The videos by Lili Dujourie come into being in a culturally hardly tolerant climate controlled by the almost hegemonic dominance of the theoretical thinking and artistic acting of minimalism and conceptual art. In the period of the early seventies, when art is injected with the methodologies and notional models closely related to exact sciences, Lili Dujourie succeeds in making a series of videos which challenged the predominant taboos of that era with penetrating, intimate images deprived of text or sound. Between 1972-1981 Lili Dujourie made a series of video films in which she retained full control over the choice of the location; determining the ‘right’ recording angle and on the course (and final ending point) of the registration. At the time the video camera was a new and cheap instrument with which the artist could create a work in ‘real time’. A video camera gave the artist the artistic freedom and movability to take full charge over the artistic process - contrary to photography and film, in which the development process causes the image result a priori to deviate from the original intention. Lili Dujourie ceased this revolutionary ‘instant’ technical registration tool to make images as if she were modelling sculptures from raw material. Video was perceived as a new, radical ‘means’ to visualise ideas on the spot and at that very moment, and to preserve them. The videos by Lili Dujourie were intentionally conceived - they exteriorise and represent a preconceived ‘choreography’ in which movements were supposed to succeed one another in perfect rhythm. If the rhythm was not correct there could be no question of a correct and speaking image. The tangible tension in Lili Dujourie’s videos is the subtle resultant of the way in which she moves perfectly in the predetermined ‘frame’. The videos show her successive slow movements for what they are - they do not evoke a singularly distinctive content but a state of extreme intensive experiencing, filling in and organising time.

The notion of time latches onto the course and progress of the successive movements and/or singular acts. Lili Dujourie made her videos in complete solitude, without a cameraman or a technical entourage. She saw on a monitor what the camera recorded of her from a fixed viewpoint. Her videos were never edited ‘extenuatingly’ afterwards; the video had to deliver the desired image or the work was destroyed. The vulnerability of the making of videos is comparable to the technique of the aquarelle - the touch should show great precision, otherwise the work fails. Mirrors, a mantelpiece, a window, slightly reflecting because of the entering light, a bed with white sheeting: familiar, yet as regards to content strongly layered encompassing ‘signs’ within which Lili Dujourie moved about in a suite of punctual movements, heightened with erotic suggestions and connotations. Time is being lived (in) in these videos - they reflect a conscious undergoing in the spectator of slow actions without finality. Life as a continuous stream of images is set back here in mostly sensual movements at right angles to utilitarian activities. The videos by Lili Dujourie are not narrative - they have no plot. She lets a fragment of her time and life pass (off) on video without imposing meaning on the spectator. Her engaging videos are sculptures, only they are made with a ‘streaming’ video camera with a capacity to represent the moment of the creation in ‘real time’. In poses and framing of the ‘scenes’ the first videos by Lili Dujourie definitely and casually refer to great moments from art history. The pictorial associations and their predominantly masculine gaze and reproduction on the representation of the female as an object of desire, freeze in the work of Lili Dujourie at the thought of the fully autonomously performed making process of the videos. This suggestively moving self-portrayal in seductive poses, which barely give a hint at the hypothetical intentions of the artist, turns into a great moving ‘image’ in which the spectator loses himself and simultaneously needs to make a forceful appeal to the intuitive force of perceiving images as a work of art creating an opulence of ‘space’. The artist stays out of reach in these videos - she slips away from univocal codification and thus from the destruction of the image. All videos by Lili Dujourie are a ‘homage’ to the art she considers to be a way out to a decelerated dealing with the essence of life - a conscious experience of time, which boils down in an accumulation of images that detain time and poetically restore in the lapse of time. The videos by Lili Dujourie are still topical and very influential in her work - as in a great loop they touch on her later sculptures made in tactile materials like textile, plaster or lead. The artistic production of Lili Dujourie is to be considered as a dialogue with the loss from which life just happens to draw its force and dynamics. The videos by Lili Dujourie, fourteen of which now have been preserved by argos after image-by-image restoration, constitute an important link in a great artistic story in which the force of silence and subtle gesture imply a refusal to represent the world as time would have it. (Luk Lambrecht)

Gerelateerde evenementen

Lili Dujourie