L'Appel Du Vide (The Call Of The Void) is a 3-minute audiovisual exploration of the condition known by the scientific term High Places Phenomenon (HPP), which is characterized by a sudden urge to jump off a high place, often associated with suicidal ideation. L’Appel Du Vide is a French expression commonly used to describe an unusual preoccupation with morbid curiosity and suicidal thoughts. The intention of this project is, through the use of visual and sonic metaphors, to illustrate the mental state of an individual encountering HPP, by utilizing multiple testimonies of a scientific survey conducted by Dr. Jennifer Hames at Florida State University as well as my personal experience with the phenomenon. L’Appel Du Vide looks into the topic “Hidden Places” in a metaphorical sense, in reference to the hidden places of human consciousness and the unexplored deviations from the behavioral norms of everyday reality. This abstract interpretation is juxtaposed to the idea of ‘place’ as a topographical term through combining more abstract content with black and white photography of abandoned Brutalist buildings around Bulgaria and former Yugoslavia. Coming from a former Communist state background I associate the rawness and honesty of the Brutalist structures and their subsequent abandonment and demolishment with the emptiness and despair of the void left by the political climate in Europe within the past decades. Emphasizing on corporeality, Brutalist architecture incorporates a radical aesthetic of anti‐beauty and conceptualizes the Post-World War Two welfare of Europe. Once, being a part of the futuristic vision of the modernist architecture, challenging the optimism seen in the works, belonging to previous architectural movements, Brutalist buildings are now just a concrete memory of the rapid technical and cultural progress of post-World War II Europe. In this piece, the human body is seen as a mechanism, operated by consciousness, realizing its own expiration and driven to self-destruction.
Performance by Alissa Monova
Video and Sound by Matthew Dervenkov