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Caring For Your Carcass



Directed by Johanne Chagnon | Reviewed by Biplab Das

Art doesn’t only mean to make you happy; art can rattle your conscience also. Caring for Your Carcass is the perfect example of this thought. The film is visual-heavy. There is no dialogue in the film, only a few texts to support the ideas. You may find some images disturbing but that’s the essence of the film. Rather than call it a film, it should be termed as a video essay.  It deals with the idea of what the creator thinks about nature. Avant-Garde because of its style and idea.

This film is for those who want to see something different. The film will certainly shake you a bit. The content of the film doesn’t fall under the norm that we usually see in the film. The unpredictability in storytelling with bold visuals makes it a much watch for everyone. If you’re someone who likes to watch something out-of-the-box then this film is certainly for you. You can easily find out from the title that the film talks about the underground culture. The film deals with issues that we never talk about. It raises questions about the idea that what we perceive as good or bad.

This unique film is written, directed, and acted by Johanne Chagnon.  Through this film, she wanted to address the subject of inequality. She used the carcasses as a metaphor to deal with the subject of inequality. The film had shot inside a studio. She has splendidly created the fictional universe. As a video art, this film expresses the innermost fear of the director. Johanne Chagnon has over 30 years of experience in being part of a diversified artistic practice. It is quite an audacious attempt for her to include carcasses in the film.

The film is like a collection of different short performances. All of the performances are part of the poetic collection. The themes of the performances are related to death, injury, decomposition, and desolation. The most interesting part of the film is how she has portrayed the rituals of mourning. The way the color red has been used in this film is quite intriguing. She used the color red on the body of the carcasses but yet the look soothing. Minute gestures make the film complete. Those who are new to the idea of video art will surely enjoy this avant-garde, provocative film.

The film talks about the cruel yet sensitive symbols of the universe. The carcasses that she has used in the film are dead birds, rotting seals, crustacean caption, and some strange objects. With these, she created a world that very few actually can see. It’s like dealing with someone’s darkest fears and desires. You may dislike the film, but you can’t ignore it. It will certainly reach the core of your heart. In an interview, she said that she wanted to reach the heart of the people and make them react. She also said that she wants to transmit her worldview to the viewers of her work.

I would like to give 4.5 stars out of 5 to this video art. As I said earlier, this is a very provocative and soul-shaking work. The way she has used materials and engaged in unique creative processes is unprecedented. The way she blended the video graphic and textual elements- makes the film look fresh in terms of ideas. She just didn’t portray them on the screen but also helped them to emerge.  One more thing that caught my attention is the use of technology. The poetic elements somehow bind the film. The film stands out because of the bravery in storytelling in a complex and crumbling world. 


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