In 1982, aged twelve, Emmanuelle Michaux produced her first film. Little did she know that the fiction was the beginning of an artistic quest that would span a lifetime.
In the film, a ghost, a woman, captures a little boy in the land of the living and takes him back to the other side with her. At the end of the film the deceased boy holds up a sign saying “The End”.
A mere product of the young artist’s subconcious, the childhood production has nevertheless influenced all of Emmanuelle Michaux’s subsequent work. Her films focus on vacuity, memory, heritage, death, incarnation, repressed images, the materiality of time, narration and the perception of reality in film.
Her approach can be compared to that of Chris Marker and Jonas Mekas. She explores Christian Boltanski’s idea of “individual mythology” and in the manner of Sophie Calle she portrays her own life in her work.
If Emmanuelle Michaux does not seem like a filmmaker, it’s because she merely projects dreams. Not her dreams, but her father’s, a film fanatic and amateur director whose life is overshadowed by the death of his mother whom he found dead as a child.
Michaux examines her family’s “founding story”, unravelling the thread from film to film.
However, her academic research and artistic approach remains an analysis of mythology in film as a social and historical phenomenon. She uses the moving image to make one’s own reality, employing fiction to tell the story of everyday life. What is true? What is shown? What is hidden?
In the same way as Roland Barthes sought to understand photography, starting from a very personal standpoint and transcending the object, turning it into a universal question, Emmanuelle Michaux looks at film and its relation to death.
She uses technical and creative mechanisms to strip objects bare. She questions her own background and the path she has followed as a screenwriter for television fictions alongside her other creative work. It’s her way of pinpointing the paradoxes of the language of image that are shaping today’s society.
This fragile attempt at preserving life and memory gives rise to a series of works with related meaning: films, videos, texts, collages that use everyday life to decode the violence of the passage of time and our relation to the void.