Film 25mn

Commissioned by Centre Pompidou and National Gallery Prague

A film by
Julie Bena
Photography director
Michal Blecha
Agáta Horncirová
Light design
Tereza Bartunková
Sound take
Pavel Jan
Focus puller
Kryštof Hluže
Set assistant
Dominika Lakomá
Makeup artist
"Koki" Katerina Mlejnková
Henriette Bena
Gala Novotny Bena
Michal Novotny
Julie Bena
Jirí Wehle
Jirí Wehle
Edith Piaf
Jakub Jelínek
Sound mix
Juras Karaka
Julie Bena
John Hill
Julie Bena
Katerina Sedláková

Special thanks to

Béna’s new film made specifically for this exhibition casts doubt on the stereotypical position of the artist as someone who puts their practice before their family, a situation made all the more complicated if the person in the role of artist is a woman. The film may be viewed as a complex and authentic coming to terms with social judgement, as well as self-reproaches regarding the work-family conflict.

Chosen with deliberation, the genre of horror and nightmare gives the artist room to play with, and symbolically exaggerate, the roles of mother, wife and daughter. Employing hyperbole, their relationships are inverted when she uses and abuses her family for her art.
The main protagonist is a maliciously capricious jester come prankster. Both seductive and dictatorial, the character uses and exploits the behavioural mechanisms and attitudes associated with dark humour.

Verging towards a tragic clown show, the film employs physical gestures instead of words to lay bare the artist’s antithetic emotions. Emphatically overacted, it oscillates between laughter and tragedy.

Somewhere between mimes and clowns, the figures wear striking make-up on their faces and the tension in their bodies gives the impression of tragic pantomime.

The film’s main roles are played by the artist and her real family. Involving her family and abusing them as performers in a film leads the artist towards catharsis, cleansing and reinforcement.

The film is set in a sculptural object resembling a circus caravan, evoking memories of the artist’s childhood in a travelling theatre.