A discussion between Eric Baudelaire and French philosopher Pierre Zaoui, punctuated by excerpts from Ici et ailleurs (Here and Elsewhere, 1976, 53min, with English subtitles) by Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville. Zaoui's text Anabasis of Terror: Trying (Not) to Understand accompanies Baudelaire's exhibition.
Pierre Zaoui is a French philosopher. He teaches at the Université Paris VII - Diderot, is a program
director at the Collège International de Philosophie, a founding member of the journal Vacarme, and
the author of several books including La Traversée des Catastrophes. He has written extensively about
Spinoza, Gilles Deleuze, political thought and contemporary art.
Jean-Luc Godard - Here and Elsewhere (1976)
In 1970, Godard, along with Jean-Pierre Gorin and the Dziga Vertov Group, was commissioned by Al Fatah, the militant Palestinian group, to shoot a documentary. When the film was approximately two-thirds complete, production was halted since many of the Palestinians they had been filming had been killed. Years after the disintegration of the Dziga Vertov Group, Godard and his new collaborator Anne-Marie Mieville, whom he would work with through the 1990s, re-edited this footage into a cinematic essay exploring the failure of the original to address the reality of the images it presents. Dixon writes “Godard and Mieville now manipulate these images to address issues of genocide, social injustice, theatrical presentation, and the endless contradictions and internal complications involved in creating any sound/image construct, fictive or documentary. Ici et Ailleurs acknowledges that although the 1970 footage in the film is “real,” the editorial decisions involved in constructing the final film are equally “real,” and they shape, distort, reconstruct, and otherwise transform the flickering images of dead Palestinians into a work which is a meditation on the creation of history, and the images that record (and transmute) that history into the fabric of our lives.” At this time, Godard realized that the shortcomings of his more dogmatic Dziga Vertov period films were caused because “the sound was too loud”, or rather the truth of images they recorded in the Middle East were lost since the soundtrack “insists on one voice dominating another.”1