Prelude to AKA Jihadi, 2016
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Over the last decade, artist and filmmaker Eric Baudelaire has developed a body of work that includes primarily film, but also photography, printmaking, performance, publications and installation. As part of a research-based practice, the artist investigates the relationship between images, past events, and their documentation. Interested in the role of the cinematic image as an indexical marker, Baudelaire creates narratives in which recorded facts are a point of departure for an exploration of the unknown.
AKA Jihadi is a new film inspired by a cinematic approach known as the “landscape theory” developed by Japanese avant-garde director Masao Adachi, along with other filmmakers and critics, for the 1969 film AKA Serial Killer. In the original Japanese film, location-scouting images for a film inspired by a real-life serial killer become the film. AKA Jihadi operates on the same principle, retracing the itinerary of a young French man known as Nabil who travels to Syria in support of the Syrian people’s struggle against Bashar al-Assad, and allegedly joins ISIS. AKA Jihadi embraces the contradictory position of trying (not) to understand as it attempts to piece together the trajectory of its protagonist whose actions, motivations and future intentions lay beyond certainty and easy explanation.
AKA Jihadi is co-produced by Kadist Foundation, Paris; Contour Biennale 8, Mechelen, Belgium; FRAC Lorraine, Metz, France; TBAKALERA, San Sebastian, Spain; Espace Khiasma, Les Lilas, France; SPECTRE Production; and La Biennale de Montréal for BNLMTL 2016, Le Grand Balcon.
Photo : Eric Baudelaire, stills from AKA Jihadi, 2016, video, variable duration