© Galerie Arnaud Lefebvre


by Mythia KOLESAR
1974 / 16mm / color / sound / 1S / 23' 30

« Survie Transe Perce was dedicated to the Cuban artist Hessie, whose work consisted in embroidering on large unbleached canvases, with threads of colors, geometric drawings, repeated with obstinacy. I went to her house, in the countryside, on the edge of a lake, in her mill surrounded by meadows, and here is the scenario: I filmed her lying in a narrow black boat on the grass; she sewed herself into this boat, the wire crossed from one side to the other to bind herself. The image generated a fantastic effect.
The idea was that embroidery, a highly feminine activity since Antiquity and the Middle Ages, is accomplished on the woman's own body...
Survival Trance Perce, the English title of this film, screened in a New York gallery, participated in debates on the process of women's creation: the invitation card attests to this. Other projections took place at the National Museum for Modern Art in the Centre Pompidou. »
– Mythia Kolesar, « Transe Perce Survie », in Environnement Mythia : du profond intérieur, Nogent-sur-Marne, Maison Nationale des Artistes, 2012, p. 50-52.

The only reel of Mythia Kolesar's film Survie Transe Perce that has been located comes from Hessie's family. It is an 8mm coil which has not been kept in good condition and has been greatly deteriorated by moisture. Throughout the film, visual alterations occur in the image, sometimes forming a sort of floating frame on the original image. The original film is a portrait of Hessie by filmmaker Mythia Kolesar, Hessie's friend. The soundtrack that accompanies it is composed of poetic fragments read by Hessie in English.

A standard quality DVD was used for the projections made since 2015. In summer 2018, Bill Brand restored the film and transferred it to a digital file. The restoration reinstated the original speed of the images with a high definition resolution and corrected the distortions of the sound. The « ruin » of the original film seems transfigured by the passage of time.


distribution format Digital file on server (HD)
screen 4/3 (single screen)
speed 24 fps
sound sound
rental fee 90,00 €