The Ghostwood Project

Super 16 shortfilm, black & white, hand-processed.
Broadcasted in HD video. Duration : 17mn (looped).
Produced by Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains.





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Shooting images courtesy of Aurélie Brouet.

The shortfilm included in the installation Postcards From Limbo was shot in a disused coal mining site in Belgium. It’s a simple promenade led by a black dog ; four different versions of the same long-take are shown in a loop. The black dog, a mysterious character extracted from Tarkovski’s movie Stalker, is now up front, leading us through the rubble like the spirit of the Zone. This is as much the document of a performance as a movie, for the brief moment of the shooting was a touching form of silent communication between the camera, the operator and the dog, through a land that is, for once, shared by all in common agreement and without domination or ownership. Through a predetermined path, the dog introduces all slight variations and modifications of the promenade and of the way the operator frames it.

Shot on black & white 16mm film, the rushes have been processed by hand in tanks, producing a contrasted image with a lot of damage, dust and scratches, thus inviting the matter of the image itself to play its part in this choreographic promenade.

It is now the dog who leads the way, because his presence enables us to feel and touch the territory lightly like him, as a pure surface, « not for the sake of rubble, but for the love of the path passing through them » (Walter Benjamin, Le caractère destructeur).

The crew involved Boule, the female black dog, Aurélie Brouet, dog assistant, Anaël Alonso, camera assistant and myself, camera operator.
See the full movie here, originally shown in exhibition space, in a loop: