Images
La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (Rozelle Hospital, Sydney), 2004
Installation, two channel projection with red curtains, hospital blankets and black board
S16 mm transf. to DVD (Twelve and a Marionette), 40.55 min., color, sound, 16:9
S16 mm transf. to DVD (La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc), 97.02 min. color, b+w, 4:3, no sound

Exhibition view:
"Vasco Araújo/Javier Téllez – Larger than Life”, 2010, Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal, cur. Isabel Carlos


Téllez spent a month in workshops with a group of 12 women at an institution in Sydney. After viewing the Carl Dreyer film La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc (1928) the patients wrote new intertitles. Unsurprisingly, they reconceived it as the story of ‚JDA’, committed for believing she was Joan of Arc, suffering from grandiose visions and auditory hallucinations’. Presented as a two-channel piece, the revamped silent film is accompanied by a series of intimate interviews with the co-creators. One woman conducts a dialogue with a marionette therapist, perfectly ventriloquizing the language of the professional mental health worker; another reads journal entries detailing her electroshock treatments. A young woman offers a giddy monologue of her institutionalization, while explaining her knowledge of Morse code through a past life memory. Suddenly, she breaks into song, a moving hymn proclaiming her resistance to rules and bureaucracy.
(Steven Stern, FOCUS: Javier Téllez, in: Frieze, London, June - Aug. 2008, p. 210)

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