Initially, it was a politicised avant-garde movement that wanted to destabilise perception through the use of optical illusions. It was looking for ways to escape the confines of the ‘white cube’ and even invited spectators to cut geometrical patterns and make art works themselves. By initially trying to get rid of mediators (institutions, galleries, art critics), the movement wanted to offer spectators direct access to the art works.
The disorienting, alienating light and movement effects turned out to be extremely useful to express dream sequences or hallucinations. One of the best examples is probably the unfinished masterpiece L’Enfer (1964) by Henri-Georges Clouzot – its making could almost rival the inferno of Werner Herzog’s Fitzcarraldo (1982) – which is also used as the exhibition’s poster. In this film, a man thinks that his girlfriend – played by Romy Schneider – is cheating on him, leading to chilling scenes of paranoia expressed through various visual effects. Pure cinema, pure art!
Until September 29, www.mamac-nice.org