Vanishing Point

Marion Tampon-Lajarriette’s silent film Vanishing Point, 2013, captures an image of a ‘jardin à la française’ with a water feature - possibly a canal. A tracking shot leads the viewer into the perspective and materiality of the image until its final fade into darkness - with the camera sweeping over the earth’s surface in an elongated movement that increasingly becomes obfuscated. This motion of the camera plays with the limits of the virtual eye traveling ‘inside’ a 2D original image constructed out of geometry and regularity. Half way through the film, the sequence plays backward and therewith creates an infinite loop between the view of the ‘jardin à la française’ and nothingness - a black screen.

Vanishing Point is linked with Tampon-Lajarriette’s work Paramnesia, which explores baroque castle-sites that served as setting to the film “Last Year at Marienbad” (Alain Resnais, 1961) - and is a typical example of Tampon-Lajarriette’s work: to reference time and the creation of memory through proxy. Just like “Last Year at Marienbad”, Vanishing Point raises the question what makes us experience time as we do, and why we remember it the way we do. Tampon-Lajarriette deploys a single simple camera move within one setting in order to explore the idea that it is difficult to arrange linear time as we remember it, and not to let our memory of something pre-determine our experience of time itself. In particular, the theory of “Duration” by French philosopher Henri Bergson (b.1927) comes to mind. Bergson distinguished between the concept of time (as per a clock) and the experience of time (real time). He was of the opinion that real time is experienced as duration and apprehended by intuition, with time in constant flux, where moments of past and presence have equal reality. Vanishing Point seems to suggest the same theory, triggering intuitive reactions by obliterating the image and recreating it in a never-ending loop, where memory and reality stand equally side by side.

Marion Tampon-Lajarriette lives and works in Paris, France, and Geneva, Switzerland.


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