San Francisco Cinematheque presents “We Cannot Exhibit It: The Videos of Pierre Yves Clouin"


San Francisco Cinematheque presents “We Cannot Exhibit It: The Videos of Pierre Yves Clouin"


San Francisco Cinematheque presents “We Cannot Exhibit It: The Videos of Pierre Yves Clouin,"curated by Maïa Cybelle Carpenter, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California, USA
Presented in Association with Frameline
From bursts of perspective trickery to homoerotic celebrations of the male body and philosophical musings on public versus private, the award-winning videos of Pierre-Yves Clouin never cease to delight.
His witty examinations of the quotidian elements of life bring transcendental revelations combined with laughter. "Alone in front of the camera, and without a word, I spy on myself in the monitor during the action. I am double: seer and seen.
As if freedom from surveillance meant inventing, within surveillance itself, an illusion that subverts the watching eye." (P-YC)) We'll screen My Levitating Butt and I've Got Mouths All Over, as well as the more recent Thé au Riz (RiceTea/ Theory), Flying Sculpture, Strong Enough, and US premieres of new work.
(Maïa Cybelle Carpenter)

The first time I saw Pierre Yves Clouin's video work was in 1997 when I was the programming coordinator for MIXNYC: The New York Experimental Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
I was immediately seduced by his work because of how he used the specificity of the video medium: it's intimacy and framing that lends itself so well to voyeurism. He also displayed a playful sensitivity in his depiction of masculinity.
But most of all, I was impressed by the strong brevity of his statements.
When someone can convey a multitude of ideas that some people use the feature length format for, in a 2-minute long video - that's pretty amazing.
Sitting in the dark and watching Cul en l'air and The Final Touch I had a moment with myself.
The type of moment where my thoughts were provoked by the representation of his body, the identification I had as a spectator with this intimate moment and then the surprise by how I was pleasantly manipulated to believe I was seeing one thing, when I was in fact, looking askew.
This looking askew is something that traverses all of his work. You'll notice that his work can easily be divided: very short pieces about the body, the gaze and objectification and on the other hand, longer pieces about public vs. private.
But over and over again Pierre Yves shows us that as viewers we have become lazy with the way we understand perspective in our spectatorship.
Whether he is playing with the framing and eroticisation of the male body or showing us a succession of seemingly random images of the public with intimate voiceovers, Pierre Yves manipulates our viewing expectations.
Maïa Cybelle Carpenter , San Francisco Cinematheque

Screening : Thursday, April 7, 7:30 pm,
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.
Program length: approx. 70 minutes.

Works screening:

  • Strong Enough (2001) (Best Musical and Audience Choice Awards, Thaw, 2002)
  • "C'est le veau qui bêle” (1995) (Prix DRAC Auvergne, French Ministry of Culture, Vidéoformes, 1997)
  • Cul en l'air(1997)
  • Broom Ballet(2000) (Best New Media Work, Festival du Cinéma Francophone en Acadie 2000) — Cleaning was never so much fun! (M.C.C.) •The Castle (Le Château) (2002)
  • Rice Tea/Theory (Thé au riz) (2002) — Despite being mundane, the everyday has become quite the intellectual. (M.C.C.)
  • Flying Sculpture (2000) — Your evening programming has been paused for some light aeronautic action sculpture. (M.C.C.)
  • Mon lapin bleu (1999)
  • Front Room(1996) (Third Prize Experimental, New Arts Program Biennial Video Festival, Pennsylvania, 1998; Third Prize, Hamburg International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, 1998)
  • •But Why are You So Wet? (Mais pourquoi t'es tout mouillé ?) (2003)
  • J'ai des bouches partout(1999) — Georges Bataille would agree - Pierre Yves Clouin has created a sublime orifice. (M.C.C.)
  • Kangaroo(1998)
  • The Leap into the Void (Le Saut dans le vide) (2004) PREMIERE — Is it suicidal or is it a suspension of belief? This little one takes on Yves Klein's infamous 'moment-state' from 1960. (M.C.C.)
  • We Cannot Exhibit It (2002) (Certificate of Merit, 38th Chicago International Film Festival, 2002)
  • The Final Touch(2000) — Remember what you learned in drawing class about perspective? (M.C.C.)
  • Built to Survive (2001)
  • Phone Home (2003) — My dear, I'm waiting for you. What on earth is taking you so long to get out? (M.C.C.)
  • There (2001)

Co-presented by Frameline.
Frameline Presents: Videos by Pierre Yves Clouin Experimental cinema enthusiasts, Francophiles, and anyone whose derrière occasionally defies gravity will delight in the defiantly idiosyncratic videos of Pierre Yves Clouin.
This cheeky French artist, who charmed and alarmed audiences with Cul en l'air (My Levitating Butt) at the 1998 San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, will make a rare local appearance on Thursday, April 7 at 7:30 pm at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, for a program organized by San Francisco Cinematheque and proudly co-presented by Frameline.
The program, intriguingly titled We Cannot Exhibit It: The Videos of Pierre Yves Clouin, will feature a bevy of short works ranging from homoerotic celebrations of the male body to philosophical musings on the prickly differences between private and public behavior.
Program curator Maïa Cybelle Carpenter notes that Clouin's "witty examinations of the quotidian elements of life often bring trancendental revelations combined with laughter.
" Heady stuff, yet also enormously entertaining; short works such as J'ai des bouches partout (I've Got Mouths All Over), Rice Tea/Theory (Thé au riz), Flying Sculpture and Strong Enough are playfully sexy as they toy with cinematic convention and challenge audience expectations.
And then there's that famous levitating butt, which once again will do its magic. The screening will round out with U.S. premieres of Clouin's latest pieces.
Frameline and San Francisco Cinematheque have collaborated many times over the years. Now in its fifth decade as the nation's leading proponent and presenter of avant-garde film and video,
Cinematheque shares Frameline's commitment to celebrating personal expression and artistic freedom through the exhibition of media-arts work that pushes beyond mainstream conventions.
We Cannot Exhibit It: The Videos of Pierre Yves Clouin exemplifies the adventurous spirit of both organizations and is sure to be a memorable event. — January 2005

Exploring the Offbeat World of Experimental Film by Sura Wood
Even the most ardent movie buffs often stop short of embracing experimental film. Although this neglected stepchild of independent cinema conjures images of gritty film stock, atonal music and non-linear or non-existent plot, it is a category of filmmaking in which many innovations start and creativity blooms, unfettered by commercial pressures or the glare of publicity. Its practitioners, obscure to all but a few devotees, are often defiantly individualistic and oblivious to audience appeal, which can pose a problem for exhibitors.
"I'm not sure if I could claim to know the public's attitude toward experimental film or whether 'resistance' would be an appropriate word to use," says Steve Polta, administrative director of San Francisco Cinematheque, a leading proponent and presenter of experimental, personally expressive film, video and cutting-edge media. "I would venture that much of the work we screen, be it historical or contemporary, documentary, narrative or experimental, differs from most mainstream media in that it is not necessarily easy… Much of the work we present is complex and encourages — and rewards — active engagement on the viewer's part." …
The controversial, award-winning French video artist Pierre-Yves Clouin has been called, among other things, "the master of innuendo and metamorphosis." Part renegade philosopher, part exhibitionist, Clouin uses his body as battleground and movie set. He is the subject of "We Cannot Exhibit It: The Videos of Pierre-Yves Clouin,"… [presented by the San Francisco Cinematheque in April 2005, see below].
"As both director and star of his growing body of work, Clouin focuses his lens on [unexpected] parts of the male body … like armpits and shoulders, the small of the back and the top of the head," wrote Rajendra Roy in 2001 on the website C-x-P. (Roy is the former manager of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's Film and Media Arts Program.) "Clouin works like a video Venus Flytrap, seducing audiences with intimate close-ups of curves and orifices on his own well-sculpted body. Just when you think you recognize what's on-screen, the body unfolds and you realize you just got turned on by shoulder cleavage or by a particularly sexy earlobe… Clouin has some sexy advice for the body-obsessed among us: 'Accept pleasure whatever it may be and whenever it strikes.'" …
- Sura Wood, San Francisco Arts Monthly, April 2005




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“San Francisco Cinematheque presents “We Cannot Exhibit It: The Videos of Pierre Yves Clouin",” Pierre Yves Clouin, accessed July 13, 2024,

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