Images for an age of uncertainty

Grand Laus for CANADA's videoclip "Exits" from the band Foals

Frame from the videoclip "Exits"

Enigmatic melodies and rhythms suspended on a strange energy. Electronic magnetism and guitar fuelled tension. Lyrics that could have been taken from Edgar Allan Poe flow like drops of mercury through the pathways opened up the ethereal and distinctive voice of Yannis Philippakis, soul of the English band Foals. And if the song traps you, the video hypnotizes you. One cannot be understood without the other because the frontier between languages begins to disappear. Should we now be describing work like this as complete audiovisual art?

The story of Exits is attractively cryptic. According to Philippakis, its author and singer, it’s about "painting a visual image with words upon the present moment and all the worries that accompany it". The video takes place in fragmentary locations, deformed places, where surreal moments occur, mixing restlessness and hope, terror and life, the light and darkness of an age dominated by uncertainty.

"We wanted to make a video that was a series of stories, where there was a beginning, a middle and an end, although not necessarily in that order". The absence of order, understood literally but also in the figurative sense of the word, is shown with beautifully realised narrative and visual resources. Directed by Albert Moya, the video was produced by CANADA and filmed in various locations in a cold, dystopian Budapest, far away from the usual image of a pleasant and friendly city. A diverse group of protagonists and situations appear, including the French actress Christa Théret and the British actor Hempstead Wright, well known for his participation in Game of Thrones.

The quality of the acting, the aesthetic photography, the feeling of watching a quality short film, with a visual rhythm that’s no exactly rushed, but which is agitated and definitely disturbing. All are virtues of a piece that exists at the service of much more that the music provided by Exits; as if the art had found new exits for itself, insolently and confidently contradicting the lyrics of the song. Because, now, the world is upside down.

Related news