L'Adaptation manifeste, 2008

The Manifest Adaptation, 2008

Reading, libraries, archives, cinema and dramaturgy offer Aurélien Froment a rich and heterodox world of materials with which to construct his work. In this case, he revisited cinema to recreate the pictorial subject of the reader. How can we access the intimate act of reading? How can we share the private journey that it offers? L’Adaptation manifeste (The Genuine Adaptation, 2008) takes as its point of departure a series of cinematographic sequences with characters reading in a variety of positions, taken from feature films such as La Chinoise, by Jean-Luc Godard (1967), Fahrenheit 451, by François Truffaut (1966), and Ghost Dog, by Jim Jarmusch (1999). Froment had the actress Karine Lazard re-enact scenes from various feature films in which reading takes place, originally performed by Brigitte Bardot (Le Mépris, 1963), Julianne Moore (The Hours, 2002) and Oskar Werner (Fahrenheit 451, 1966), among others. The scenes are recreated by the actress against a plain white background, with no décor and a grey book as the only prop. The work can be seen as a repertoire of the figure of the reader in feature films: the gestures, looks and attitudes of the readers flow from one film to the next in an investigation on the cinematographic representation of reading. As Jessica Morgan points out: ‘The re-enacted episodes at the same time almost perversely turn the solitary and cerebral act of reading into a highly performative and manifestly outward act.’ (Artforum International, October 2008).

As in other works by Froment, the transmission of information is one of the core subjects of this film. The iconography of reading and the fact that some of the recreated scenes come from the cult movie Fahrenheit 451, a social dystopia in which books are outlawed, seems to carry a reflection on the disappearance of books in a world, such as ours, with an image overload.

Presented at the Loop Fair Barcelona in 2010, L’Adaptation manifeste won the award for the best artist video, which was then acquired and included in the LOOP Collection and lent to the MACBA Collection.

Technical details

Original title:
L'Adaptation manifeste
Registration number:
Froment, Aurélien
Date created:
Date acquired:
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation
Object type:
Audiovisual recording
Single-channel video, colour, sound, 6 min 29 s
Edition number:
Ed. 3/5 + 1 P.A.
MACBA Collection. MACBA Foundation. Long-term loan of Screen Projects
© Aurélien Froment
It has accessibility resources:

The MACBA Collection features Catalan, Spanish and international art and, although it includes works from the 1920s onwards, its primary focus is on the period between the 1960s and the present.

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