National Narrative - Grégoire Beil
- Production: Bad manners'
“Hi, what are you up to?” On the video chat, Periscope, the exchange of images can be enriched by text messages and/or a flow of hearts allowing people who are streaming their video live to see strangers’ comments on their appearance or their conversations. Entirely constructed using these exchanges, National Narrative probes the exhibitionist norm of the enhanced selfie. Spontaneous poetry (“Your eyes they wanna drive me bananas”), a burlesque scene between two loafers who are unable to make out which of them is receiving mocking comments as they confuse left and right on the screen… Far from sparking derision, this montage instead points up the users’ self-derision and the paradoxical coyness of a space where people claim to show everything, from breasts to vomit. How does the immediacy of a chat between strangers integrate into its playful and intentionally exaggerated quotidian, the incommensurable horror when a tragic event intervenes? Does a bodycount produce the same impact as sending a stream of hearts? Is reality definitively condemned to remain offscreen?