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Saturday, 11 July 2009

Georges Schwizgebel "Les Jeune Fille Et Les Nuages" (2000)






Georges Schwizgebel is a particular delight. His work fuses music and art together quite wonderfully, surreal and witty, though most of all beautiful. Les Jeune Fille Et Les Nuages (The Young Girl and the Clouds) is a variation on the Cinderella story. The opening titles morph into thickly daubed, painted clouds and white birds created in the same style; from there to a beautiful young woman seated enigmatically in an pastoral landscape surrounded by the ever present white birds. We are transported into a different world, a spell cast upon us. The movie really is that bewitching. Two girls apply their makeup and one cleans the floor or sorts the lentils, aided by her feathered companions. Georges changes the speed of the movie. Doing her housework Cinderella moves at a rate of two frames per second, the film moving jerkily save for the white birds flocking in and out of the window. The orchestra plays and we gaze down at couples dancing beneath, the girls’ white dresses billowing out like the clouds, one of which forms itself into a garment discovered by the abandoned girl. As she dresses for the ball the frame rate picks up. There's a moment when Cinderella runs down the black and white steps of the ballroom in time to the music that is so well synchronised. Indeed, the music throughout is perfect -Fugue op35 no5 by Felix Mendelssohn performed on piano by Louis Schwizgebel. The acrylic and oil paint may be thickly applied onto cels but the texture in Georges' work and the economical manner in which the artist builds his scenes is masterful.

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