I invited men into my hotel room and asked them very personal questions about their lives
Lili Reynaud-Dewar

The three films in ‘I invited men into my hotel room and asked them personal questions about their lives’ are the first works of a larger series that will culminate in Reynaud-Dewar’s solo exhibition at Palais de Tokyo in October 2023. Until then, Reynaud-Dewar plans to make one such film every month. The exhibition at Layr was conceived by Reynaud-Dewar as an opportunity to experiment and test things and ideas for the aforementioned show: the gallery therefore functions as a model for Palais de Tokyo’s “arc”. The men she films and interviews in typical Parisian family run hotels, are close friends, former students or family, as is always the case with her collaborations: she has never worked with professional actors or performers.

Exhibition I invited men into my hotel room and asked them very personal questions about their lives
Artists Lili Reynaud-Dewar
Date 09.06.22 - 30.07.22
Venue LAYR, Vienna, Austria
All images Courtesy of the artist and LAYR, Vienna

Hotel rooms are both intimate and generic spaces with practical imperatives, and Paris hotel rooms famously lack any spare space. The bed is the center piece, if not the only piece of furniture in those tiny rooms. During shooting there are a total of 5 people in the room: the interviewee, Reynaud-Dewar as the interviewer, Victor Zébo the cinematographer, Pierre Bompy who is recording the sound and Hodei Berasategi, the script assistant. The filmed subject is closely framed by Reynaud-Dewar and her team’s gaze, and is at the center of both sensual and intellectual attention. Reynaud-Dewar has explored the interview format in her previous work ‚Rome November 1st and 2nd 1975‘, where she recorded long “biographical” interviews of all of her cast (24 persons), that were transcribed and published in small individual booklets to accompany the video installation. Here, her topics of interest are still biographical, but the interviews engage in a closer look at notions of private property and masculinity. The three male voices overlap in the space and become audible only when one – in a movement similar to that of the camera in the small hotel rooms – gets closer to the screen. In the films, Reynaud-Dewar‘s questions have been edited out and thus giving an impression that these men are monologuing. These purloined questions re-appear visually, printed onto small billboards with images of the artist naked, her body colored in hues similar to that of the very artificial light used to light the hotel rooms. Thus, Reynaud-Dewar‘s questions become over-imposing, as if addressed also to the spectator of the show, and echoing in the space.

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