Michel Lorand


Lacrimae rerum


Installation with three video monitors and 18 framed prints, 102 x 72 cm

In its presentation, this work also refers to the history of art. Three video monitors form a triptych. The images are all of the face of the same woman, shot at medium range, facing to the left or to the right, or sometimes a little closer, in close-up. The triptych is repeatedly composed of three different sequences, which are not always of the same length. The picture regularly disappears on one of the three monitors, while the images continue on the other two. The woman has experienced life, and her expressions show its traces. This is a face with a history. She grieves. Sometimes tears suddenly appear. Short video sequences alternate with one another to the rhythm of simple, long and reverberating piano tones, which are brought together into a slow, minimalist composition. Against the wall, not far from the triptych, hangs a series of large, framed prints. There are 18 frames in all, but Lorand has only hung as many as there is room for on the wall. The rest are stacked against the wall. Each print, in addition to the title of the work – Lacrimae rerum: ‘tears about and/or in things’ – contains three still portraits. One is a snapshot of the triptych, beneath which are three small musical staves and a schematic of letters and numbers. These fragments are from the installation’s musical score. Here too, the form of the work is built on a constraining, rational system that is in sharp contrast to the dramatic and existential despair of the character in the film. Eighteen short sequences of varying lengths (between 10” and 2’10”) were each coupled to a given musical note. Then, with the help of a computer, random combinations were made from these sound and image fragments, resulting in a well nigh endless number of variations. The work ‘runs’ as long as the exhibition itself, both day and night, without interruption, so that a relatively short film ‘unfolds’, opening up over time. With a limited amount of visual raw material, through the virtually unlimited possibilities of combinations, viewers see a virtually unending series of unique images.

Lacrimae rerum