Rouffach is a video installation commissioned by the Centre Hospitalier de Rouffach, a psychiatric hospital in Alsace, France. The commission allowed me to investigate the experience of the encounter with another human being mediated through the camera.
My starting point was Schongauer’s altarpiece The Madonna of the Rose Garden. I worked with seven patients because of the devotional prayer based on the seven sorrows of the Virgin Mary and the corresponding prayer based on her seven joys. From this a very simple binary structure emerged– to ask each person what their worst and happiest moments were.
Each patient was filmed frontally in a studio responding to these two questions and was also filmed in a different location geographically linked to the hospital - on the hospital grounds, on the streets of the neighbouring town of Rouffach, in the vineyards that encircle the hospital, in a cloister in Colmar, in a nearby forest, near a lake, and on the top of the closest mountain. The figure is always walking away from the viewer, repeatedly criss-crossing the frame. These images of each person talking, listening, and walking through space, are juxtaposed in a triple-channel projection.