Tessa Joosse

Plastic and glass - Film - 2009

présenté dans le cadre de l'exposition Panorama 11


The summer i turn seventeen i have a job for four weeks in a packaging factory. it is a hot summer and the work is tiring and dull. We have to wear white coats and white hairnets. We work at an assembly line whose machines make a rhythm, crack ploink puff creak. this goes on the whole day, when you're at home you can't get it out of your head, like it has decided to live there. Friday morning i have to work at the chewing gum line with nine other women. they only speak Moroccan so we can't talk. the machine throwing the gum at us is not working well and a mechanic comes to fix it. We hang around and wait. When the conveyor belt starts running again there is a good rhythm, the work is easier with a rhythm. Crack ploink puff creak. One of the women starts to sing, her song so clear and bright and interweaving with the conveyor belt's sounds. A shiver starts at the back of my neck and ends in goose bumps at my arms. it is beautiful. At the chorus of the song all other women join in. it is overpowering and i almost miss some of the gum i have to pick up. While working on this memory it turned into a musical documentary. the song kind of wrote itself (not in one day though) and together with the production team we found a wonderful and inspiring factory, triselec. In three days we start filming. i'm excited about working with the crew and the workers of the factory, it feels like i'm leaping into a great adventure, i'm prepared, but you never know what things you're going to encounter, what audio-visual presents i'm going to receive and what headaches i'll have to tend to. Whatever happens i'm certain the final result is going to amaze me.

Tessa Joosse


Le Fresnoy - Studio national des arts contemporains, Tourcoing