Using a mosaic of film fragments (clips, music, subtitles, dialogue) from French crime thrillers from the 1950s and 60s Assassin creates a new text in which the binding effects of narrative have been dissolved. It is grounded in research into cinematic grammatology which aims to give rise to a rigorous rethinking of the possibilities of cinema and its role in memory and identity.
Maziere forms part of the tradition of artists and filmmakers who work with archive materials, dislocating them from their original purpose and intention, revealing new readings, meanings and questions. Assassin creates a multilayered, intertextual fusion of the cultural and the personal, shifting the emphasis back to the power of individual vision. To the anthropological and social dimension of reworking archive film, Mazière has added the psychological role of the self. The idea for the work was developed from Maziere’s essay The Big Search on the use of found footage in the journal Art In-Sight (Issue 28, summer 2005, ISSN 1460-4051).
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