POLLEN, Video installation


Video installation

The video installation entitled Pollen presents a poetic account of the relationship and interaction between humans and other species, here principally trees and bees. 

In a climate of major ecological turmoil, this narrative attempts without complacency to deliver a breath of fresh air to a story that unfolds cyclically.


Technically, the videos are animations made solely from various prints


In its immersive version, Pollen is made up of 3 complementary videos (the same story, but with images that diverge or correspond at different times) screened simultaneously in the same space. The videos (images and sounds) are conceived to be projected as loops.


Duration: 19’56

Creation of the engravings and conception of the film: Guy Oberson

Sound creation: Léonore Mercier

Editing: Etienne Aussel and Guy Oberson

With the support of the State of Fribourg and the Ernst Göhner Foundation, Zug.



At the heart of the complexity of the world as it inhabits the heart and soul, in the depths of images as they haunt memory and intelligence, in the cycles of the infernal rhythms of the affairs of humanity, it is pertinent to take the measure of the extent of events as much as their depth. The unrelenting arabesques, the archaic roots of the convolutions of Guy Oberson’s black lines, worked with the technique of engraving with a rendering at the same time clear and nuanced, transcribe the states of profound concern of the present time directly onto the canvas. Since a single image doesn’t suffice, the painter duplicates them, superimposing them upon themselves and others to suggest the actual experience of existence. The surface of the image and its unfathomable depth are in balance. 


The complexity of contemporary concerns to be tackled through the act of creation implies setting in motion a dynamic of inexhaustible metamorphoses at work within telluric abysses, in order to make them render their hideous disfigurements and their nightmarish destinies. The drawing is animated by a recurrent, persistent energy, an interplay of figuration and abstraction. 

Is the body with a woman’s head turning into a bird a shamanic presence listening to the earth? Bees, trees, a brain under a glass bell, a globe, a few words are distinguishable, but remain in constant flux due to a sort of poetics of deadly convulsions.

The impressions are an entwining of fading away and becoming. And the flow of binary system numbers, a shower of which suddenly floods the three screens of the installation implies the radical weight of the unbridled circulation of these bits. Another event marks Pollen’s narrative, when thousands of bees fall from the sky. And we are reminded that their lives are under threat, and consequently so is the general equilibrium of the Anthropocene.

Guy Oberson, whose first video installation this is, knows from the outset how to give his universe a form that is all the more dense and absorbing for the sound creation by Léonore Mercier woven into the interlacing of his images. This score uses the muffled beats of its vitality not to dramatise the filmmaker’s point of view, but to resolutely infuse it with thought-provoking harmonies.  The sounds, the filigree of voices, allow a subtle distancing from the visual activity. Pollen is thus, in the full sense of the word, an essay, which shares a vision of the world with patient generosity. An accomplished way of not despairing of the world.


Jean Perret 

Cultural journalist. Directed Visions du Réel, the Nyon International Documentary Film Festival, and was in charge of the Cinéma /Cinéma du Réel department of HEAD-Genève. Contributor to the online film magazine.