For her first individual exhibition at the Xippas Gallery, Valérie Jouve will present her new movie Time is working around Rotterdam.
It was the HSL foundation who ordered this work, which was financed by the High Speed Railway Company in the Netherlands. The film focuses on the transformations induced by the passage of High Speed Trains through the Netherlands. Already during her first visits, Valérie Jouve decided to approach the subject by concentrating on the concept of image-movement. She wanted to depict the kind of spatial-temporal revolution the high speed line was creating in this virgin territory. However, it is not the train that is the subject of the movie. At the most, the railway is evoked by the repetitive sound of a mechanical movement.
Continuing along the lines of Grand Littoral, Valérie Jouve’s first movie made in 2003, Time is working around Rotterdam explores the choreographic dimension of movement. For her new movie, Valérie Jouve uses a kind of body camera to catch reality (in her previous work, this reality was depicted by the bodies of the protagonists). We are idling, we come to a halt and, in this process, we are finding our own rhythm based on a new temporal grammar. Time is the subject of the film or, more precisely, the different temporalities that constitute our lives. For Valérie Jouve, a new temporality evokes a new relationship to space, and her film wants to be a concrete experience of this, an experience created by different camera movements. There is no such thing as a unique temporality, there are only different speeds within specific landscapes. In this regard, the movie structure is based on successive temporal ruptures that follow the progressive passage from one speed to another.
Valérie Jouve understands her work as a non-narrative road movie, as an abstract visual composition echoed in the photographs simultaneously shown in the main lobby of the gallery.
These new pictures are evolving around three entities: the human being, the wall and the trees. Valérie Jouve’s approach to photography is not to show specific objects but to depict sensations in order to encourage an intuitive relation between the spectators and the images. Even if every single photograph can be considered as an autonomous piece of work, it’s nevertheless in their sequential structure that the works of Valérie Jouve reveal their meaning. The set up of the exhibition is designed to produce a movement originating in the juxtaposition of the pictures. The images of Valérie Jouve transcend their function, and beyond the figures they represent, these pictures question the relationship between bodies and place, as well as the way place is constructed by the bodies themselves.
Valérie Jouve was born in 1964 in Saint-Étienne. She lives and works in Paris. Since her first exhibition at the MAC in Marseilles in 1995, she has participated in numerous exhibitions in Europe and in the USA. She was invited by the Sprengel Museum in Hanover in 2005, the IAC in Villeurbanne in 2003 and the Winterthur Museum in Switzerland in 2002. Valérie Jouve showed her work at the gallery Anne de Villepoix in 1996, 1999 and 2003, and at the gallery Shoshana and Wayne in Santa Monica in 2000. Grand Littoral was presented at numerous festivals and at the MOMA in New York in 2004. The movie won the award of the international documentary film festival of Marseilles. Her works are part of many important public collections: MAC/VAL, Vitry sur Seine ; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou ; Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany ; Fondation NSM Vie / ABN-AMRO ; Stedeljikmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands ; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, USA.
The works of Valérie Jouve can be seen at the Cultural Forum for Photography in Berlin until November 11, 2006. Time is working around Rotterdam is also shown at the Musée d’Art Contemporain in Lyon until December 31, 2006.