Peter Stamer, about Sauve qui peut (Romania), video installation
Here it comes (this is the title, of the shorty, shorty!) or : open your mouth and say « aieeeh ! »
The use of images, cultural ready-mades, strategies known from the work of Superamas, is both citational and unique. The video makes use of a set-up from Godard’s movie « Sauve qui peut (la vie) » or does it abuse it ?
Godard is used as a pretext for the video work, also in the literal sense of the word. It’s rather a filmic text avant la lettre of its canonized artistic value or historicalcontext. Godard’s film, a ready-made, ready at hand to be restaged, rearranged, reenacted, violated to show violent economies.
In a hotel room, a French business-man gives working instructions to his Romanian employees. Yet, these assignments turn out to be the strange and irritating game of a pervert. The employer transforms his clerks to servants of his lust and body. He gives exact orders : they have to take off their clothes, have to bend over, take positions, kneel. He says : If I step on your tits, you suck my cock, then you say aiieh, and the camera keeps the incorrupt gaze one best knows from documentaries or from porn movies. The bodies are formed into one single sex automat, a machinery where every function is assigned and functionalized, submitted to the economy of the business-man’s desire and will.
The video loop intrigues by its mix of violence, documentary, fiction, and a strange ending. It conncets the desire of Western economy to conquer, rule, and submit with perversion and shows that sex and
trade are ruled by the same logic. Yet, the rule of capitalism not just transforms the body in a good that can be traded, sold, posssessed, penetrated, it also revaluates the object to become a body, the fetish. At the end of the video, the French boss commands one of his naked servants to put red lip
stick phallically onto his mouth the penetration of the slit becomes labial, sound physical penetration has transformed into the intercourse of the sound : He shuts up and smiles satisfiedly. Yet, there is no outside of this economy, the mixture of lust, violence, submission, and power is both exciting and repulsing. Their interplay can not just be looked on, rather it effects both balls and brain, being pornographic and political at the same time.
Fucking political, there is no escape from it, « sauve qui peut ».
Peter Stamer, dramaturg.