The Video Works of Anne-Julie Raccoursier
by Kathleen Bühler
“An analysis of the simple surface manifestations of an epoch can contribute more to determining its place in the historical process than judgements of the epoch about itself.”
“Non-Stop Fun” (2008) is the name of a video triptych by Anne-Julie Raccoursier dated 2008 which shows huge masses of people in motion. Three pictorial fields projected in larger-than-life format each presents an excerpt of a mass of people at different places. On the left, in profile, is a view of spectators during a sports event; the people are waving their arms over and back as happens at big gatherings when a wave is spontaneously imitated in synchronised arm movements. The video image in the middle shows a team dressed in white hopping on white gym balls, a mass choreography in the framework of a gymnastics tournament, while on the right there is a frontal view of a group flying little flags at a gymnastics championships. In all the shots, the camera closes in so closely to the human bodies that it is impossible to gain any visual distance for a spatial analysis or overview. Instead, the image reveals fragments of a larger whole by blending the individuals into an ornamental form that is carrying out simultaneous movement patterns. The overall impression made by this three-part projection is hypnotic. The swell of human bodies recalls a repeating mercurial-type pattern. Despite the documentary quality of the images, the impression given is of abstract red zones flanking a whitish-green centre field.