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Michel Gondry

Deitch Projects February 16, 2008-March 22, 2008.

Michel Gondry has the sort of not-easily defined and boundary-stepping career that many people seem to have these days. No longer can film-makers stay film-makers, or music-video-makers stay music-video-makers, or artists stay artists, or commercial-makers stay commercial-makers. No. You have to be all of thee above. I wonder how the kids are going to turn out without any of these distinctions?

I missed Gondry’s first foray into installation art, for The Science of Sleep, at Deitch Projects on Grand. In fact, it didn’t even cross my radar so I was surprised (and a little bit giddy) to find an installation about a movie I had seen advertised on TV at Deitch Projects on Wooster. I think I said “I saw this on TV!!!”

Michel Gondry 3

As I stare at my powerbook today I wonder why I was so excited and I blame it on working for too long at cross-marketing things (I am, after-all, a blogger). My first thought is to think that Gondry’s installation at Deitch is great promotion for his movie and vice versa. My second thought doesn’t even go that far and I simply try to figure out if I had a good time at the exhibition.

What Gondry’s done is to set up a maze-like world of movie sets. The “opening set” is the video store from Be Kind Rewind the movie (which I have not seen yet), which you pass through to journey a labyrinth of fake trains, cars that look as though they are moving due to video screens behind them, bedrooms whose windows change from day scene to night scene, little cafes, doctor’s offices, escalators and etc. You can sign up to make a movie while you’re there and Deitch provides the camera, you can leave the movie you made in the video store and people can watch it there. All of this is very cool and you know how much I love to take a good picture. The area was ripe with the means to take a good picture.

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Michel Gondry 5

Here, provided, is the means to make yourself a local celebrity (A local NYC celebrity!). You could film a bad-ass zombie movie with a group of friends after you all went out for a sushi dinner. People could watch it. People could bootleg it and you-tube it. Part of me would really like to do this, while another, bigger part of me, grows more apathetic by the minute. That part almost wishes for the “good old days” when you could be a faceless entity, entertained, but not expected to do any of the entertaining.


Michel Gondry 2

Also on One Culture.