La position couchée | Seumboy Vrainom :€

Chloé Galibert-Laîné presents:

La position couchée (2019)

! The video essay «La position couchée» is no more in the Video Essay Gallery space !

Chloé Galibert-Laîné:

I have thought of this video essay almost every day since I first saw it, several years ago. It engages with a memory of a film, more so than with the film itself. Lying down in his bed, his room crowded with several of his brothers, Seumboy Vrainom :€'s character is reminded of a movie scene in which a character lies down in his own bunk bed. The character is young and Black, and so is he.

Taking a controversial political thriller about Islamic terrorism as its starting point (Made in France by Nicolas Boukhrief, 2015), the video unfolds as a surprisingly quiet, almost ASMR-like exploration of issues of private space and intimacy. The violence that is inflicted on the narrator's body is silent: oppression is enforced by the bed's bar, the unescapable presence of his siblings, the impossibility to be without being seen or heard. The essay rambles, as a sleepless mind would.

The video depicts with great precision how the narrator's insomnia should be understood as a symptom of his specific socio-economic situation, itself widely informed by systemic racism, but every insomniac has their own reasons for not finding comfort in « the lying position », and I can't but find resonance between what this video says about race and what others could say about gender. That I should remember this video essay almost every time I flip over in my bed, struggling with my own restless mind, shows how suggestive it is in its investigation of spectatorial identification and embodiment, and its critique of the relation between privacy, sleeplessness and oppression.

Seumboy Vrainom :€'s Instagram account

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