The Balcony, 2016
Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal
Luzie Meyer’s video The Balcony is loosely based on Jean Genet’s Le Balcon. In a brothel, three men (Reece York, Dan Kwon, Salomo Andrén) live out their fantasies of domination with a prostitute (Luzie Meyer) who is also the camerawoman capturing the scene. While power struggles over the narrative unfold, sadistic and masochistic desires are negotiated, veiled, and revealed. Filmed with two cameras, the video exposes the apparent author of the image to a second testifying gaze outside her control. Sound effects, music, and sharp image montage break narrative continuity. Dubbing evokes a discrepancy between the characters’ bodies and minds, and blurs the line between author and character, reality and fiction. An untrustworthy narrator’s voice, belonging to both prostitute and author, gives an account of the scene, further complicating the relationship between fiction and reality. By interweaving the fictional world of Genet’s drama with subjective experiences and ideas about image production, The Balcony playfully examines psychosocial mechanisms within the world of art.