Chinoise A is a remake of a scene from J-L Godard's "La Chinoise" (1967) in which a radical student contemplates bombing a university. The original scene, which takes place on a train, is reimagined as an online video chat. The script, which is based on a transcription of the Godard film's English subtitles, is relocated from Paris to New York and updated from 1967 to 2004.
In the press
"In Tribe’s video, Chinoise A (2009), named after the 1967 film by Jean Luc-Godard, he restages the dialogue regarding Leftist terrorism between two of Godard’s characters on a Paris train, giving this dialogue new significance and vitality by imagining it as a Skype conversation between a young and elder radical in our present. What comes out of the restaging is an expression of skepticism about contemporary uses of terrorism for Leftist and progressive causes, as well as a sense of historical distance from Godard’s original context pre-May ’68... [Tribe's recent projects] help us to reflect on how conditions for socio-political action and intervention have changed since the cultural moment of the ’60s... [and] anticipate the subject’s immersion within post-cinematic environments such as the Internet and social networking technologies, or Web 3.0." - Thom Donovan, Bomblog, Nov. 30, 2010.
"As an aesthetic practice, historical re-enactments draw tension between the respective differences of those being compared. In a contemporized rendition of a scene from Jean Luc Godard’s film entitled ‘La Chinoise’ (1967), artist Mark Tribe stages a conversation, set in New York City in late 2004, between a student and a former 60’s radical turned professor. For audiences today, the conversation topic—bombing a university—resonates as a specific response to a very specific set of historical conditions that implicate political currents in New York City today." - Marisa Jahn, Where We Are Now, Issue 02, Autumn 09