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The Marcel Duchamp Prize annually recognizes an innovative artist living in France. This year, the award brought together at the Centre Pompidou in Paris an exhibition of the four nominees. The show, on view now through the end of the year, presents work by Mohamed Bourouissa, Clément Cogitore, Thu-Van Tran, and Marie Voignier.
Cogitore was named this fall as the winner. He is the first filmmaker to be given the honor with his video, The Evil Eye. He is best known for his full-length films, including Neither Heaven Nor Earth (2015), which debuted at the Cannes Film Festival and was given the César Award for Best First Feature Film.
Whitewall spoke with Cogitore about the film he created for the exhibition.
WHITEWALL: Why did you include advertising and campaign images in The Evil Eye?
CLÉMENT COGITORE: I think this piece speaks as much of our time as it does of older times. I try to see what comes from devices of manipulation, belief, and staging that resist or renew according to technological developments.
WW: What kind of tensions did you want to create in the work?
CC: I believe that the today’s times are complex and tense, haunted by the possibility of extinction or disappearance. I’m not the first and will not be the last to feel and tell this tension.
WW: Where do you start with a film? Is it the message you want to express or an aesthetic you want to show?
CC: There is no message, there are just bits of meaning, events, gestures, bodies, visual, and sound that, assembled in a certain way, build a narrative. Everything starts with an intuition and then the project is built as and when—in space and on the assembly table.