artists / researchers


Marcel Dinahet

FAMAGUSTA-VAROSHA (1) | 2008 | video | colour | 4'33'' | loop | mute

FAMAGUSTA-VAROSHA (2) | 2010 | video | colour | 2'29'' | loop | sound

FAMAGUSTA-VAROSHA (3) | 2010 | video | colour | 1'10'' | loop | sound

production Suspended spaces

Marcel Dinahet is showing three videos as part of the Amiens exhibition. They were all filmed during visits he made to Cyprus made in 2008 and 2009, like so many variations on the “ghost” neighbourhood of Famagusta-Varosha (1)-(2)-(3).

These three videos in the Famagusta-Varosha series are presented in different ways: broadcast on a flat screen at the entrance to the show upstairs in the Maison de la Culture, screening in one of the small dark rooms of the unit reserved for videos, and another screening, but this time in the well-lit room of the Maison de l’Architecture. They present a floating image, tallying with a procedure which the artist uses in most of his works, and which, in a way, comes across as his trademark. The camera was consigned to a diver’s box which he handled on the  sea’s surface (here the Mediterranean), never hesitating to dive to accompany the camera which he let more or less float with the current, or else kept on the surface of the sand, on the edge of the waves and the backwash. Filmed discreetly by adopting a swimmer’s or fisherman’s posture, or the viewpoint of a marine creature, the images capture the slightest change of light, mixing in a more or less choppy movement, depending on the state of sea, water, sky and earth. They create an unstable and unlikely landscape, which either removes or brings closer the buildings of the deserted town of Varosha.

An oily sea or rippling flurry thus always forms the foreground of the video and the environment in which the artist invariably puts on a performance. This aquatic environment which forms a mass and which at times completely submerges the image and the motif which it represents, shifts the viewpoint to a place that is hard to describe and name, and which gives us a new and novel vision, at times unimaginable, of the space filmed. This off-centered viewpoint gives the town a totally new representation, where we do not know which--the town or its ill-defined observer himself—can stay in place, and enter the frame.

Who is looking at whom? Varosha is probably a town that has trouble fitting into frames, a town that sidesteps any rational definition, and challenges our capacity to describe and name it.

Marcel Dinahet questions the confines, boundaries, and extremities, seeking to glimpse in these world’s ends, these interstices between natural elements, unglimpsed forms which might give us hitherto unpublished news about our world. Marcel Dinahet handles his images very little after they have been shot; everything is determined at the moment of filming. As a rule, he records sequence shots which he submits as such, after having simply selected them.

In 2000, he made the video A Chypre/In Cyprus showing simultaneously, but separated by the trail of water, the submarine platform covered in aquatic vegetation, and, in the distance, a power station with its industrial  buildings. That work already conjured up a paradoxical relationship between different elements inside one and the same image, between near and far, nature and industry, and the visible and the hidden.

Charlène Dinhut - Françoise Parfait - Eric Valette

Translated by Simon Pleasance & Fronza Woods