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Production Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains

Four-channel video installation

With Brigitte Mounier and Sarah Blanquart

The installation deals metaphorically with the relationship we have with our own image, which is nowadays being continuously archived and updated on social media.The self-image developed in this way has given rise to an avatar, an “augmented” double that we have grown used to modelling by means of various virtual devices, notably digital filters.


In a contemporary, empty interior, overlooking a large bay window, two women of different ages with identical feature face each other around a tub in which the tears of the sobbing younger woman are collected. They will serve as a beauty elixir for the older woman. In this familiar and disturbing nocturnal atmosphere, a making-up ritual takes place.


What are we witnessing from the outside, through the glass window ?


Evoking the myth of Narcissus, the tale of Snow White, Ingmar Bergman’s Persona and the digital filters used on social networks to enhance appearance, the videos alternate between desolation and appeasement. By creating a space of overlapping levels of reality, Invisible Filter disturbingly poses the eternal problem of self-image.

L’installation aborde de manière métaphorique le rapport que nous entretenons avec notre propre image, aujourd’hui archivée et mise à jour en continu sur les réseaux sociaux. L’image de soi ainsi développée a donné naissance à un avatar, un double « augmenté » que nous avons l’habitude de modeler par l’intermédiaire de différents artifices virtuels, notamment les filtres numériques.


Dans un intérieur contemporain, vide, donnant sur une grande baie vitrée, deux femmes d’âge différent mais d’allure identique se font face autour d’une cuve. Les larmes de la plus jeune en sanglots y sont recueillies. Elles serviront d’élixir de beauté à la plus âgée. C’est dans une atmosphère nocturne, à la fois familière et inquiétante qu’un rituel de grimage se déroule.

À quoi assistons-nous depuis l’extérieur, à travers la baie vitrée ?

Évoquant entre autres le mythe de Narcisse, le conte de Blanche Neige, le film Persona d’Ingmar Bergman et les filtres numériques utilisés sur les réseaux sociaux pour améliorer notre apparence, les vidéos alternent désolation et apaisement. En créant un espace fait de niveaux de réalités qui se chevauchent, Invisible Filter pose de manière angoissante l’éternel problème de l’image de soi.

The following installation sketch is from the original installation. 


NB : the device is adjustable. 


The size of the monitors, the arrangement in the space, and the sound system are malleable and may be discussed. 

Our identity is archived and updated continuously on social networks. We are constantly confronted with our own inconsistencies, with the images of our old posts, subject to reproach and judgment. Our identity is constantly recalibrated and recalculated and we try to correct it. The interactive «lenses» developed by social networks and used to improve our appearance participate in the dissolution of ourselves.

Since 2017, the social networks Snapchat and Instagram have opened their creative studio to the general public (Lens Studio, Spark AR studio) allowing to imagine augmented reality filters in a simplified way. In addition to a pre-existing gallery available to all users, everyone can now create their own «lenses» via the application.

A thinner nose, enlarging the eyes, increasing the mouth... We are now used to manipulating real beauty masks to perfect our digital image. This new obsession is at the origin of various phenomena, including what doctors call «Snapchat Dysmorphia», this obsessive, pathological feeling of being ugly or ill-formed that pushes more people to resort to cosmetic surgery to resemble their digital «self», to idolize an enhanced image of themselves.

In order to remain competitive, many people seem to have no choice but to conform to the beauty standards set by our societies, especially for women who experience ageing as a form of expiration. The story of Qiao Biluo, the 58-year-old video game player, is a perfect example of this trend. She was unmasked during a live-stream on a Chinese streaming platform, and tried for luring viewers by using a rejuvenating digital filter. Following the incident, Qiao Biluo saw the streaming platform remove her videos and was banned for violating the terms of use.


Cast : Brigitte MOUNIER, Sarah BLANQUART

Assistant director : Pablo ALBANDEA
Cinematographer : Guillaume BRAULT
First assistant camera : Paul LOSSY
Sound engineer : Damien CARLIER
Gaffer : Maurine THIEBAUT
Best boy : Léonard GREGSON

Set designers : Julie MACHIN, Brice NOUGUES

Set painter : Marina SALLE
Make-up artists : Chloé GUILBERT, Tiffany BAELDE

Costume designers : Marion SARELS, Mylène VANOTTI
Assistants : Chuhui LUO, Hugo PETIGNY
VFX : Aurélien BINAULD
Colorist : Baptiste EVRARD
Production: Stéphane SMOGOR
Le Fresnoy – Studio national des arts contemporains

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