More recently I have been working on a new project which combines my street films and performances with my great grandfathers collection of films and photos from as early as 1912, creating strange and anachronic encounters in modern urban settings. After 4 years of using home video to film my street performances (see works) I stumbled upon my great grandfather's collection of Pathé Baby films. Pathé Baby was the first home video camera created for public use in 1923. Little by little what at first seemed like strictly "my work" has become a generational and timeless street project, blending the first home videos and photos with modern home video.


Pathé Baby

During the first part of the 20th century, Pathé became the largest film equipment and production company in the world. In 1923 Pathé released a 9.5mm camera, the Pathe Baby. It was effectively the first cine camera for home use.





The Pathé Baby camera, 1923




Vintage Street Art

My great grandmother, Antoinette Varanbon (1892-1979) was the first ever recorded French street artist performing in over 20 different cities in France between 1927 and 1945. She was accompanied by her husband, Raphael Aubert (1887-1977) who filmed and photographed her with his Pathé baby domestic camera.






photo taken in 1931 of first ever recorded French street artist, pseudonym, Antoinette

Raphael Aubert

My great grandfather, Raphael Aubert, bought his Pathé Baby in 1927. I discovered his collection of films in my grandmother's basement in the South of France 84 years later. Raphael Aubert, alongside his collection of films also had taken hundreds of photos and though he did not consider himself a photographer nor a film maker he was without doubt one of the first to enjoy the general accessibility of film making and photography. The majority of his photos and films documented the life and works of Antoinette Varanbon.


Raphael Aubert and his first camera in 1919



Raphael Aubert's pathé baby camera, 1927




my sony handycam, HDV, 6.1 mega pixels, still image recording, super zoom and other exciting effects, 2012


Rose Signol

Rose Signol, Antoinette Varanbon's illegitimate Berber daughter, worked alongside her mother at an early age. Her sudden and tragic death at 25 years old changed her mother forever. Antoinette's art can be defined in two periods, before her daughter's death and after. She claimed that she was in constant communication with her daughter who spoke to her directly from the world of the dead.




This photo taken in 1928 shows a a few of the many shadow masks Rose Signol would wear to hide her identity while performing or postering with her mother, Antoinette Varanbon in the streets of France.

Reanimating the Dead

Reanimating the Dead is my first step towards reworking some of Raphael Aubert's films and photos and has actually overgrown the initial project. This first experimentation consisted in animating my great grandfather's fotos through stop motion and then projecting the images on city walls. More recently I began to animate other people's deceased family members, in particular people who lived during the same time as Raphael Aubert and Antoinette Varanbon. The following bits of film are simple tests and works in progress to develop ideas.



ROSE IGNOL

photo Rose Ignol, Antoinette's only daughter, used for the animation, 1928







P.MORRIS

P.MORRIS (1888-1943) was Raphael Aubert's cousin. He smoked 3 different packs of cigarette brands a day, Craven A's, Gauloises, and Three Castles. In March 1943 he was diagnosed with lung cancer, shortly after he was called to war on the German front. His life came to a fatal end while smoking his last cigarette in the middle of a violent battle that killed over 2000 french soldiers. It was his first cigarette of the day.


photo used for the animation



Surgeon General's vintage warning, smoking did'nt kill in 1923



In Death we Can

Extend your ancestors' shelf life and send us an old photo or film of your favorite great-granparent and we will "Can" him or her for the next three generations, no expiration date visible. We offer a longer shelf life than Twinkies...take advantage of our offer today!


George Wrinklesmith, (1887-1942) was "canned" for Haloween 2013 and has a shelf life of 200 years.