authored with Godard; and Après la réconciliation: scénario, Paris 2000. Her latest book is a collection of short texts, Images en parole, Tours 2002. It includes four video essays, all closely related in formal conception while diverse in topic and tone: The Old Place (1999, co-directed by Miéville), a set of dialogic reflections on the state of art at the close of the twentieth century; L’Origine du vingt et unième siècle (2000), a chilling personal vision of the birth of the twenty-first century out of the slaughter and trauma of the twentieth; Dans le noir du temps (2002), a philosophical evocation of the last moments of youth, courage, thought, memory, love, silence, history, fear, eternity and cinema; and Liberté et Patrie (2002, co-dir. Miéville), a playful adaptation of Charles-Ferdinand Ramuz’s 1910 novel Aimé Pache, peintre vaudois, in which the duo deploy Ramuz’s fictional alter-ego, the painter Aimé Pache, to reflect on their own artistic trajectories and the Franco-Swiss dimension to their work.
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