‘Parc Mont-Royal’ evidentiates the relationship between the observer, the observed and the gaze, commenting on how the technology of cinema has modified not only our notions about the gaze, but also the gaze in itself. This video piece was born from a lack of conscious design. I participated in the creation process through the practice of improvisation -from the moment I was randomly filming 16mm footage at a Montreal park, until the completion of the piece-, rather than authoring the piece or expressing myself in a given matter. As Brecht says in his Chance Imagery, “Chance in the arts provides a means for escaping the biases engrained in our personality by our culture and personal past history, that is, it is a means of attaining greater generality”. I intended to be absent of intention as structuring principle, however, my concerns with the notion of gaze and the cinema apparatus permeated the video piece. What seemed to be a random and meaningless event at Mont-Royal Park got me thinking about how perception and cinema apparatus folds around the present moment through the gaze. ‘Parc Mont-Royal’ is not going to be ever finished. It needs the interpretation of the observer. As we intersect with this video piece in a specific historical moment, it provides a point of purchase on the human experience of the gaze.
George Brecht, Chance Imagery. Originally published in 1966 as a Great Bear Pamphlet by Something Else Press, 1966.