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MVS Thesis

Elisa Gilmour
2017 – Thesis Advisor: MVS Faculty

In the Mediterranean island of Corsica, the mythical and social figure of the mazzere has premonitory dreams wherein he or she hunts the souls of the living. In these dreams, the mazzere goes out at night to kill the first animal encountered in a nearby forest or along the road. When the animal is fatally struck, the face and the cry of a fellow villager momentarily consume those of the dying beast and within a year, the person whose face was seen and whose voice was heard, will die. Éperdument (Madly) is composed of a three-channel video installation and short stories portraying the mazzere through the presence of the landscape, the condition of women in Corsican society and the persistence of a language. The videos include audio recordings of telephone conversations and interviews with four contemporary writers and an eyewitness, as well as a performance of a revolutionary song mourning the death of a nationalist fighter. In this place of transformation and translation— between oral and written, animal and human, male and female, and factual and fictional — the work investigates how the story of the mazzere enlivens and reproduces a Corsican identity. 

Voices in order of appearance: Thérèse Franceschi-Andreani, Paul Peraldi, Éveline Galloni d’Istria, Jean-Claude Rogliano, Georges Ravis-Giordani, Marie Ferranti and Micheli Leccia.

Song performed: Sumiglia (1992) by A Filetta, a Corsican polyphonic group. 

Images: 1) Installation view from Éperdument (Madly): thesis exhibition at the Art Museum of Toronto, University of Toronto, March-April 2016; 2-3) Film stills from Éperdument (Madly): three-channel video installation, color, 22:42, Corsican and French with English subtitles, 2016; 4-5) Documentation of Éperdument (Madly): publication of 5 short stories, 52 pages, Toronto: 2016; 6) Film still from Éperdument (Madly): three-channel video installation, color, 22:42, Corsican and French with English subtitles, 2016; 7) Installation view from Éperdument (Madly): thesis exhibition at the Art Museum of Toronto, University of Toronto, March-April 2016.