This video is the documentation of a happening that was carried out in as part of École Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie d’Arles’ 30th anniversary (ENSP). It is about an artistic gesture of action-reaction that consists of blocking the two entry gates to the school, installing a chain and a padlock in this way to interrupt the traffic at the ENSP front door. The action was performed twice, at the early morning of two symbolic dates: February 01 and March 09, 2012 (the latter is in reference to the day when the school was created by legislative decree, in 1982. The first is in reference to the day President François Mitterrand visited and officially inaugurated the ENSP, in 1986).

The school closing is proposed to cause a certain opening, evoking the paternalistic gesture that originally was done by President Mitterrand when ENSP was opened during the 80’s (the gesture of cutting the ribbon). Thus, this action questions the validity of the institution and it simultaneously represents a way to celebrate its continuity, taking a gesture to turn it into a ritual.

A four-meter chain and one padlock.
Video, PAL, colour, sound, 7’ 33’’.