SHANGHAI 2010: intimate journal of some Western workers (video) In documentary format, a subjective point of view camera follows the daily life of a dozen occidental workers at the "EXPO". The video is punctuated by long contemplative shots of the futuristic city and regulated by intimate interviews of the young main characters. This project is meant to emphasize the psychological tumultuous aspects and the surrealistic atmosphere of such an event, entitled: "Better City, Better Life". It is a modern portrait of present-day humanity where the human being, who has lost his bearings, finds himself lost in the complexity of goals and environment. Background and subject: The universal exposition is an extraordinary event. For visitors, itâ€™s a matter of discovering various countries, technologies, and artistic and architectural achievements. Another aspect of the EXPO may be the implicit displacement as soon as they leave the waiting line and the pavilions. But for the thousands of people who live and work there, itâ€™s an experience of another sort. The long duration, the uniquely new surroundings, the sense of uprooted ness, the daily parties offer, their role of welcoming a new public every day for abstract activities, and finally, the time spent in numerous celebrations in the national pavilionsâ€”make this event a truly momentous occasion. For the next Expo, which will take place in Shanghai in 2010, the various technicians, hostesses, and officials will have to, in addition, evolve in a culture different from their own: China, whose importance and cultural differences the Western imagination has not yet realized. For young Westerners, this will certainly be an intense psychological experience: a loss of their bearings, the absurdity of the environment, fatigue, new conceptual encounters, and an incessant crowd.
Objectives: Through a video chronicle of the daily life of several young Western workers, following the rhythm of the sequence of events (set-up, opening, important days, closing…), the objective is to offer a modern portrait of present-day humanity. In fact, through this intimate story, we want to capture a reality that few media have successfully reflected: an ultra sophisticated global world where the human being, who has lost his bearings, finds himself lost. Thanks to China, the industrial explosion of globalization, and thanks to the Expo, the explosion of society into abstract activities, this adventure will attempt to highlight the surreal quality of these lives caught offguard in a world often narrowly missing almost reaching science fiction. The goal is to plunge the spectator into the heart of the intersecting stories whose endings we don’t yet know, but whose contours/twists and turns? We can guess. In the image of the infinite architecture or even of the activities, which will serve as illustrations the everyday life of employees will quickly reach the futuristic absurdity composed of the repetition of days, of such diverse spectators, the intangible size of the city, of the country, of the Expo. In rubbing shoulders in a subjective way with the characters of these six months, we hope to transmit a strange experience more than a distant glance. Direction: In the making of this documentary three different types of images were used and alternate on a regular basis: 1) Live: the point of view of the director who is following the daily life of our characters through the period of the expo. Without commentary, or setting. Here, the director is also a character: he and his subjective camera participate in the exchanges, and have a life in the expo. With him, we go to the parties, the pavilions and we follow the young workers even during their day off visiting this so different country. 2) ITW: the regular interviews of the protagonists whose progress we follow. 3) Contemplative images: these fixed plans emphasize the architecture and the movements of the population. These last images, esthetic, must give a “science fiction” aspect to the whole. 2
The reference here would be to the Austrian documentaries like “Our Daily Bread” or the BBC’s daily show “No Comment”. This patchwork of small chronological sketches will form a slow progression at the same time contemplative, intimate and narrative, covering in parallel form ways the history of a place, of an event, and of people. There is no editing linking the different documents, no voice over. The generation-following documentaries of Karlin and Laine, the daily conversations practiced by television reality shows can be references if we associate them with the Chinese producer Jia Zhangke, who, in fact, has the specialty of catching a society, a development, an absurdity, without his characters uttering a word about it. To achieve this result he instead pays particular attention to locations and activities that have the capacity of emphasizing the complex and sensitive reality they are a part of. The subjective camera also plays an important role by allowing an intimate proximity with the structure and its residents. Ultimately the project is, more than a documentary, a logbook that will often result contemplative and anecdotic to better communicate “something” intangible: the overall atmosphere and feelings of the members of this city. Formats and diffusion This document can be inflected in three main formats: -A 90mn documentary movie. -A six 26 minute episodes series. (one per month) -Around thirty or more clips of approximately a few minutes each Ex: 30 sec contemplative shots/ 1mn live report/1mn interview/ 30 sec contemplative shots This video is not an event of the Expo. It is a modern archive that will be creened as a documentary. Logistic: The director will live in the new Expo city for nearly the entire time in which the event will take place. An assistant will join him halfway through his stay, to help him with the writing and the editing of the project. Emmanuel Germond will work on other creations in Shanghai. He plans to show his in situ installation ‘EPD’ that will include a proper graphic creation. He wishes to continue a photographic series he began in China in 3
2004, which topic is individualities lost in mass infrastructures. He also has different video workshops and experiments he is offering for the EXPO. Budget: Sharing commodities and coordinating with other projects could reduce the following budget. Euro s -Flight: 2+1 return ticket -Housing EXPO -Per Diem 20 euro/day -Fee: shooting, editing, sound mix -Expendables, material -Post-production: (mastering, calibration and video design)
3000 3000 16 000 3000 5000
total (VAT excluded) VAT
30 000 2040
Artist : Emmanuel Germond is a 35 years old French artist and journalist who has been living in New York since April 2008, after having spent 6 years in Marseille. Music and street theatre artist manager until 2003, he began then to write movie and cultural reviews for “Ventilo”, a Marseille based newspaper. In the same time, he started video editing. After 2006, he specialized as a consultant for novels, video editing and scripts, as well as for art projects. In New York he works as a production assistant, technician and art or artistic counselor. Following his first creations (dance ballet, photo exhibitions), which were more canonic, he was quickly known for going out of traditional formats and codes/schemes to reach a higher efficiency. He does not favor any particular media and chooses whatever new visual aid better works with each project. In 2003, for instance, the personals series « Marie-Dominique » was reproduced in a real newspaper: for 18 months, we don’t know if the addressee is real or not. At last, the last episode is a graphic cover of the newspaper, a composition of the totality of the messages. Similarly, the project he is currently working on, called ‘Exposure to Psychological Dangers (EPD)’, works within the reality, outside of “art” locations and definitions: a fake health theory is spread through prevention campaigns, moving and provoking reflections in the unaware spectators. Having worked in 2000 at the Hanover expo, he remembers how young workers suffered from psychological disruptions caused by the schedule and the abstract goals. This is the main topic of his last video project ‘intimate journal of some Western workers’.