Fifty-five men, of all ages, most of them recruited via ads on the radio, succeed one another before the camera, with quick-fire editing; each speaks a sentence, or just a word... telling the story of Bluebeard, faithfully following Perrault’s text.
The famous tale is doubly celebrated: for its exceptionally pure literary quality - undoubtedly, one of the most perfect models in the French language - as well as for its narrative power. Here it is questioned, playfully, via the use of cinematic editing. Through the process of browsing these differences of accent and of cultural background underlying the declamation of the text, as well of personal involvement with the role of narrator, a strange force emanates from this rereading.

This installation – which should ideally be located in an enclosed space like a cellar, basements or an archive room – combines the projection of Perrault’s text on a screen or a white wall with images of women of the past projected by rotary projectors.

The sequences of flashes were shot in 1999 involving performers from Rosas during a staging of Bartok’s opera by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker for which Thierry De Mey produced the film and video images.

This work has been digitised in the frame of DCA Project

55 barbes bleues, 1999, Thierry De Mey © the artist55 barbes bleues, 1999, Thierry De Mey © the artist55 barbes bleues, 1999, Thierry De Mey © the artist