"As my work was often compared to the French Impressionist movement, I decided to follow their traces in Normandy. Filming on the same spots where Monet or Corot used to paint, I will create a kind of Impressionism 2.0" - Jacques Perconte
Impressions: Voyage en Normandie is the latest in a series of digitally manipulated landscape films made by Jacques Perconte. The 'actual' view (at least as seen through the camera lens) gradually pixelates and transforms into something more strange. The films enter a kind of 'Impressionist' phase where light patterns and subtle motion in nature are slowed and attended to. But the moving images soon start to resemble Symbolism, Fauvism and eventually Abstract Expressionism - trees turned into jagged patches of colour like a Clyfford Still painting, the horizon flickering like a Barnett Newman zip line. 'We no longer see the image of the landscape, we see the landscape of the image' Perconte says. Violaine Boutet de Monvel has written of a moment in Après le feu, filmed from the back of a train, where a gap appears to open up under the tracks, transforming the real topography. Perconte is interested in this re-imagining of the familiar - as he followed in the footsteps of the Impressionists, he sensed that their landscape was still present, despite the constant movement of clouds and restless activity of the sea. This process tends towards the dissolution of familiar landscape elements into a vision of pure colour. In Perconte's notes on Impressions he quotes Rousseau, losing himself in a reverie and feeling objectes slip away so that he feels nothing but the whole: 'Alors tous les objets particuliers lui échappent; il ne voit et ne sent rien que dans le tout.'
The artist has posted numerous Vimeo clips, photographs, production notes and comments on his own site and his technart blog. I'll end here with a recent film I'll be thinking of on my next train journey: a view of nondescript fields under a grey sky which briefly disappears as the train enters a cutting, only to re-emerge partially smeared away, as if to reveal the software behind this fake landscape of tree forms and wind farms, then progressively changes until we are left with just a few remnants of distorted colour before the screen goes white.