Screened as part of NZIFF 2001

Des Rives 2001

Directed by Thomas Köner, yann beauvais

50 minutes 16mm

Des Rives, commissioned by the Georges Pompidou Centre, Paris, was both installation and performance piece. A constantly evolving work, that was never the same from performance to performance. Beauvais and Koener presented Des Rives at the St James in Auckland and at Te Whaea in Wellington as part of the 2001 Film Festival.

Cities – sites – are a constant reference in beauvais’ work, but never have they received such radical and astounding treatment as in Des Rives. New York’s de-composition and deconstruction has escalated from the static reworked postcards seen in New York Long Distance into a fluid three-dimensionality. Three strands of film weave in and out of each other, fanning out from corner to corner of the screen, this fan suddenly transforming into a windscreen-wiper blade that sweeps the city fragments clean off screen, gone like a flow of traffic beneath an underpass, only to suddenly reappear on a screen alongside.

Spacey, trip-hoppy visual rhythms are matched by the undertow and hypnotic soundscape composed by Thomas Koener. Urban sounds, metal cacophonies of the subway and blaring horns, combine with live voices, focusing attention on the personal and autobiographical elements underlying beauvais’ cut-up ride through a throbbing, humming New York. The interplay of visual and aural effects, the buildup of obsessive, intense rhythms, encircles the audience, an invitation to partake in a synaesthetic experience. — SR

The visit of Thomas Koener and Yann Beauvais in 2001 was made possible by the generous support of the French Embassy and the Goethe Institute.