Collage installation and film
Composed of 8 episodes
Third Person (Plural) is an ambitious, long-term, research-based archival project. It takes the form of a collage film and multi-screen installation that is composed of 8 episodes, with an estimated total duration of around 70 minutes. It is based on a collection of 160 Universal newsreels and 40 US government informational films produced between 1945 to 1957, a timeline that follows the early stages of the European integration process, from the Shuman Plan to the establishment of the common market.
By centering the investigation on the post-World War II moment and the influence of United States foreign policy in the formation of a ‘United’ Europe, the projects explores how imagined communities of belonging are formed – and transformed – into national and supranational imaginations. The project not only brings to the forefront postwar US-European history but also highlights the hegemonic role that American newsreel-driven popular, visual culture played, within what has been described as the first global news system. The American newsreel was instrumental in shaping and controlling the ‘image’ of the world and in producing a visual vocabulary through which local, national and gender identities became fixed. Starting with the shaping of new identities through the construction of the ‘image’ of a ‘united’ Europe, the project explores the documentary value of archives and the role of the moving image in the writing of history.
Engaged in a feminist rereading of the archive, the work addresses the documentary value of the material, while questioning the historical narratives this material documented. In developing the overall sequence, structured in episodes, as well as the editing style, a language emerges, the language of bringing things together and making connections that were not there to begin with – a type of collaging that places film clips into new historical, contextual, thematic, gender, temporal and spatial relationships. The feminist rereading of the archive is a journey from sharing to storytelling, from reflection to critique.
The work is still in progress, as the final episode and the single-screen version of the piece is being edited and mastered. For vimeo links for the already edited episodes and further information please contact the artist.