Pierre Coulibeuf: The Warriors of Beauty
Avant-garde filmmaker and visual artist Pierre Coulibeuf develops a cross-disciplinary project: he makes experimental fictions that invest the sphere of art and in which changes of identity affect the universes and artists inspiring his works. His films shot on Super 16 or 35mm were shown at major international film festivals such as Locarno or Rotterdam, as well as, recomposed, in the form of video-photo installations in museums all over the world.
The Warriors of Beauty is a rewriting of Jan Fabre’s theatrical world inside a film genre: a fantasy whose characters are individuals devoting themselves to strange, absurd rituals (are they madmen?) inside a labyrinth of walls (is it an asylum?). These rituals are rendered by constant, never-ending choreographic movements. ‘Don’t madmen ever get tired, then?’, says a character (Ariane in a wedding gown).
The film work is a reinterpretation of Jan Fabre’s world; it is a projection into another dimension, fictional, another world, enigmatic, based on a Greek myth. The film work is not an imitation, the copy of an original in the sense of a simple reproduction guaranteed by resemblance. The work is a simulacrum: it removes an essential element from the universe that inspires it and repeats it endlessly.
Moreover, supplementing the installation, there are eight film stills that isolate and crystallise several significant sequences of the film. As happens in other Coulibeuf works, the confrontation—within as well as outside the film (the exhibition space)—between the cinematographic and the photographic constitutes a moment of reflection on the in-between, or else on the transition from one medium to another (here, theatre, cinema and photography), which gives rise to a more complex philosophical question on the relationship between immobility and movement, existence and destiny.
The moving bodies based on Jan Fabre’s theatrical creations embody a fantastic fiction, the narrative is a loop : no beginning, no end.