LA NUIT AMERICAINE [OR] DAY FOR NIGHT
ARTISTS: FRANCO ANGELONI / HENK BOVERHOFF / DORINE VAN DELFT / FEDERICO D’ ORAZIO / DESIREE DOLRON / SIMON FERDINANDO / ATOUSA B. GHIASABADI / PAUL GROOT / KIMBERLY LEWIS / RON MILTENBURG / JOSEPH SEMAH / JEROME SYMONS / BABETH M. VANLOO / PAUL GROOT / MONIEK VOULON
Exhibition at Art Association Arti et Amicitiae / Amsterdam / The Netherlands 2003 / Curated by Moniek Voulon
[ FICTION AND REALITY ]
How long did we share here in Europe the idea of the American Dream? I don’t know for sure, but since the war in Iraq, a frigthening cloud known as “La nuit Américaine”, is darkening this dream, that so many Europeans shared with the Americans.
“La nuit Américaine [or] Day for Night” – in English “The American night [or] Day for Night” – is an exhibition about art and cinema, reality and fiction, love and hate, but especially an exhibition about the growing influence of America on world-culture. An exhibition as a reaction to the war in Iraq, a war not legitimised by the United Nations. Moniek Voulon, the organizer of this exhibition, and the other participating artists – born in Iraq and Iran, USA and UK, Italy and South Africa, Holland – think it important to make a statement about the political situation in the world.
Truffaut and refers to the process day-for-night. As expressed in “The Complete Film Dictionary” by Ira Koningsberg [London 1997], “it is shooting in daylight but achieving the effect of night through one or more of the following: underexposure, filters or printing. Such shooting takes place when it is difficult or too expensive to shoot at night”.
Truffaut’s movie is far from a political statement but it is in a sense the best poetic reference to the Nouvelle Vague. A program that according to Voulon perhaps has found its best realisation in the political oriented movies of Truffaut’s colleague and friend Jean-Luc Godard. Because there, the fiction of the illusion seems really integrated with the facts of the real.
Voulon wants to interfere in our day-to-day political life, using not very fashionable aestethics. Some feel that the cinematographic metaphor has been made innocent by the development of the modern digital possibilities and structures.
But Voulon knows better. The real and the fiction must not be addressed as different attitudes, because the real is a function of fiction and fiction is a function of the real. In using the program of the Nouvelle Vague, characterised by a mix of the tradition of European film culture and of a Hollywood-nostalgia, she can reflect the discussion and different positions relating to the war in Iraq. She realises that La nuit Américaine, the exhibition, could provoke a new vision on warfare in our days.
The exhibition in Arti et Amicitiae is distributed over six rooms dominated by two central spaces, left and right, spaces that Voulon in her preparation related to as “Mecca” and “Jerusalem”.
Two central spaces as allusions to the places that play a vital role in the necessary solution of the Mid-East political conflict. In the left space we feel a sense of “Mecca”, in the right space something of “Jerusalem”, with the words Day and Night written on the wall. With a Wittgensteinian text on her own black cube, Voulon gives this exhibition a very urgent motto: “The World…..”
Paul Groot, 2004 / Introduction in Catalogue
SPONSORED BY PRINCE BERNHARD CULTURAL FOUNDATION AMSTERDAM NL
CATALOGUE LA NUIT AMERICAINE / 2003