ARTISTIC STATEMENT – The Zim Odyssey’s Project

January 20, 2015

Here is a text written for a documentary feature in development, which was granted a writer’s fellowship at ACA.

ZIMLOGY – the encounter of the Zim kind

For me, documenting Zim’s musical journey is more like a cinematographic poem around a metaphysical question rather than a biographical approach. In other words the subject of the narration is the periphery while the center is the result of a mysterious paradoxical quest : invisibility that words and pictures can capture while ineffability cannot be captured by the net of words and images.

I wish the film goes beyond the character in order to represent a phenomenon : the existential passing of a comet called Zim, which interacted with the world from various points of view. In other words I do not want to celebrate Zim through his individualism but wish to go beyond anthropocentrism in accordance with his philosophy, Zimology. Answering this problem would be to film the spirit of a space or object as well as the space or object of a spirit. Another way would be to treat the documentary like a jazz improvisation the same way he did, as seeing death in the silence between the notes, that is to say, like being aware of the moment to transmit a depth inhabited. Hence the film’s problem is : how to film the inner life of a dead man who has spent his life learning how to die ?

At the beginning of my personal odyssey, as an individual and filmmaker, I wonder about the choices and orientations to choose, then to assume. Should I see my practice as a way to exist by applying ethics ? What is the relationship between film and society ? Between the film and myself ? How to be in this world but not of the world ? Crossing the path of Zim’s journey, I found myself in contact with an artist asking himself similar questions. He ventured his life to find meaning in what he was doing through the practice of music. In other words I met someone who “disappeared” while I “appeared.” What are his answers and what are mine ?

For Zim, all that mattered was to find himself, the Self. Therefore wisdom, the experience of being in the world to extract knowledge, that is to say, to transcend the fears and accept his shadow. Fond of puns, Zim found “inner-attainment” to replace “entertainment” and “shaman” with “showman”. In other words, a thought embodied in a musical work : an alchemical process. Documenting the Zimology is perhaps like creating my “Pierre-ology”…