Video

The Blood-Red Heart of Johanna Darke

Gunilla Josephson

2006, 98:00 minutes, colour, english/french

TAPECODE 645.17

The Blood-Red Heart of Johanna Darke is a provocative engagement with the city of Paris and with the image of La Resistance as a mythology of history and entertainment.

In 1940, Johanna Darke, a novice from a convent in Quebec, arrives in Paris to study architecture, with the desire to design and build a church. Soon after the Nazi occupation of Paris, Johanna becomes involved as a messenger for the Resistance. She is betrayed, arrested by the Gestapo and subsequently vanishes. It is presumed she was executed. No further trace of Johanna exists. Johanna is a passive/aggressive anti-heroine in the mythology of patriotism, a female equivalent to the alienated character of Mersault in Camus' L'étranger.

I am interested in blurring the accepted distinctions by which we define the world. For instance, I see no problem in equating and conflating the image o the heroic resistance fighter of the Maquis with the pathetic poignancy of the Pierrot figure in Watteau's painting that hangs in the Louvre.

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Critical Writing

A pianist and a camera make music of the id
by Gary Michael Dault. The Globe and Mail, Apr. 25, 2009.
Gunilla Josephson Artist-in-Residence: E.V.E. Absolute Matrix
by Sewil Otosed. Gunilla Josephson Artist-in-Residence, Apr. 4, 2009. Toronto: Trinity Square Video, 2009.