Guillaume Paris on Caszuidas screen, Amsterdam.

To start-off the new year, Videospread is pleased to present “We Are the Children – part of the H.U.M.A.N.W.O.R.L.D.* project”, by Guillaume Paris. The programme will be launched in January 2011 and screened for one year.

-Text by Anne Bonnin-

 

Having collected products worldwide since the 90’s (packaging and contents), Guillaume Paris has created a gallery of “portraits-products”, each featuring at least one human figure. Frozen in an eternal smile, these advertising faces embody positive, seemingly harmless, notions : happiness, vitality, beauty. These images, as perfect stereotypes, embody materialized ideas that are immediately identifiable.

 

The portraits-products, are part of the H.U.M.A.N.W.O.R.L.D project that Guillaume Paris has been developing since the 90’s, which aims to create an “international community”, a portrait of humanity. This name, which sounds like a fake acronym, is no longer a word. The full stops separating the letters highlight them and provide a disturbing authority; they amplify its meaning and extend its power to signify. H.U.M.A.N.W.O.R.L.D. embodies a totalitarian vision that can be chanted in unison: “we are the world, we are the children”. Like a branding operation, the acronym presents a grand and noble idea transformed into an ambiguous message: the love of humans echoes like a threat, a danger.

 

The video “We Are the Children” which is part of H.U.M.A.N.W.O.R.L.D, is a morphing sequence of portraits-products. Looped, the video is a chain of individuals in an infinite process of mutation. Products and figures mix as one and unique substance: flexible matter, modelling clay. A reification process sweeps away inert objects and living beings. Projected on a giant screen in Zuidplein, Guillaume Paris’ work has found the right venue to directly address the people. We are the children of a world that consumes us.

 

* Projet H.U.M.A.N.W.O.R.L.D.: Holistic and Utopian Multinational Alliance for New World Order and Research in Living and Dying.