Sandy Amerio: Dragooned

Sandy Amerio: Dragooned

@401 Richmond St. W., 4th floor

Opening Reception Friday November 24, 2017
Doors open 6:00pm    Screening at 6:30pm
followed by Sandy Amerio in conversation with author and columnist Russell Smith

Exhibition runs November 24 to December 08

Monday – Friday, 11:00am-5:00pm (Closed Monday November 27)


Dragooned is a work of military reenactment conceived while Sandy Amerio was in residence at the Nantes Fine Arts School, exploring the complex relationship between reality and fiction in contemporary art and cinema. Here she quickly realized that she would have to actually produce a reenactment of her own in order to have sufficient control in the documentation. And most importantly, she wanted the work never to leave what she has called “the logic of reenactment,” always remaining immersed in the action along with the re-enactors themselves. Via a newsreel-like prologue, the viewer finds herself in southern France on August 15, 1944, with the U.S. 509th Infantry Battalion, part of the 1st Airborne Taskforce. Thus begins Dragooned, Amerio’s intense interrogation of truth by fiction, of reality by lies, and both at times, vice versa.

In the long, involved process of producing her reenactment, Amerio located a group of career soldiers, one of whom became her principal subject. Constructing the voice-over (and voice “through”) from transcripts of these interviews, Amerio produces a work of deep complexity with no easy answers to questions of violence and its roots in human behaviour.

She clarifies the use of the voice, saying, “There are certain points of contact in the film, where the voice shifts from one register to another, as if changing gears. That’s what keeps the spectator alert, listening, going along with the soldiers. The point of view becomes the ‘point of voice’ and the emotional focus thus also changes. It’s like in reenactment, where one can switch sides, can become different characters, from different times, with different nationalities and points of view. I think that the structure of discourse allows me to show the complexity of things, and that somewhere between the reality we create, the reality we are confronted to, and fiction invented through editing, lays the real, violent, unfathomable and eminently existential. I think that Dragooned makes us experience all that.”

Curated by Lisa Steele, Artistic Director, Vtape


Sandy Amerio is a visual artist and film director. She was born in 1973 and currently lives and works in Paris. She studied film directing at The National Studio for Contemporary Arts – Le Fresnoy. Her works have been screened in many festivals and cinemas, including: the Taiwan International Documentary Festival; BERLINALE 63rd Berlin Film Festival (Forum Expanded); Hamburg Documentary Filmweek; Cinematheque Quebecoise, Montreal; Proekt Fabrika, Moscow; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and Art 2102 Gallery, Los Angeles.

Image credit: Dragooned, Sandy Amerio, 2012