consensus rouge noir (Bristol)
by Jimmy Robert

black and white image of man drawing on wall with charcoal


  • 140 second extract from consensus rouge noir (Bristol)


  • 1consensus rouge noir (Bristol), film still
  • 2consensus rouge noir (Bristol), film still
  • 3consensus rouge noir
    South London Gallery, 2010
    photographer: Simon Parris

consensus rouge noir (Bristol), film still


Produced and presented by Picture This, consensus rouge noir (Bristol) follows the final performance from the series of the same name, which took place at the Picture This Studio in March 2012.

Previously Robert had screened the silent 16mm film with a live voiceover, either read by him or another performer. For the final version performed this way Robert incorporated an open discussion with the audience about the themes of the project and the work's trajectory towards a "finished" film. This discussion was recorded by a stenographer and led to a reworking of the script. A recording was then made from the new script, in a sound studio, with the voices of Robert himself, and sound artist Ain Bailey.

The film features a montage of found footage mixed together with images shot by the artist on Super-8, and transferred to 16mm.  The voiceovers, which also contain appropriated material - borrowed phrases - muse over the various ways one finds meaning or fulfilment at a distance from, or when close to, an object. Over images of a man gesturing in front of the Jef Lambeaux marble relief in the Temple des passions humaines, Brussels, Robert quietly intones,  "This city is not pleasant but one has to give it a chance, just like its men". And later Bailey cuts in, "Marguerite Duras once said that one had to see film as a representation of knowledge... for her cinema had to disappear". The two voices and the assembled images pursue different trains of thought, occasionally intersecting in surprising ways. The opening shots, for example, which show mist rising in a Japanese garden, are intercut with images of an explosion in a forest, whilst the voiceover alludes to the situationists' "desire for reality".  The seemingly random conjunction of voice and image, connecting with the thoughts of a now departed audience providing a kind of meta-commentary, produce a film that seems as open and alive to possibility as does a live performance.



Year 2012
Duration 17 minutes 39 seconds
Medium 16mm film projection
Original format Super 8mm film
Screening format Standard 16mm film (18fps)
Aspect ratio 4:3
Audio Yes
Colour/B&W Colour and B&W
Screens 1


consensus rouge noir (Bristol) was commissioned and produced by Picture This

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