Temps Mort, 2009

18', Betacam numérique PAL, couleur, son

Temps Mort [Time out] is the first video that made Mohamed Bourouissa known in France. Filmed on a cellphone, it inscribes itself to a certain extent in the parallel histories of moving images and that of their recording devices, describing the progressive entry into the frame – following the workers of the Lumière factories – of invisible populations. The artist experiments with a method of image production that becomes a principle, relying on a collaboration with the represented subject through an exchange, or rather a deal. In fact, these poor images are, in their context of production, costly images for several reasons. They are monetized by phone credit refills that the artist proposes to JC, captive in a prison of the Paris area, against shots filmed from his cell. It is this trade that Temps Mort describes and that is simply its process of realization: images from inside the prison against phone credit to communicate secretly with the outside. To the shots commissioned by the artist to JC are added the images asked by JC to the artist and snatched in turn from the daily life unfolding on the other side. The montage develops an unpredictable shot-countershot between two sealed spaces and two desires to see, where the film is simply a meeting point as is often the case in Bourouissa's works. But he also tells the story of the filmed subject's active turn, addressed with extreme sobriety by the display of text messages, reminiscent of silent cinema dialogue cards.