Skip to main content

3 moving images, 3 rhythms, 3 sounds (2018)

Agnes Varda 23

Agnes Varda, 3 moving images, 3 feelings, 3 sounds (2018), installation shot from Liverpool Biennial 2018 at FACT. Photo: Thierry Bal

In her 90th year, Varda presented her first new commission in the UK.

Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial and FACT, 3 moving images. 3 rhythms, 3 sounds is a three-channel video installation combining extracts from her films Vagabond (1985), Documenteur (1981) and The Gleaners (2000).

Agnès Varda is one of the pioneers of French New Wave Cinema. This influential cinematic movement was one fired by freedom and inspiration, exploring everyday life through groundbreaking experimental techniques. With a career spanning photography, cinema and visual art, Varda’s works are characterised by a playful yet radical approach to image-making, and the filmmaker’s keen attention to - and appreciation of - the world around her.

Varda refers to her move into visual arts as her ‘third life’, following her early career in both photography and film. 3 moving images. 3 places. 3 rhythms. 3 feelings. 3 sounds epitomises her approach to a personal history of art-making. Her constant revisitation to previous works reflect how this context changes as life moves on: how older works take on different meanings in later years, and can not be separated from the memories so attached to their making

3 moving images… combines extracts from three of Varda’s past films: Vagabond (1985), Documenteur (1981) and The Gleaners and I (2000). Though created over a long time period, all three films portray individuals in society through poetic images – a violent attack on a young drifter, a group of men slowly cleaning a beach, and a camera lens dancing in our field of view. The various speeds of the moving images across the three channels stimulate questions around temporality, and reflect upon the rhythm of human life.

Responding to the question Beautiful world, where are you?, these excerpts offer an alternative, and somewhat surreal, snapshot of their subjects, reflecting Varda’s need to urgently respond to, and record, life as it unfolds around her. She talks of the dancing lens cap seen in The Gleaners and I as a ‘[stroke] of luck’, that they ‘immediately filmed’. The feature film was shot with a handheld digital camera over several months, this approach demonstrating the freedom that Varda allows herself and the viewer in exploring the world through non-formal methods of filmmaking.

Courtesy of the artist and Ciné Tamaris. Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial and FACT.