Biélutine & Élégies
Clément Cogitore

Cinémathèque Robert-Lynen, Paris
Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

Clément Cogitore, Élégies, 2014. HD video, 6'. Courtesy of the artist & Galerie Eva Hober

Biélutine immerse ourselves in the universe of Ely and Nina Biélutine, in the heart of their Moscow apartment immersed in an obscure light of another time, responding to the many works of art that populate the place. Clément Cogitore met this couple who would own one of the largest collections of Renaissance art, including sculptures by Michelangelo, paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and Titian. How could such a collection of works have been gathered together by these two enigmatic characters? We shall know no more, barely Ely Biélutine evokes a Venetian and art-lover father. The camera is placed on the objects—the gilded frames of the paintings, the marble busts or the crystal glasses of this incredible collection—spanning the walls of this old apartment where Nina and Ely live surrounded by their cats, their artworks and unusual stuffed animals whose function remains mysterious. Around a crepuscular meal watered with vodka, Ely evokes miliary specialists or astronaut Neil Amstrong without his speech really making sense and failing to reveal the mystery of this couple whose existence seems detached from all material reality. Only his aphorisms seem to make resonate the mystery of the world and the emptiness of the human condition: "all life is only a vast comedy."
Élégies ma short film presented in the hall of the Cinémathèque, shows a concert of music a priori far removed from the out-dated atmosphere of the Biélutine apartment but the tension that emanates from this massed crowd, waiting for the beginning of the concert, and the lyricism of the reading of the Élegies de Duino by Rainier Maria Rilke enters in resonance with the first film.
Like in his films Ni le Ciel Ni la Terre (2015) or Un Archipel that earned him the 2016 Ricard Award, Cogitore's magnetic work oscillates between elliptic narratives and an off-fantastic field, never solved and digging a part of mystery, the slow progression of the unknown, a constant interrogation.

Born in 1983, Clément Cogitore lives and works between Paris and Strasbourg. After studying at the École supérieure des arts décoratifs de Strasbourg and at the Fresnoy-Studio national des arts contemporains, he develops a practice halfway between cinema and contemporary art. Combining films, videos, installations, and photographs, his work questions how men cohabit with their images. His films have been selected at numerous international festivals (Cannes, Locarno, Lisbon, Montreal) and have been rewarded on several occasions. His work has also been shown and exhibited in numerous museums and art centers (Palais de Tokyo, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York). In 2015 his first feature film Ni le ciel ni la terre was awarded the Gan Foundation Prize at the Cannes Film Festival–Critics' Week and nominated for the César for Best First Film. In 2016 he received the 18th Prize of the Fondation d'Entreprise Ricard for contemporary art.