Bodies of Work

Jam Session and Recording Session
2007
Two HD videos looped
Dimensions: Jam Session (28:41min) and Recording Studio (50:03min)

Installation View | Jam Session (left) and Recording Studio (right)

Exhibition venue: National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 2009. Accompanying publications: Nomads catalogue (this exhibition of the work), and  1+1-1 with text by Eric Fredericksen published by the Künstlerhaus Bethanien for the premier exhibition.)

The exhibition as a whole takes a Jean-Luc Godard film titled One Plus One (commercially released as Sympathy for the Devil in 1970) as a starting point. Sympathy for the Devil is a quasi-documentary featuring the Rolling Stones in the studio recording the famous song of the same name, inter-cut with political vignettes. Godard fought with the producers of the film because they changed the ending to give it a resolution – against Godard's wishes. He disowned the work, saying it was the "last bourgeois film" he would ever make. 1+1-1 is an attempt to un-finish the film by using Godard's formal and aesthetic strategies of interruption, deconstruction, and juxtaposition, translating it into a politics of artistic processes in the non-linear environment of an installation. Jam Session is a continuously shot video of a group of three musicians who have never jammed together before, and therefore feel out ways to play together by sharing whatever musical styles they bring to the moment. The camera drifts over the equipment, architecture of the space and the odd gestures of the musicians, avoiding faces. Recording Session is a video shot within Jean Luc Godard’s original footage of the Rolling Stones in Olympic Studios in 1968. What one sees, however, is only 10-20% of Godard’s framing – the camera is zoomed in and pans over the image, again focusing on equipment, architecture and gestures while avoiding faces. The two loops are different lengths and play simultaneously; the overlapping of the two is in turns chaotic and melodic when the two soundtracks seem to come together to produce a third “jam”.