Interview: 10 questions
1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background
I practiced photography (shooting/W&B laboratory) and studied social sciences and audiovisual communication at university in Paris. I began to work for an cultural association as a documentary filmmaker about African arts and cultures and also worked as an audiovisual specialist for a French Cultural Center in Africa. Since 2006, I work as video artist for contemporary dance and theater and live performances. Pursuing my researches on body, language and video, I create video-dance, experimental films and video installations for ArtVidéo Lab.
2. When, how and why started you filming?
After several years of practicing photography, I felt something was missing in my exploration of movement and I started filming to explore opportunities to work on duration and sound, that is, to play with transformations and rhythms.
3. What kinds of topics have your films?
The recurring topics are about body, dance, poetry, nature, arts and culture, freedom, violence, urbanization, power… My films deal with evolution from life (or construction) to death (or destruction) and borders between dreams (or ideologies) and reality (or standards).
4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
My images are always fired by the reality, generally embodied, without any abstraction. I often develop my films (artvideo and experimental works or video installation) according to the same process of creation. I shoot in a intuitive way, at the instigation of scattered ideas, feelings or obsessing mental images. After several months or years, I come back to this raw material to work it according to a reading removed from the context or the initial intention. I decode and reinterpret the images by grinding their various possibilities to build a conceptual scenario ordering precisely, in complex ways, various levels of meaning and metaphoric or symbolic references. Others films (videodance or documentary) can be shot with a planned preparation, as for Chronicle of the 6th reach presented at CologneOFFX which proposes a poetic testimony on a real precise circumstance.
5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.
I used small cameras HDV or reflex HD, editing and digital effects software, a video mixer for live, video projectors and computers Mac.
6. These days digital technology is dominating also video as a medium. In which way the digital aspect is entering the creation of your videos, technologically and/or conceptually?
The digital technology allowed not only considering the filmmaking as successions of images on a linear story for a passive spectator but as moving images spaces of experimentation and conceptualization where the spectator can be actively convened. That allows me to work with new multiple ways the dimension of space-time (split-screens or several channels installation) and the susceptibility of the public.
7. How do you finance your films?
I finance my films on my own.
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 often work individually as a video artist/film maker. For some films, I can work with a co-director or a musician or an additional cameraman and for my works for dance, theatre and live performances, I work with the team of the dance or theatre company (actors, dancers, technicians) and in close collaboration with the directors. Some films needs to work alone and others to be in team: I like both and, anyway, each film experience is different.
9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?
I feed me of many works, not only in the sector of cinema, visual and digital arts. My references to contemporary dance and theater, performance and literature or poetry are frequent. Philosophic writings, sociological theories or political essays also influence me. My video making is a mix of all this influences.
10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?
My future plans are to continue to make videos, to meet artists from all over the world for artistic collaborations and try to get better audience and financial support. My dreams would be to be able to live of my art, to engage the public and to influence others artists.
Can works of yours viewed online besides on the Cologne OFF platform? Where?
Trailers of my works and video recording of video installation on : www.alienorvallet.book.fr
Some works (entire video) online:
http://www.theatre-video.net/video/Rencontre-avec-Dieudonne-Niangouna-pour-Sheda-67e-Festival-d-Avignon (work from minutes 04:15 to 18:15 of this 80 minutes video interview of Dieudonné Niangouna)