Whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir is the most recent film of Rufus Corporation, directed by Eve Sussman. The enigmatic title defines this work whose cinematic characteristics are reduced to its matter: Super 8, HD, 35 mm, all combined in a computer driven narrative. Excerpts from this strange object inspired by Suprematist quests and film noir were shot during two trips to the Caspian – a backdrop at once futuristic and dated emerging in the images to create a tension surrounding themes of time, controlled space, and doubt. Archived with a system of key words on a computer, the short visual clips and sound bytes are treated with algorithms. This process imposes a narrative jump, going back and forth between the past and present, between natural settings and the studio, producing delicately hazardous associations between sound and image. Installed in a movie theater with a computer screen attached to the projection screen to interpret the scattered images, the visitor is hypnotized by a mysterious flow of images that seem to follow a dream’s logic. Hypnotized yet active, the spectator alone creates the narrative – essentially emotional – that links the elements among themselves, stretching at each viewing the limits of the medium. This cinematographic game, explored through different aspects, is reinforced by the intimate relationship to photography. This creates a subtle visual ambiguity, with still shots that seem to impose a fixed image in an animated ensemble, freezing a scene and reinforcing the worrisome relationship to time generated by the work. Beyond this theoretical dialogue animated by two disciplines, the most remarkable connivance between cinema and photo takes place in a mise en abyme, a process often explored by Eve Sussman in her previous works. The 1960’s style office that serves as a backdrop for several scenes is reconstituted from a picture of Yuri Gagarin’s office taken by Eve Sussman during a previous visit. A process that, used in its literal sense, generates a series of barely noticeable time lags that defy perspective and question the notion of reproducing reality. The original location evokes a theater scene as it was kept intact after the Russian cosmonauts departure. Fixed on a two-dimensional surface, it changes a few degrees. Recreated in 3 dimensions from a photograph, each element is slightly warped, and the ensemble no longer respects right angles. Recaptured with a video camera, this “studio” evokes a strangeness generated by the volumes and perspectives that the eye readjusts each time they appear. An allusion to the game of volume tension, space recreated in real size during the exhibition Whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir. The non-film is also accompanied by several series of photos taken by members of the association taken during their travels, confirming the reciprocal inspiration of the two mediums.
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