Double Noir

Double Noir, Sketch For One Erasable Plot,  4’04”, animated film, 2016

Text from the catalogue of exhibition 56th October Salon, The Pleasure of Love, 2016

Author of the text: Svetlana Montua

Using deconstruction by tampering with film stills taken from eighteen Humphrey Bogart noir movies and by transfering them into drawings, a new movie narrative is formed. The act of drawing is preceded by the selection of the movie sequences and then individual frames taken from them are drawn in white chalk on a blackboard. These drawings are then photographed and erased with a sponge. The same blackboard is then used for the next drawing. Each blackboard stands for one movie sequence. The only lasting drawing document of this complex undertaking is the drawing of the last frame of the 60 sequences that make up the narrative.

Photos of the whole series are then made into an animation that becomes the only medium that safeguards the complete ‘memory’ of this layered work. The drawings in sequences, however, are not copies or verbatim ‘quotes’ taken out of the movie. The author combines, multiplies, finesses or accumulates in the same layer segments of 18 different noir movies. Drawing a line and writing a letter are thus made out to be the same, and drawing becomes a form of cinematography in its own right by articulating meaning in non-static movie time-space through juxtaposition of images, sounds and movements.(…)

Thematically, the Double Noir narrative is based on the legendary noir protagonist, the actor Humphrey Bogart. As the animation starts, he appears in a darkened room. Silence is interrupted by footsteps and then a doorbell rings. Answering it, Bogart meets his doppelganger. Suspicion, panic and psychological bifurcation are fuel for a schizoid scene that turns the animation into a chase in which one of them will die. Who is the killer and who is the victim remains unexplained (…) the last scene of the Double Noir loops back to the beginning where we again witness Humphrey Bogart appearing in the darkened room, hearing footsteps in the distance when the doorbell rings….