Mankind: A story told without listeners.

The fictional representation of an action or an experience usually excuses us from the attempt to accomplish it on a real plain or for ourselves.

Jean Genet, The Balcony.

The film moves quickly because it doesn’t dwell on departures or arrivals, only movement, relations, comings and goings. There’s no sex, just sexuality.

Jean-Luc Godard, interviewed by Yvonne Baby, Le Monde, September 25th, 1975.

Operating within the limits of fiction and documentary, each actor is subjected to a set of instructions within a scenario, which sets out to dissolve boundaries and power relations. Fictional and epochal, we are led to question the nature of reality and fiction, to resolve the issues arising from the act of narrating, of telling stories that centre on and emphasise the nature of everyday life.

Man as an individual finds himself the subject of a story without listeners; he is subject to the surveillance of his sexuality and gender in a society which negates other ways of being, reducing them to a single option. A simple gesture shifts in meaning and questions the categories and the role-playing that we are taught; these stereotypes of masculinity are the social and political constructs of how we move in and occupy space.

The individual confronts his own image in an endless quest for identity and this compels him to constantly scan his environment for fresh signs of self-affirmation.

The relations between individuals as social beings are structured in different systems of communication. Everyday objects possess attributes that can codify items of information. The materials with which they are constructed, their design and choice of function are far from innocent. Their genesis gives rise to sets of power relations and their appearance defines the status of the individual. Possessions contain an implicit judgement as to what we are like, the nature of our desires and how we reveal them to others; we can even use them as a mask to hide behind. Everyday objects interpret contemporary identity. The process by which the subject is identified with his objects supposes accession to a state of consciousness.

The mental construction of our impulses is transferred to the objects that surround us. They become representations of our identity. The choice of each object follows an intra-psychic process, sub-conscious and incommunicable. A mechanism of multiple causality, polluted by the models of standardized consumption, by marketing and by capitalist society, reduces the individual to a mere subject/object of consumption.

The choosing of an object leads to a dilemma: to desire is to want; to want is to seek; to seek is to choose. The search is not always outwardly visible and the outcome does not always manage to consummate the original desire. The search becomes an end in itself. Unable to make a choice, we are overwhelmed by an infinite set of possibilities. Seeking becomes a rite of selection and ultimate disdain for the object. A process that encompasses a metaphor for the relation of the self to the other and the desire for identity.

Inhabited space is fundamental: the city, its structures and geographical enclave become necessities as the subject’s external points of reference. The most immediate is the home and all the objects it contains. The home is the place that draws together society’s cultural coordinates in which the individual is immersed. As the space of intimacy, it contains the objects that act as the testimonies of memory, on which we bestow value and significance.

Objects speak of personal history, the past; they are charged with powers of evocation. They embody hidden meanings, known only to ourselves and these do not always match the outwardly evident. The home outlines the boundaries between public and private, interior and exterior, isolation and connection. We have a home-life with its own history, a parallel life to the one played out in the outside world. It is a representation of a subject in search of identity, of signs of identification; it encapsulates the impulse for differentiation and reflects social status.

Hotels are spaces conceived for the sole purpose of responding to the needs of the guests. Their design proceeds from a premise of function, although sometimes this is masked by other elements. The furnishings are chosen as merchandise devoid of any emotional element. The space is configured with the aim of providing the client with a convenient selection of facilities. Time is the only variable in such a setting. The hotel guest defines the experience in terms of duration and intensity but nothing disrupts the space through which he passes. His luggage contains the few objects with any referential attachments.

The hotel is an unemotional space in which the visitor remains disconnected from the signification of the objects that surround him; a space devoid of conflict and confrontation and, from this point of view, a stay in a hotel might become a liberating factor. It offers an impersonal atmosphere which nourishes a feeling of removal from the affective ties implicit in possessions and their setting. This does not involve a negation of reality, it simply liberates through confronting – and so revealing – the emotional exchange with the objects that map the subject’s biography. He can shrug off the configuration of his usual existence, undergo a kind of removal from reality and engage with his own inner vision.