Appropriating the methods of an editor, Stephan investigates how images collide and collude, multiply and subtract. Her work is driven by the differences between images, still and moving, visible and invisible, revealing the trace of an absence.
In the first part of her trilogy “Memories for a Private Eye” Stephan invoked numerous fictional characters in her search for a lost sequence of images. While evoking the language of film noir, the film investigates a personal archive, foregrounding a fictional detective who helps unfold deep and traumatic memories. The images, which come from different sources, weave together into a labyrinthine maze to create a blueprint of memory itself. The film spirals around a lost image, the only moving image of her deceased mother. How is absence lived? What remains of love, war and death with the passing of time? These are the questions that are delicately displayed for contemplation in this film.
During the editing, Stephan found overlapping images that fell in the space between two cuts. Fugitive stills flashed up to the editor’s eye. They were invisible to the naked eye. For a single frame, the fields of two sequences, through a mixture of labour and technology, blended to construct another image by chance. Stephan references Godard’s writings in Montage, mon beau soucis, and undergoes excavations to find these latent, fugitive images. Collecting these glitch-like moments, Invisible Images render visible the materiality of video film as it migrates across time and media, creating fictional memories.