Video Art Program[The 61st Program] Valérie Jouve

Grand Littoral, 2003 color, sound, 20min.00sec.

Valérie Jouve is an artist known for documentary photographs based on anthropological and sociological concerns. In this film, she focuses on nature in urban environments, which is gradually being swallowed up by the development of transit networks. The anonymous people walking in places where human beings do not usually venture, like undeveloped sidewalks, pathways beside railway tracks, and highway medians, are neither walking to send a message, nor are they trying to recover the history and memory of the land by walking through it. In this work the artist addresses the aesthetic issues of how to convey purposeless movement or unowned space, but these are not the only questions the work raises. The outskirts of Marseilles, where the film was shot, is known for being home to many North African immigrants, and the people appearing here come from diverse backgrounds. Considering the social and cultural divisions of the area, the shattered sidewalks seem to imply divisions among people. And the intersecting paths of people walking, with no beginning or end, may suggest the power to overcome division.

Valérie Jouve:
Born in Saint-Étienne in 1964, lives and works in Paris, France. She received her licence of Ethnology from the University of Lyon II, France (1984), and graduate of the National School of Photography, Arles, France (1990). She is an artist known for documentary photographs addressing anthropological and sociological concerns. Major solo exhibitions include Corps en résistance (2015), at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de (Paume, Paris), and group exhibitions include French Window: Contemporary French Art Scene / Seen through the Marcel Duchamp Prize (2011), at Mori Art Museum (Tokyo).