Black & White Movies (2013) is a series of 16 photogrammes. These “photographs without a camera” are based on black & white movies from 1924-1995, recorded on VHS home video cassettes, which the artist has collected over the years and then destroyed with specific plot-oriented methods. The residues of the destroyed tapes are making up the photogrammes; they are arranged in a photographic
darkroom on photosensitive material and finally shown as (framed) digital pigment prints. The series makes up an imaginary memory game, unrelated to the visitor’s familiarity with the movies.
One of the cassettes in the series is the French-Italian horror movie Les yeux sans visage (Eyes without a Face) directed by Georges Franju in 1960. “According to what I could remember from the film, I destroyed my own tape containing that film with chloroform,
sulphuric acid, knives and finally, fire. Showing this photogram print in my solo show in St. Louis led into a surprising, bizarre and very fortunate chain of events and correspondence with the next-door neighbor of the film’s young star actress, Edith Scob. As a result, Mrs. Scob – now living in Paris – was kind enough to donate to me the last remains of her once large VHS collection,” tells Taanila. The two-screen video meditation Tapes without Eyes is based on these “Scob-tapes”.
- Action Films, balzer projects, Basel, Switzerland, 2016