Video Art Program[The 31st Program] collectif_fact

The Course of Things, 2012, HD Video, sound, 9 min. 30 sec.

Through the skillful use of several ingenious tricks, The Course of Things presents footage of the unpredictable actions of the visitors at the Natural History Museum in London as fiction rather than documentation. One trick is the narration by the British-born film director Alfred Hitchcock, which leads us through the story. The director’s voice, extracted from his television program Alfred Hitchcock Presents, is meticulously edited to form a monologue on the essence of the suspense genre. Further tricks such as the film-like camera angles, zoomed-in footage, and the insertion of background music transform the museum into a stage and the visitors into actors, creating a suspense theater of sorts. Going back and forth across the boundaries between fiction and reality, The Course of Things presents a humorous demonstration of how everyday life can be more dramatic than fiction.

collectif_fact, formed by Annelore Schneider (b. 1979, Neuchâtel, Switzerland) and Claude Piguet (b. 1977, Neuchâtel, Switzerland) and based in London and Geneva, is an artists’ group that mainly works with video. Using the method of taking apart existing stories and reconstructing or re-editing them to create different stories or to add different meanings, collectif_fact explores the narrative possibilities in video. The group creates multilayered, collage-like video works composed of fragments such as words excerpted from books and other sources, bars of music, memories and reality.