a project by Denys Arcand and Adad Hannah
Safari is a collaboration between film director Denys Arcand and artist Adad Hannah produced for the exhibition Big Bang, which celebrates the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ 150th Anniversary and the opening of a new pavilion.
The set for Safari is the Safari Seating Environment designed by the Florence based Archizoom Associati in 1968 and produced by Poltronova. Archizoom was founded by a group of architects and designers in 1966 and dissolved in 1974.
Arcand and Hannah developed a 7-minute scene that takes place in the back of a nightclub in the middle of the 1980’s. The scene revolves around the Safari Seating Environment, its sleek white sides and leopard print covered seats providing the stage for the set of actions performed on it. The actors featured in Safari are all employees of the museum with no formal acting training. After workshopping the scene for two days Arcand and Hannah shot the same 7-minute sequence from six different angles. Each actor had a set trajectory, performing certain actions at a set place in the timeline and remaining as still as possible the rest of the time. The result is a staccato and haunting recording of a single scene performed over and over for the camera.
The soundtrack was composed and performed by Justin Small and Ohad Benchetrit.
*The shooting and installation in the Museum also included the San Remo lamp (1967, also designed by Archizoom), Jacopo Foggini’s Dancing Sculpture lamp from (1998), Gaetano Pesce’s Rag No. 7 table lamp (1997), Gruppo Architetti Urbanisti Città Nuova’s Nesso lamp (1962), Achille Castiglioni’s Arco floor lamp (1962), Matteo Thun’s Chicago Tribunelamp (1984), and Cesare Maria Casati’s Pillola lamps (1968).
The artists wish to thank the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for their support and the employees for their performances.
Director of Photography: Van Royko
Production Manager: Annick Blanc
Lighting: Hugo Roy
Costumes: Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt
Habilleuse: Sharon Scott
Makeup: Micheline Trépanier
Hair: Réjean Coderre
Photo assistant: Maxime Lapointe
Actors (all are museum staff):
Sabine de Villenoisy
2011, HD Video, 7 min 7s
Edition of 15