MALLAISE / Brave New World of Shopping Centers (2006): a historico-surrealist exploration of the confluence of architecture and consumerism
A 25-minute documentary on the ‘invention’ of malls and the new architecture of consumerism in the 1950s. I assembled the narrative as a multiple voice-over conversation between the different historical designers of the mall-concept and shoppers themselves, which, depending on the aspect of the mall experience under discussion, I associated with motion graphic montages of architectural plans and illustrations, as well as footage of mall space.To this effect, I reconstructed the flow of shoppers as they are channeled through an isotropic geometry of shiny surfaces and bright colors – into hallways, stores, up and down escalators – as a means of realistically representing the repetitive, hallucinatory elements concealed in the ‘obvious’ of the mall.
The goal of this documentary was to cast the audience, including myself, as a protagonist rather than as a passive spectator by progressively engaging them in a process of inquiry into their sense of self – in this case, can we both remain conscientious agents and allow ourselves to be regularly conditioned in our everyday experience ? – thereby constructing a narrative context in which the audience’s acceptance of a state of ‘normalcy’ is put into question.