VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Blum, Raphael

Raphael Blum
French videomaker


Interview:10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

I studied visual arts at Paris University and Eastern civilisation and languages at INALCO, Paris.
I develop art project ( videos, photographies, installations… ) on the question of exoticism during regular stays in South America and South East Asia ( Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil, Philippines… ) and also in Paris. My work is therefore connected to my travel.

2. When, how and why started you filming ?

I started to film in Manila ( Philippines ) in 2008 when I met a young girl singing in the street of Tondo. Filming and recording was the only thing I could do to preserve her urban performance. One year later, I came back to Manila and realized here my first video work “Tondo Stars”.
Usually I work in the field of photography and realize also installations.

3. What kind of subjects have your films ?

The subjects of my films generally treat of human expression, close to the anthropological field, and specially music. The subject is the other. I think that video is a privileged medium which help to establish another relation with people. In the same time anybody could become actor of an art project. The work could be considered as an exchange with him. For me, art depends of the relation I can establish with others in different cultural contexts.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc ?

I don’t follow particular principles in my films. My films have usually a documentary aspect, and could be perceived as performances of passer-by, singer, musician, dancing girl…I try to give an objective vision of the other in his staging or in an interview. Generally my point of view is head-on and close to the body of the subject. I like to take and conserve his expressive part.
For me the reality is the best field of the artistic fiction. I just have to open my eyes, and then my camera.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
I use a video camera Sony HD and realize my films on a computer Mac Intosh.

6. The field of “art and moving images” (one may call it videoart or also differently) is representing an important counter position in contemporary art. Tell me more about your personal position and how you see the future of this field ( your personal future and the future of “art and moving images”)

Videoart is only a part of my work which is not limited by a single medium. I like to diversify medium of expression and will use video only for work needing to be recorded or filmed. Video can contribute to new experiences in the context of the performance. Today it is a great opportunity for an artist to work with this medium because it is easy and fast to use. The new media Internet also promote the diffusion of the work. So it is an interesting alternative to traditional medium, and to the conventional context of the diffusion of art, certainly more democratic.
I hope this experience will go on !

7. How do you finance your films?
My films are financed by myself.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team?
if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?
I usually work individually.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
I try to forget all influences when I work. I like the sound of the human voice, his expressive pontentiality. Music is everywhere, and I try to find it. Therefore I never forget it when I work.

10. What are your plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
My hope is to be, somewhere in this world, surprised by new meeting, new performers, whatever the context is, to give me the impulsion to realize more videos with these people.
So video will contribute to my own experience of the world, as a shared experience with the others.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on CologneOFF or VideoChannel? Where?
List some links & resources