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Gabrielle Le Bayon, The Scale of Signs, 2016.

Gabrielle Le Bayon (France, 1981), The Scale of Signs, 2016, 5’14”.

The Scale of Signs looks at desire as a tool to divert reality and to produce a short-circuit on a semantic level. The worlds calmly turned through in Gabrielle Le Bayon’s The Scale of Signs are absent in perhaps more various, complicated ways: history’s vicissitudes condemned to a textbook; technology condemning the textbook to nostalgia. Though the protagonist is flicking through the book backwards, meaning that if chronology is presumed, then her sincere desire is time travel, however quaint the notion. Like Mark Waller’s last sculpture, and its operational imperative to reflect the desires of its audience, this anachronistic book, filled with old-fashioned exotica, reflects the romantic desires of the narrator, who is apparently addressing a poet, that ultimate figure of doomed romance. The voice, however, speaks knowingly of experience uncontained by representation, of desire outside of the monetary, against norms of a white, European presumption. Le Bayon’s video calmly posits its own heretical movement. A movement, perhaps, that is really nonsadistic: a movement to undo, like reading an old history book backwards.


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