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Kaja Leijon [Videonale.12]

*1980 in Oslo NOR lives in Oslo NOR
Studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts, Oslo NOR, at CalArts, Valencia USA and at the Prague International Film School CZE


Exhibitions [selection]


2012 Galleria Muratcentoventidue Artecontemporanea, ITA [S]
2011 Film & Fotografi, Trøndelag Senter for Samtidskunst, Trondheim NOR  [S]
2010 Kasseler Dokumentarfilm-und videofest, Kassel GER
2009 UKS, Oslo NOR

2008 Høstutstillnigen, The National Exhibition, Kunstnerneshus, Oslo NOR
         Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, San Fransisco USA




Kaja Leijon [Videonale.12] x

Turning Trick, 2008, 5:00, sound, colour

Turning Trick cites François Truffaut´s 1957 short film Les Mistons, which is based on a novella by Maurice Pons. The film is about five boys who spend an entire summer spying on and chasing after two lovers, Gerard and Bernadette. Truffaut´s work thematizes childhood and the boys´ awakening masculinity and sexual desires, imbedded in childish games. Kaja Leijon´s work ignores the plot of the original short film to concentrate solely on a single excerpt in which the boys chase each other, suddenly stop, and pretend to have a shoot-out. She restages this scene in her own film, but with a very simple difference: her protagonists are female. The spying and chasing, which one at first thinks is a childish game of hide-and-seek, are no longer part of a harmless game. A tense atmosphere permeates the entire film, which erupts when the protagonists suddenly come face to face. The threatening silence is broken as the shoot-out is simulated. One after the other, the girls fall and remain motionless on the ground. And only then does one see in their smiling, satisfied faces that they were playing. The artist's wordless presentation places the role of women right at the center: the passive object of observation in the French original becomes the active subject.

Kristina Preis

Kaja Leijon