Splitscreen: A Love Story

One ocean, two countries...

At a time when French politicians trust the front page of tabloids with their kinky habits, it is good to remind that French lovers are not (only) about S&M, role plays and threesomes... Call me a sentimental, but there is also that weird thing called "romance".

...One love story.

Shot entirely on the Nokia N8 mobile phone, the following video won the Nokia Shorts competition 2011:

Splitscreen: A Love Story by JW Griffiths tells the story of an American and a French who live parallel lives on each side of the pond until they one day collide... Interestingly enough in London.

Beyond the performance of shooting a split screen video (a technique brought back to fashion with the TV series 24) with a phone, there is the refreshing story telling. It may well be the hot summer, but it feels good to see that love is the air.


The Saturday Shot #18: invaders

This Saturday shot comes a good week late... Just the time for a French national newspaper to reach me after my beloved mother did some press clipping for me.

Last weekend, French street artist Space Invader was the guest editor of Liberation, France's left wing, BoHo national. The anonymous artist who usually invades public spaces with his tiles directly inspired by the eponymous video game ancestor was this time around populating the pages of an ink-smirking paper. It is still a public space, but some may argue it is just a sign that after 12 years of underground work, Invader is now sufficiently mainstream to hit the front page...

Banksy did in the UK, so why not my fellow citizen? Personally I don't care. Art, and street art in particular, needs to be exposed and shared. I did for years with Invader's work, looking like a freak in the streets of Paris, NY or London, twisting my neck at every street corner to see if I could spot a new invasion. I had reached such a point that if I had lived in the US I could have considered suing the artist for the neck pains he caused... But I don't live in that country and in lieu of a court audience, I much prefer the acclamations of a street crowd. Their eyes are much harsher a sentence. Excel and you will be hailed, your art will be exposed, plagiarized, extruded and resold on the Internet... Fail to impress and you will simply ignored, falling into air sprayed oblivion.

Space Invader is de facto recognised, even by my mother and my mother-in-law who every now and then send me a snap of a street corner where they discovered a mosaic. It may have reached the inflexion point when Invader's work has become mainstream, yet that does not compromise his artistic approach. I take that as a sign of maturity.

"An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo (1802-1885)

To explore further:

  • Never stopping evolution, a fantastic street art performance turning walls into a cinema screen.
  • An article about underground photographer JR, and his award winning speech at TED on how art can change the world.
  • An article about Space Invader, the mosaic which invades your street and TV adverts: Bunn-invasion.
  • An article about Banksy, the British artist who now sprays gold out of his cans: Spray the world.
  • An article about Banksy, the British artist who now sprays gold out of his cans: Found it, or my photographic deep dive in the streets of London.