Montenvers et Mer de Glace

1987, 8:13 min, color, sound

Montenvers et Mer de Glace was produced for the international Time Code project, in which artists were to capture the spirit, reality and pulse of a place without dialogue or commentary. In this whimsical and witty travel journal of tourists in the French Alps, the artists play with cinematic and electronic codes, manipulating image, sound and time as malleable materials. The archetypal tourist recalls Tati's Monsieur Hulot on holiday, while the "picturesque" landscape is seen as mythic and ultimately magical. Movements are alternately suspended or accelerated in time, gestures are comically exaggerated or subtly isolated. Cinematic orchestration and aural fragmentation are ironically applied as signifiers of narrative drama and suspense. In this extended video postcard, Cahen and Huter, like their snapshot-shooting sightseers, transform the perception of place through representation.

From Time Code, a co-production of the CAT Fund; Channel 4; INA; ZDF; Agent Orange and WGBH.