Tuesday, June 21, 2016

A re-repeat performance

One of our favourite videos of all time has the strange title "*O...+/" (Patrick) and was made by the French artist Nicolas Jasmin (working at the time under the name of N.I.C.J.O.B.). The work features actor Patrick Dewaere repeatedly beating his head against a car in a sequence from the Alain Corneau movie Serie noire. The N.I.C.J.O.B. extract is unforgetable thanks to Nicolas’s re-editing skills and a fantastic soundtrack. Despite the weird humour of Patrick’s endless frustration, this particular work has always stood as a metaphor for a tough twentieth century.

We first saw Nicolas’s work at Hamish McKay’s and later met Nicolas himself when he visited New Zealand for a show at Starkwhite in 2007. This week in Vienna we caught up with him again. Thework we saw in the studio was very different. Nicolas is making paintings, experimenting with innovations made possible through laser technology. And yet, if you look closely, you can still see the same insistent rhythm of repetition that so marked Patrick’s bad hair day. Some things don’t change.

Images: top, Nicolas Jasmin in his Vienna studio and bottom a still from N.I.J.O.B.s "*O...+/" (Patrick)