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1985 SOFT & HARD

1985 SOFT & HARD

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Published by LUX
Artist Michael Curran's contribution to the LUX Genealogies project. Read an introduction to the project in the initial LUX Genealogies page: http://www.lux.org.uk/blog/lux-genealogies

www.lux.org.uk
Artist Michael Curran's contribution to the LUX Genealogies project. Read an introduction to the project in the initial LUX Genealogies page: http://www.lux.org.uk/blog/lux-genealogies

www.lux.org.uk

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Published by: LUX on Mar 18, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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10/11/2012

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SOFT & HARD

In 1985 on late night television, C4 broadcast Soft & Hard collaborative videotape by Anne Marie Mieville and Jean Luc Godard. The two appear in their Paris Flat conversing. Voice-overs and musical scores vie for ascendancy. TALK BETWEEN TWO FRIENDS Slowly image, action, source sound and overdubs merge in their simultaneity. This is a small multiverse of many strands caught in a domestic interior with television SOFT TALK HARD SUBJECT

Anne Marie arranges flowers in a vase. Jean Luc talks over a deal on the phone. Anne Marie loops a film into a Steenbeck Jean Luc disinterestedly watches television Anne Marie does the ironing Jean Luc practices squash in the hallway. His voice over says: “ So I’m making pictures instead of children. Does this stop me being a human being?” HARD DREAM The sea. The sky. The clouds. HARD STREAM “Pitiless Art! What an undertaking! Merciless art, lacking all pity for human pain which is nothing to it …” A SOFT CONVERSATION ON HARD SUBJECTS BETWEEN TWO FRIENDS They continue a discourse on the image and television. J-L: You could say I like T.V. because it doesn’t show things. So you probably dislike it for the same reason. A-M: That’s not it. Television never shows things, yet it makes you think that it never stops showing them and this is what showing things is and there’s no other way to show them! J-L: So they shouldn’t be shown? A-M: Yes but T.V. is profoundly dishonest. It justifies its own smugness by its pretence, convincing itself that it does show things. J-L: I think that it knows that. A-M: Do you really? (They both laugh)

To watch this ‘video essay’ questioning images and the rule of television via the very medium it was critiquing was an epiphany! Unaccustomed to the rigours of art school or self criticism I marvelled at two artists expressing doubts about their own work and reservations on where to go next. The atmosphere of gently probing a subject through tentative discussion and real uncertainty was wholly unfamiliar to me yet came as a great thrill. I felt as though my own misgivings about the consensual reality around me were not mere figments.

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