Michel Gondry’s ‘Dark Places’

Museum invites helmer to create installation [This story first ran in V Life's February '06 issue.]

As part of its multimedia art exhibit, “Dark Places’ (January 21-April 22), the Santa Monica Museum of Art invited the playful French duo of Michel Gondry and Pierre Bismuth, Oscar-winning co-writers of the “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” to create an original video installation. Called “All Seeing Eye,” the piece features a hypnotic, 360-degree pan around a room, which shifts subtly with each rotation.

V LIFE: What would you like viewers to take away from this video?

PB: When people watch “The All Seeing Eye,” because the camera is turning 360 degrees, you think you will see the same thing each time. But actually, what’s disturbing is that each time the camera reaches the same point, something has changed …

MG: That’s interesting!

PB: The whole setup creates the feeling that you can verify things, but actually you can’t.

MG: When I first saw the (completed) installation, I was very sleepy. I remember I was falling asleep before the end, and when I woke up, all the furniture was gone. It was an eerie feeling.

V LIFE: Michel, what about your new film, “Science of Sleep”?

MG: It’s about a relationship that doesn’t work out, and it’s illustrated by a bunch of dreams that I really had.

PB: It’s about the link between the fact that dreams and reality connect.

MG: (singing) Dreams are my reality …

PB: I have to listen to music all the time, it helps me think … Michel, is there still a connection with music in what you do?

MG: I think there is, but when I started to do cinema, I had to get loose of music. There is a difference in how we approach things, which you can see by how we collaborated on this piece. Pierre is more loose, that’s why he belongs more to the art world than I do.

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