lartiste

GENEVIEVE HERVE / GINEVRA H
PIONEER OF ELECTRONIC IMAGES

Photographer and director, Genevieve HERVE is a pioneer of video and electronic images. Born at a frontier (Ambilly): she grew up between France and Switzerland: Geneva, Ferney Voltaire, le Genevois and the French Riviera. Early on, she is interested in all kind of arts. Her first stay in Italy at the age of seventeen and her love for the Italian renaissance paintings of the 14th century will considerably influence her artistic life. Since her teens she paints and practices photography. She first came to Paris in 1972 in order to continue her studies in Literature and Cinema at the Sorbonne (her professors Serge Daney and Pascal Bonitzer were writing in the “Cahiers du Cinema”); she also followed the seminars of the famous psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. To make her living, she worked as model in Paris and in Italy. At the same time she made friends with Serge Lutens and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. Meanwhile, she travels in the United States (Washington and New York) and in Italy where she meets the most important film directors and intellectuals of the time: Fellini (on the set of Casanova), Bertolucci and screenwriter Marie Lu-Parolini (on the set of LA LUNA), Luigi Commencini, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Corrado Costa, Umberto Silva, Fabbio Carpi ,Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, but also the Warhol band  (Joe D'Alessandro, Viva , Luis Waldon ) and someone that will become a true friend, Glauber Rocha , the brasilian film maker, at the time of his political exile in Rome.

She is also the assistant director of Marc'O plays, during the shooting of two of his musicals: Verdi's Shadow (Theatre d'Orsay / 1975) and “The Triangle Strike Again” (Theater Chaillot/1976).

In 1976 she directed her first film: THE NAMES OF THE FATHER (30 '/ 16 mm) with the help of Jean-Louis Barrault, who made the Orsay’s theater scene available to her. In 1977 she wrote her first (and only) theater play: LA BARRE, which was directed by Marc'O. This theater piece, performed by Marie France, Orla Frau and Raphaelle Devins, questions the concept of femininity and all the avant-garde and punk scene of Paris (as well as Jacques Lacan) came to see it and it was followed by a mega-party at the underground Rose Bonbon, where it was played ….

The same year she began filming (for a long period) her first video: THE CHALLENGE OF THE ACTOR, until 1979. This document consists of interviews with Jean-Louis Barrault, Alfredo Arias, Michael Lonsdale, Bulle Ogier, Marc'O, Daniel Mesguish, Antoine Vitez, Fabrice Lucchini, Michèle Moretti, Catherine Ringer ( singer of the famous Rock Band Les Rita Mitsouko), Delphine Seyrig et Daniel Berlioux.

1979 is the date of her first Electronic Images and portraits.

While it was on directing the “Challenge of the actor” , that was the major document of a PhD in Literature, that she came in contact with the INA (Institut National de l'Audiovisuel) in 1976 ,where, within the GRI (Research Group Image) she learned video editing and became familiar with the two home computers: the Universal Trickster and the Spectron.

At first, it’s a rock opera filmed in video: “RED FLASHES” (which she co-wrote with Marc'O based on a music by Stéphane VILAR), played by Catherine RINGER that will treat pictorially and in real time through these two computers. (1979)

Catherine Ringer having already played in “THE CHALLENGE OF THE ACTOR” and after a representation of the “Red Flashes” in the theater of Montreuil, will be introduced to Fred Chichin who had been strongly fascinated by the show and will call her right after. From that day they will never separate…and they founded together the rock-group  “Rita Mitsouko”.

More than a year of intensive research on image processing of this Rock Opera resulted in a remarkable appearance in the rock show of Antoine de Caunes, CHORUS, award-winning (Antenna Price 1980) as well as some special effects control. By 1980, with the help of a technician, she will install, within the INA, a real studio treatment for her photos via the two computers.

In particular, the installation of a video signal output via a Kinescope on which she places her Nikon, allows her to photograph the electronically painted image. The trickster Universal (which the inventor is Francis Coupigny) can paint the image by using the RGB signal and nine levels of grey in order to manually inject the colors on selected areas of the image. The SPECTRON, on the other hand, allows creating an infinite number of frames that you can embed on still or moving images. The orchestration of all these instruments gave her the opportunity to do all kind of experiments and to gradually establish her style.

Since 1980, INA has produced many of her video works. Works, at first, of interactive research between the text, interpretation and electronic processing of the picture: The Ship of Fools (presented at Cannes in 1981 in the Perspectives of French Cinema) and OUR JAPANESE CUISINE (co -realization with Marc'O).

At the end of 1981 she stopped to realize with Marc’O and continued alone.

In a second phase her videos: AEIOUXYZ (Awarded at the 1982 Tokyo Film Festival and broadcasted by Houba Houba), and CARMEN CATTIVA or SPECCHIO that will be broadcasted on Antenne 2, at the Pompidou Center (video-dance) and at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris (ELECTRA), Museum of Décoratifs Arts of Paris, and in many other European festivals.

Simultaneously, Geneviève HERVE continues her photographic work of electronic images.

While she exhibits her first photo at the Centre Pompidou “SELF PORTRAIT “(1981), her exhibition " ELECTRONIC IMAGE " in the gallery ERIC FABRE (1982) finally revealed to the public the explosion of what some called the “new images”. It is an event attended by a large audience, including her muse Pascale Ogier (presented in a hundred of printed images and in slide show included in the exhibition) exceptionally accompanied by Eric Rhomer who will say to Genevieve HERVE that she works as a painter and that her images look like paintings!

From 1982 to 1984 she directed a number of electronic presentations for the show of Antoine de Caunes, Houba Houba in the hit TV show “ LES ENFANTS DU ROCK “ and the generic children's program RECREA 2.

She also directed “KRAPP’S LAST TAPE” by Samuel Beckett at the Teatro DUE Parma (1984). During those years, she continued her photographic work with her muse, but she also made landscapes and portraits of friends in Italy where she lived for part of the year.

She also traveled to New York where she regularly visits the Studio 54 and the Danceteria floor, she sees Madonna debuting and binds with Futura 2000 and Africa Bambataa and she directs a clip on “THE WILDSTYLE” (diffused on MTV). She made a few private portraits and returns to Paris in order to perform with her friend and poet Corrado Costa at the American Center and at the Centre Pompidou.

The Italians were then interested in her work and Alfredo Bini (producer of the films of Pasolini) invites her to show her photos and videos in the Catania Festival and in the International Electronic Meetings of Camerino during which he invites, among others, the research service for electronic images of the Italian Army (1983).

The Italian Army was very interested in her images, in quite an exceptional manner, and she was invited to Milan during a day in order to create some images on their owns specifics computers, in Febuary 1984 : this will be the first series of images "LE COLLIER" with her muse Pascale Ogier.

In June 1984 the Italian Television asks her to create a video-poetry, which stories and present  the Parisian scene to the Italian public and the technical and creative possibilities of the first European Paintbox (powerful computer for television professionals, designed by painters and British engineers, equipped with extraordinary graphics possibilities, an "electronic pen brush" and a sublime palette of 16 million colors, multiple materials of "virtual painting" which perfectly recreate the oil, the gouache, the watercolor, the pastel, the airbrush, and hundreds of graphic possibilities).

The stylus becomes the brush of this virtual painting; the result depends only on the will, on the imagination and on the dexterity of those who handle it. A creation supported by the computer but not "submitted" to it, the artist should humbly, as in painting, acquire the control of the tool.

Genevieve HERVE, thus, produced for RAI UNO (the main Italian broadcasting TV channel), "LEDA" a poetic electronic video (the special effects are made for the first time on PAINT-BOX) based on a poem by Corrado Costa. (August 1984)    

She also painted her first Electronic portraits with the PAINT-BOX.

In September 1984 Pascale Ogier wins the Best Actress award, the Volpi Cup, at the Venice Film Festival, which president of the jury is Michelangelo Antonioni, for her first role in "THE NIGHT OF THE FULL MOON" by Eric Rohmer.

On her return from Venice, Pascale, with her crystalline voice says to Genevieve, "You know there was also a message for you in Venice, Genevieve …. Michelangelo Antonioni said:" The future will be electronic, "especially go on with your researches, don’t give up, even when you have doubts or when you are discouraged, do not forget: always in the west! « This was their last conversation; Pascale Ogier died a week later on the evening of her twenty-fifth anniversary...

Genevieve HERVE, by the time is dedicated to painting (a series of acrylic paintings on dance themes that she will later reinterpret electronically using PAINT-BOX) and she achieved for the INA a television portrait of her friend, the make-up photographer (today a famous perfume creator): Serge LUTENS. (Diffusion NIGHTS INA / A2/1984).

A strong collaboration with him on commercials spots and documentaries for Shiseido follows until 1988. Together they won several international prizes as also the UNESCO Image Prize.

Between 1986 and 1993 she returns for a while in electronic photography and she made up new portraits and series with Paintbox. She finally affirms her style. Between 1986 and 1988 she worked with prestigious magazines such as: VOGUE (France), VANITY, GLOBE, AVENUE.

In 1989 she exhibited at the National Center of Photography (Palais de Tokyo). In those years she regularly showed her photos and videos in Europe and in Japan and she made a long stay in India.

She produces the video “Mojisola, Ana, Noam chez les magiciens de la Terre” (4x13´) for the Centre Georges Pompidou and Canal J, which was daily broadcasted for two months on Canal J and as an Installation in the Forum of the Centre Georges Pompidou for four months from June to September 1989.

In 1992 she also won the “Prix Villa Medicis Hors les Murs” for her images "From Virtual Italy “  and she stayed and exhibited at the gallery of the Villa Medicis (on Piazza Navona , Roma, in Italy) in 1990. She will continue to use the PAINT-BOX (and its final version in Rome) for her images of "India, Italy and France virtual" until 1995.

However, it is by using a personal computer (Mac), and a new software that she painted the mural tribute to the actors of the world cinema, PLANISTARS, sponsored by PARIS MATCH which will be exhibited in Paris, Geneva in 1995 and its first CYBSTARS at the Palais du Festival de Cannes in 1996, during the celebrations for the centenary of cinema.

Because of those less expensive instruments, she works at home with a Mac and new English software: PAINTER. This software has the same functions with the Paintbox, it is certainly less powerful than PAINT-BOX but these photos are much less expensive to produce.

It also allows her to create freely when she wants…

Regular visitor of the Cannes Film Festival since 1974 when she first went with her great friend Glauber Rocha, Genevieve HERVE returns regularly between 1995 and 2007 in order to take photographs of the stars on the steps, on the photo calls and on other press conferences, for transforming them with her electronic brush into “CYBSTARs”, but also in order to see the movies or to exhibit her new creations.

It is actually the PAVILION KODAK of the American Pavilion that shows every morning at the Cannes Film Festival in 2001 an episode of her electronic video-creation  TIME OF PEACE (4x30 ') (sponsored by Kofi Annan). This video was part of a multi-media event of the same name that she conceived for the Geneva Festival 2000 and that marked the souls of 2 million spectators who have seen, in the loop, the entire film during fifteen days on two giant screens placed at each side of the lake.

An esplanade of Peace with diplomatic and humanitarian representatives (UNHCR, CICR, MSF, Terre des Hommes, UN) who participated in the film concept is installed on the bank of the Hotel de la Paix (where so many agreements have been signed) on 6 August 2000, evening of fireworks, to listen to the song Electro-opera THE AGE OF INNOCENCE that she composed. The techno Trucks of the Lake Parade, started symbolically in the “Place des Nations” by the music of TIME OF PEACE ... This video is also a tribute to Genevieve HERVE’s father, soldier and resistant, who died for France at the age of 27 years and who worked on each side of the border with Father Rosay, who was arrested in the parish and died in the camps....

From May 1 to June 6, 2007 the exhibition "60 CYBSTARS" took place (a selection of 60 portraits of celebrities) in Palm Beach in Cannes, where the first Cannes Film Festival was organized, to celebrate it’s sixtieth anniversary.

On this occasion she signed under a second name: GINEVRA H.

In 2008 some of its video-dances are shown at the Musée du Jeu de Paume in Paris and a mini retrospective of her images: "From natural Shadow to electronical light" is presented at the gallery M2N, exhibition that Genevieve HERVE dedicated to ANTONELLI Kay and Frances Bacon, the two Americans who invented the first computer.

Her first 16 mm movie “Les noms du Père” has been officially presented in October 2011 at the Cheries-Cheris Festival in Paris.

A collection « Geneviève Hervé» including all her videos and achievements has been constituted for the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

Some of her videos can already be seen on Youtube.

Her electronic art work is commented by Fleur CHEVALIER in her Ph . D . Thesis.

In recent years, HERVE Geneviève continues to paint with PAINTER other Electronic Images from her travels in Europe and in the United States or precious Japanese kimonos and French-Swiss cherry blossoms.... Her latest Cyber-portraits (Erro, Tarantino, Killie Minogue, Natalia Vodianova, Mustafa Safwan, Lisa Edelstein, Mareva Galanter, Nanos Valaoritis , Carla Bruni , Eliane Thielland, Melanie Thierry, Marie France), the Vienna Zoo pandas, the flowers in the square Anne Frank or the château de Chantilly will be part of her forthcoming exhibitions.

She currently works on a Romy Schneider tribute video-project based on an original song of Pierre Grillet.