Jessica Servieres | Les Eaux de là

« In front of the deep water, you can choose your vision; watching the still bottom or the current, the bank or the infinite; you have the ambiguous right to see or not to see, you have the right to live like a boatman or to live with a new race of fairy (…). The water fairy, mirage’s guardian, holds all the birds of heavens in her hand. A puddle contains a universe. A dream moment contains a whole soul » Gaston Bachelard. Water and dreams. Essay on matter’s imagination, 1941

This video installation is a disconcerting sensitive experience, a journey through the theme of water and reflection and based on collective imaginary. The underwater shooting creates singular poetic moments in which the normal perception is deviated. 
This video installation was created in a public swimming pool, with common swimmers, free divers, and dancers. We asked them to tell us a story, a souvenir, an emotion they experienced through the contact of water. Then those stories were choreographed underwater with them.

Water, source of life, purifying, healing, protecting, regenerating; it is also destructive, threatening, born from a magic and primitive world, filled with creatures. Those scenes create a kaleidoscope of perceptions and states we can experience through the contact of water. Each of us is invited to plunge into one’s impressions, memories, and imagination.

Mirror effects, light and shadows create an aqua-poetic journey. Images and space are multiplied, offering the oblique reflection of the world, in search of converging points between reality and imagination.

Director of photography and camerawoman on numerous feature films and documentaries, Jessica Servieres was also supervisor of the Arts, Sciences and technology Platform at the House of Social Sciences – Paris from 2013 to 2015. She is now a qualified member of the council for digital life in the Seine Saint-Denis. She had directed the documentaries: Ici, Tout le temps, about a shanty town in Marseille, south of France; Zaouia about trans ceremony in Algeria; Les Eaux de là, an immersive video installation in a public swimming pool. 

She has a particular interest in the modern places that question the sense of belonging to a place and to an identity. With the collection MurMurs, she caught in several cities in the world, characters swallowed by the city, by the urbanism of « over-modernity ». The series titled Fleurs de Cité is about women, their perception and use of public space which she gives to show and ear in a urban route. 

She develops her projects through the encounter with territory. In between collective and individual consciousness, with a view to reaching a lay audience and making them co-authors, she questions what makes common sense. 

Her films and photographies are usually showed in unusual spaces : screening in the street, in a public swimming pool, diptych video, large-framed photographies in the street, interactive sound installation.

Trying to make viewers look at every day life in a different way, from somewhere between close and far, reality and fiction, she emphasizes the complexity of human kind through the singularity of individuals.