Guillaume Paris: In Camera (No Exit)

Guillaume Paris_ In Camera No Exit_ MOCA London 2017

In Camera (No Exit) is the French artist Guillaume Paris’ first exhibition a MOCA London. Paris is presenting a new computer generated conversation piece based on Jean-Paul Sartre’s play « No Exit ».

GARCIN: For ever, and ever, and ever.
(A long silence.)
GARCIN: Well, well, let’s get on with it…

Ever wondered what went on after the curtain fell on these famous last words? The project In Camera (No Exit) explores what that reality might be, night and day, endlessly.

In Camera is the literal translation of the French expression « huis clos ». The eponymous existential play by Jean-Paul Sartre from 1944 is however generally translated into English as « No Exit ».

I have for over a decade thought of (re)enacting No Exit with virtual actors, computer-generated spectres, created in real time and sentenced to eternity, Guillaume Paris.

The play features 3 characters in hell. They are confined in a room and punished for their various crimes by being stuck with each other: « hell is other people » as one of the characters concludes, referring to their respective inability to leave each other alone – and to silence their inner voices. An inability to stop suffering. (cf Wiki – quoted below).

Although not quite in the French «Second Empire» style, the exhibition space at MOCA London, with its toned down, whitened domesticity, seemed the perfect environment to feature the piece. The space, in combination with the ambient Brexit/No Brexit anguished climate at the time Paris visited MOCA, brought to mind the Sartre play, in a combination of word association and physical context.

In Camera (No Exit) features the 3 characters – two women and a man (NB: the Valet having performed his job, he is removed from the play). Stripped to their essence, voices embodied as lips in high-resolution CG and a black custom-made computer visible as the unified body/brain of the 3 dis-jointed mouths. They are lip-synched in real time to the text. The voices are also CG: synthesized voices, neutralising acting affect.

The CG “nature” of all constituents is congruent to their living dead, ghostly status. The inhuman temporality of the setup (permanent and endless) embodies the otherworldly nature of their predicament.

The computer itself is programmed to never repeat the same combination of speech and image twice. It will however periodically, re-synch the original play. Alteration of the original material can occur as a remix of the original order of the text but also changes in pacing, diction and silences. The system is “alive” and unpredictable. It features a custom 3D engine. It is intended to play continuously, 24hrs a day.

In the play, the protagonists progressively stop blinking – some no longer have eyelids, having no use for it: they are dead and the light is always on.

Duration 02 October 2017 - 28 October 2017
Times Thursdays – Saturdays 2 - 6 pm, or by appointment
Cost Free
Venue MOCA London
Address 113 Bellenden Road, London, SE15 4QY
Contact / /