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REAL IMAGINARY PLACES: JEAN-MARC BUSTAMANTE

IN A RECENT EXHIBITION BY Jean-Marc Bustamante, one room—either the first or the last in the show, depending on the visitor’s route—was dark. Inside, on the far wall of the space, which was empty except for a modest projector on a tripod, you could watch Michelangelo Antonioni’s film La Notte (The night).1 No displacement or appropriation here, no desire on the artist’s part to absorb the film somehow into his own work: just a “presentation,” a screening, in conditions recalling more intimate times and circumstances the family watching home movies, say, or the showing of films at school. Given Bustamante’s age, the very date of La Notte—1960—evokes childhood.

Yet the presentation at the same time suggested a more sophisticated conception. For one thing, it implied a truly spatial experience, even a sculptural one: the spectator had to move about, stand, or sit on the floor, breaking the

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