Elsa Brès

Elsa Brès (FR) graduated from Paris-Belleville school of architecture and le Fresnoy national studio of contemporary art. Her work navigates between documentary and science-fiction to explore the relationships between design and environment. Her films, videos and installations take possession of hybrid natures and transformed geographies. By a speculative gesture, rooted in her architecture background, the works are distorted to create spaces of negotiation with reality which conjure new stories, new narrators, new forms. Her work has been shown in festivals like FID Marseille, IndieLisboa, Kasseler Dokfest, 25 FPS festival, Lima Independiente, and exhibited at LOOP Barcelona, Palais de Tokyo (Paris), Villa Médicis (Rome), among others.

During her stay at Deltaworkers, Elsa will shoot her new film SWEAT. SWEAT is a meander film shot on the Mississippi river in Louisiana, a fragile and moving milieu, modeled and transformed by the successive exploitations of its resources. The film follows the character of Guillaume de l’Isle, the first cartographer of Louisiana, wandering and lost since the beginning of the 18th century. He’s been traveling the river for the last 300 years without managing to measure precisely the always changing environment of the Mississippi delta.

By thinking of the map as first an act of control of space, we follow De l’Isle on his journey where he meets other major and minor figures of the history of the river’s design. The cast of the film is solely composed of New Orleans performers. The film perverts and diverts those historical figures through the control of the river by human power and thus suggests another storytelling, another aesthetics and another politics for the milieu of and around the Mississippi.