Frederick Wiseman, auteur du passionnant documentaire sur la National Gallery
Dans la revue Apollo Frederick Wiseman parle de son nouveau documentaire consacré à la vie du musée londonien, la National Gallery, particulièrement captivant : on y découvre l’activité foisonnante d’un musée tourné vers l’accueil de tous les publics.
Son directeur Nicolas Penny, qui a autorisé ce tournage, a depuis quitté le musée : http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/jun/23/nicholas-penny-announces-departure-from-national-gallery
Le site du musée :
Frederick Wiseman talks to Apollo about his new film, National Gallery y (2014), which is released this month in the UK, takes us behind the scenes at the museum, but constantly reminds us that the paintings are the stars.
How did the film come about ?
“I had tried to film the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York about 25 years ago, but they wanted me to pay them. I hadn’t tried any other museums in the meantime and this opportunity came up by chance because I met somebody who worked at the National Gallery, who suggested it, and then I met Nick Penny and he said, ‘Okay.’”
There are usually more people and many more meetings in your films than there are in National Gallery. How did you approach filming paintings on walls ?
The issue was always how to shoot the paintings. I shot the paintings so that theviewer is always inside the frame so you don’t see the frame or the wall or the little plaque. The painting became so much more vibrant, more alive because it was less of an object and you really saw the painting very close.
There’s a guide who tells a group of visitors that ‘the one thing a painting doesn’t have is time’? How does this quality translate into film ?
In making a film about paintings, I changed the relationship of painting to time. You can show the paintings serially, as opposed to looking at them all at once, which is what the eye does – unless you look at a very small part. What I can do is give you close-ups of the painting: I can show you the story of the painting in a series of shots.
What was it like spending so much time – 12 weeks – in the National Gallery ?
We photographed when there was nobody else in the gallery – that was quite something. It was easier to do it then so that there wasn’t a risk of someone just walking through the frame. And it’s really annoying if you’re getting daylight from the skylight”.