Europe

Lola Gonzales
Summer Camp

In Summer Camp, Lola Gonzàlez filmed a group of friends at the home of her parents in the department of Charente (France) in the process of transforming the house into a training camp. They are doing exercises with the furniture as if they were training to fight against something yet to happen. Gonzàlez’s films persistently evoke the same fear of an external threat, one which is never explained but which can be placed in relation with the current political situation and social tension. In the film, we see group writing unidentifiable names on the walls, heightening the unknowingness of the situation to which we bear witness. Although the film has been shot some months before the October 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, we cannot help reading this piece in relation with the recent events, which give to the film the feeling of a collective prayer.

Lola Gonzàlez (b. 1988, Angoulême) is a young French artist working mainly with film. Her departure point is often the same: four, ten, or sometimes more people, are secluded from the cities. Impossible to know who they are or what binds them together. Are they fugitives or utopians? Yet, understanding where their actions lead is almost irrelevant, rather one is invited to examine the process and experience of learning to live together and of learning to struggle against an invisible threat. In portraying the same group of people, often in a same location — her parents’ house in the region of Charente, France that itself becomes a character — her practice reflects the complicity with her friends and members of her family who improvise as actors, emphasizing the formation of a community, friendship or collective action as positionality. Gonzàlez explains, "We've grown accustomed to a neutral concept of friendship as a form of fondness without consequence whereas all affinity is in fact a bond within a common truth.” Nurtured by the emotional ties that animate her community, Gonzàlez's search for a common truth embodies a new, chosen version of a reality whereby the deadly injunction to "get real" is indeed tirelessly fought.