UPCOMING: Friday, 16 June 2023, 24:00 | midnight

#132: Clément Cogitore

Friday, 16 June 2023, 24:00 | midnight—   add to calendar
BABYLON, big cinema hall, Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 30, Berlin
Eintritt frei | admission free

Since the late 2000s Clément Cogitore has developed his artistic practice halfway between Cinema and Contemporary Art. Combining film, video, installations and photographs, Cogitore questions the modalities of cohabitation between humankind and its own images and representations. Rituality, collective memory, figuration of the sacred, as well as a particular idea of the permeability of worlds are leading trends in his practice.

Clément Cogitore will show:

Travel(ing), 2005, 3:50 min
Video performance for a truck, a generator and a 16mm projector, «Travel(ing)» confronts the reality of an experience with its cinematographic representation. At night, on the back of a moving truck, we face a 16 mm film showing a daytime view of the same road the truck drove along is projected. The fragile and wavering image draws the viewer’s eye like a moth to light, and uses “mise en abyme” to depict the hypnotic power of moving images.

Elegies, 2013, 6:00 min
Hundreds of small luminous screens float above a human sea: a concert audience takes pictures with their cell phones of a scene outside the frame. Like the subtitles of an absent song, or the inner voice of an invisible narrator, verses from Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies punctuate this enormous collective wave of energy redolent of a digital ceremony.

The Evil Eye, 2018, 15:00 min
Inspired by gatherings, community phenomena and the expression of today’s beliefs – no matter how erratic, widespread or deprived of purpose –, Clément Cogitore’s work is guided by a sense of ritual and the articulation of the sacred. Clément Cogitore responds to the generalized and trivialized circulation of images with a visual intensity and sense of storytelling that border on fantasy. In The Evil Eye, the artist borrows promotional images and transforms them through an ambivalent staging. The narrative of a female voice travels through anonymous, stereotypical stock scenes taken from global banks that provide images for commercials and political campaigns. A large LED screen captures the attention in a paradoxically intimate space, where the authority of the dispositif and of the spectator both start to drift.

An archipelago, 2011, 11:00 min
October 22, 2010: the nuclear-powered submarine H.M.S Astute left the Edinburgh naval base on a personal transfer mission. This final mission would come to be considered one of the most disastrous episodes in British naval history. Made mainly from images culled from the internet and press agencies, and punctuated by several title cards, An archipelago ventures into the crossroads of silent film, experimental cinema and Hollywood storytelling.

Les Indes Galantes, 2017, 6:00 min
Les Indes Galantes (The amorous indies), is an opera-ballet created by Jean-Philippe Rameau in 1735. He was inspired by tribal Indian dances of Louisiana performed in 1723 in Paris by Metchigaema chiefs. Clément Cogitore adapts in collaboration with the three choreographers Bintou Dembele, Brahim Rachiki and Igor Carouge a short part of the ballet by mobilizing a group of Krump dancers, an art form born in Los Angeles black ghetto in the 1990s. Its birth occurred in the aftermath of the beating up of Rodney King and the riots, as well as police repression it triggered. Amidst this coercive atmosphere, young dancers started to embody the violent tensions of the physical, social and political body. Both the tribal dance performed in Paris in 1723, and the rebellious Krump dancers of the 1990s shape a reenactment of Rameau’s original libretto, staging young people dancing on the verge of a volcano.

The resonant interval, 2016, 24:00 min
The starting point of the video installation conceived by Cogitore is based on two unexplained phenomena having physical origins: the supposed perception of sounds emitted by the Northern Lights, and the appearance of a mysterious luminous object in Alaska. In both cases, superstitions and the Inuit and Saami belief systems have disturbed the quest for scientific explanations. Through the images and stories produced by these phenomena, a tale is set midway between a personal and a collective mythology, between scientific protocol and ritual celebration, between fiction and documentary. Stratospheric images, reflected on the ground, are confronted with a dispersion in the darkened space of a polyglot voice and celestial music, composed by Francesco Filidei and Lorenzo Bianchi Hoesch, two Italian Avantgarde composers, leading to both a loss of spatial markers, and a disturbance of the senses.

Morgestraich, 2022, 4:10 min
In Morgestraich, the artist pays tribute to the Basel carnival, an event he attended during his childhood. At four o’clock in the morning, when all the lights in the city are switched off, groups of musicians march through the crowd to the sound of pipes and drums. This peculiar moment differs from other carnivals by its contemplative, ironic and mournful dimension, which is rooted in the tradition of the Danse macabre and medieval processions against epidemics. Staged on a black background, the carnival goers follow each other in an endless march, which never progresses and from which the crowd is absent. Deploying outside of time and space this procession that marks the passage from winter to spring and from death to life, Clément Cogitore’s work questions these secular rituals that link the community in uncertain times.

Clément Cogitore (born 1983 in Colmar, France) is living in Paris and Berlin. His work has notably been screened and exhibited at the Palais de Tokyo, MADRE (Naples), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), Institute of Contemporary Arts ICA (London), Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), MACRO (Rome), MoMA (New-York), Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), MNBA (Québec), SeMA Bunker (Seoul), Red Brick Art Museum (Beijing), Kunsthaus Baselland (Basel). In 2011 Cogitore was awarded the Grand Prize of Salon de Montrouge for contemporary art and the following year he became resident of the Villa Medici, French Academy in Rome. His cinematographic works have been selected and awarded prizes in numerous international festivals (Cannes, Locarno, Telluride, Los Angeles, San Sebastian).

In 2015, his first feature film «Neither Heaven Nor Earth» was selected at the Cannes international film festival – Critic’s week, awarded by the Gan Foundation, acclaimed by critics and nominated for the best first film at the César award ceremony. That same year he won the BAL Prize for contemporary art. In 2016, he won the SciencesPo Prize for contemporary art and the 18th Fondation d’entreprise Ricard Prize for contemporary art.In

2018, Clément Cogitore was awarded the prestigious Marcel Duchamp Prize for Contemporary Art. Since 2018, he is teaching at the Ecole des Beaux Arts de Paris, where he directs a film director’s workshop.

To celebrate its 350th anniversary, the Opéra National de Paris has entrusted Clément Cogitore with staging Jean-Philippe Rameau’s opera ballet, «Les Indes galantes». The premiere has taken place in September 2019. «Les Indes Galantes» was selected by The New York Times as one of the best opera productions of 2019, nominated best opera production 2019 by the Giornale della Musica and won the Forum Opera trophy of the Best new opera production 2019.

In 2022, his second feature film “Goutte d’or” was selected as a Special Screening at the Critics’ Week of the Cannes Film Festival. The film won the Hildegarde Screenplay Award, the Best Director Award at the LEFFEST in Lisbon and the Interpretation Award at the Hainan Film Festival.

Cogitore’s work is represented in several public collections (Centre Georges Pompidou, National Fund for Contemporary Art, Contemporary Art Fund of the City of Paris, FRAC Alsace, FRAC Aquitaine, FRAC Auvergne, MAC VAL, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Strasbourg) and private collections (Louis Vuitton Collection, Daimler Art Collection).

Clément Cogitore is represented by Chantal Crousel Consulting, Paris and by Galerie Elisabeth & Reinhard Hauff, Stuttgart.


Supported by: Institut Français Germany and French Ministry of Culture