Writes Antek Walczak: "Commissioned for the Purple Magazine-curated 'Elysian Fields' exhibition at the Pompidou Center, Occupational Hazards (Les Risques du Métier) arose from a fundamental constraint. For budget, insurance, and scheduling reasons, filming was to be kept within the Pompidou Center itself, using the institution's own media production crew, whose normal job is to document exhibitions, openings, lectures, and other museum events. The star architecture of the Rogers-Piano building, with interiors recently renovated in a bland euro-corporate space-age vernacular, became the generator of a Perecian house-constructed fiction. The locations were basic narrative units, as the spaces of the Pompidou went looking for other fictions besides their design, function, or security.
The exterior tube-shaped walkways, the basement storage for museum publications, the cinemas, the entrance lobby, the administrative offices, the information desk, the public library, the underground parking garage, and the galleries of 20th century art became the scenes of a desultory intrigue around an imaginary 'Center of Today,' where the activity of cultural programming was turned into a soap opera of identity crisis, commercialization, value-production, radical factions of interns and assistants, social-climbing, and careerism. Next to this fictional institutional grid provided by the French state, the private enterprise of Purple supplied the human side of the equation. Casting was done with the aid of an extensive Rolodex that gathered figures from the world of French cinema, amateur actors, Pompidou and Purple employees, models, photographers, artists, philosophy students, curators, critics, and Parisian hipsters.
Unclassifiable because it pushed the contradictory tendencies of Walczak's video works to their logical limit, the work took place right in the middle of the contemporary art world, approached a level of cinema that was almost professional, but was clearly not a product of either industry. The result was a strange and untimely narrative coming out of a Paris museum in the year 2000."
Hélène Fillières, Alice Mitterrand, Aurore Clément. Un film d'Antek Walczak. Avec: Giasco Bertoli, Bernard Blistène, Pascal Bonitzer, Luciana Botehlo, Christophe Brunnquell, Julien Cazarre, Alexandre Costanzo, Daniel Costanzo, Jean-Marc Coudert, Pascale Dauman, Jaimie Delmoon, Anna Eirikh, Marie Anne Lanavère, Kevin Lasting, Pierre Leguillon, Vesselin Loukanov, Héloïse Lumbroso, Patrice Mercier, Thien Nguyen, Onega Ponomarenko, Geraldine Postel, Katja Rahlwes, Marc Reid, Anne-Lise Roch, Hervé de Rouault, Ludmilla Ruoso, Christophe Sauger, Anne-Claude Scherer, Cynthia, Udriot, Oliver Zahm. Image: Christian Bahier, Selim Bibi-Moreau, Antek. Son: Nicolas Joly, Simon Rasetaniaina. Montage: Antek. Assistants Image/Son: Erwan Correc, Kevin Lasting. Stylisme: Katja Rahlwes, Edgar Avila. Chargée de Production: Myriam Bezdjian. Assistants Production: Marie Anne Lanavère, Florence Souter. Assistante à la Realization: Eva Svennung. Traduction de Dialogues: Olivier Zahm, Eva Svennung, Mehdi Attia. Musique: Liszt, Fauré, Cowell, Ives, Stravinsky, Poulenc, David Grubbs, Sonic Youth, The Sea and Cake, The Fall. Tenues des Actrices: A.P.C., Veronique Branquinho, Givenchy, Bernard Willhelm, Hermès, Louis Vuitton. Moyens Techniques: Service Audiovisuel, Centre Pompidou. Une Production: Centre Pompidou, Purple Institute. Remerciements: Gérard Chiron, Chantal Crousel, Pascale Dauman, Ford, Idole, Bruno.