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Jean Louis Comolli

Dear Clio,


I saw your film which I find (obviously) very remarkable and astonishing. The soundtrack (which is there to hang on to) is very beautiful. The few shots where you show buildings, passageways, etc. are also very beautiful.

I won't say anything more about the long beaches of black, which are self-sufficient and whose relevance, if we see each other one day, I would discuss. What to do with what you don't want or can't show? Movies, please! It's always a bit of frustrating the viewer. To relearn his infirmity in the heart of the illusory power of the 

" see ". (...) »

Jimmy Deniziot
and Roxanne Riou

Clio Simon's film is great.

The collaboration with the composer Javier Elipe Gimeno makes it a sound object combining silence, staggering and enlightening words, and a minimalist opera crossed by rare images that play on symmetry.

Great also, for what it is a deadly autopsy of an institution that obscures the truth of language to focus on its waste: veracity.

Conversely, the intimate conviction and solidarity of people from the immigration and asylum service, even if they are hampered, try to flourish despite orders...

Great above all for the brilliance with which Clio Simon confronts the constraint of the impossibility of filming, and transforms it into the power of cinema (...). 
There is no light, therefore no cinema, if there is no darkness to collect it.

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Note of intent of the Film, Clio Simon


"The impossibility of filming the counter clerks of the French immigration services in, or outside, their places of work questioned me in relation to the issues of representation:faced with the absence of image, "the missing image", what cinematographic device should be put in place in order to transcribe the sound and visual spaces of the counters in which the stories abound?

How to account for the way in which regulatory decisions are made against asylum seekers? At the cost of what interpretations, what political fictions and what partitions of reality?

This film is based on the black screen where stories abound. It is about the "unsaid", this dramatic place where silences, stutters, sighs but also asides, low masses, false affirmations nestle. In other words, a plural history of representation, of semantic struggle where, sometimes, the words seem to ring false.

The film is structured in the form of stylistic exercises (spoken-sung narrative, raw investigative transcription, first-person testimonies, exquisite corpses, monologue, dialogue). Plural voice, that of a body with blurred contours, which stutters and cannot be found.

Take care of our hesitations, our uncertainties, our hesitations. Take time.

The sound will act as a revealing agent of the missing image. The burlesque of this piece will be fine enough to describe a certain absurdity, that of the myth of Sisyphus, where the counter clerks live in a kind of No man's land, a continent whose contours have been blurred by discretionary laws.

The original musical composition for three instruments (accordion, double bass and trombone) and electronics and voice is by Javier Elipe Gimeno. It falls within the register of sound burlesque (in the burla sense “farce, joke”). The vocabulary called upon refers to the film by Jaques Tati. The sound life of objects and noises is in the foreground, on the same level as the voices. The sound source becomes enigmatic. A burlesque fine enough to describe the absurd and desacralize the world of the Institution (the Palais des Nations in Geneva where the Geneva Convention relating to the status of refugees and stateless persons was invented, then drafted and signed in 1951. Text today now applied in the French immigration services). The music does not illustrate, it acts as an extension. Stories are revealing agents of the missing image."




I sincerely wanted to thank you for your film. I had the feeling that yesterday everything was finally back to normal. As if the events in my life had come together in a disorderly fashion and suddenly, at the end of the screening, everything made sense.


Now this story no longer belongs to me. It no longer defines me.

He's a character from your movie and he's not me anymore. 

Good for you,



Naked, without image, melted into a black screen, the word is worked whole and raw to reveal the flesh of the characters. Theatrical, anonymous, hesitant, foreign, philosophical, each voice translates a political and poetic musicality.

The paintings, with outdated and static decorations traversed by characters like moving pawns in the universe of Jacques Tati, illustrate the frozen character of the Administration: fixed and blind to the stories of its workers and to the passage of time.

Beyond the question of the right of asylum, this film questions the production of our truths built on a collective imagination. It questions our ability to question them, faced with a sound and mechanical machine, immobile.


Born in 1984, France.

Artist graduated from Fresnoy - National Studio of Contemporary Arts in 2015, Clio Simon writes her projects in a resolutely extra-disciplinary approach. Its teams are made up of researchers, scientists, anthropologists and composers.

His approach is firmly rooted in the field of contemporary creation with a particular interest in the Image (as a poetic trace, a document that oscillates between real and imaginary), the Story (written, spoken, sung, allegorical, that of an Outside who rustles, who tells us, topical fable), and Music (not illustrative but as the fourth character, revealing agent of the image).

The achievements of Clio Simon lead us into a resolutely hybrid ensemble. She works with the material that is reality in search of political energy, without neglecting the necessary breakaways towards fictions and imaginations.

Mainly anchored in the moving image, it invests in a complementary and transversal way the fields of Installation and Performance, thus engaging a plastic act.

In his creations Clio Simon develops the idea that men not only live in society but constantly create society in order to live. Imaginary and real find themselves intrinsically linked to question the foundations of our societies.

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