Camille Johnston


My practice constitutes a study of photography and film-making with particular concern for notions of the cinematic. Attempting to define cinema and to understand the role of the theatre in screening film are integral to my work with cinema as an artistic medium, as is a consideration of the multiple temporalities involved in the structure of edited footage. Informed by critical study into conventions of the shot, length of take and montage associated with narrative cinema, my interest lies in our shifting perception of filmed space and time.

For ‘Bibliothèque nationale de France, site François-Mitterrand’ I have chosen non-sites, such as halls and corridors, within architectural interiors as candidates for this exploration of the cinematic. Internal spaces are mapped out using parameters set by my equipment: zoom length, height and pan achievable by tripod. These empty spaces lack public presence and felt expectant at the time of shooting, like a prepared set awaiting the action. The film loops imperceptibly, alternating between wide/long shots and details of the architecture, employing devices associated with cinema such as fades to black and the use of a still shot at the start of scenes. The resulting images are not sustained by a narrative or propelled by an emotive soundtrack, which would make them like cinema, and so retain this stillness.