Robert Cahen’s work, like that of other video artists, springs from divisions between music,
photography and film. As a graduate of The Paris Conservatoire in 1971 (Pierre Schaeffer’
s class), he brought technological and linguistic experiments of music concrete into video
art. During his research at ORTF, he became a pioneer in the usage of electronic
Employing methods of colouring, slippage, modelling, and the systematic use of mixed
elements reworked in editing, Cahen treats images like sounds; arranging and transforming
images while providing examples of the interchangability between models, and the
parameters of image and music.
Since his first video “Invitation au Voyage”(1973), he has manipulated images and rendered
them malleable. In 1983 he produced a thirteen-minute long fiction video “Juste le Temps”,
widely regarded as a turning point in video art of the eighties. A characteristic feature of his
work is the use of slow-motion, which makes “restrained time” visible. His work “7 vision
fugitives” won him first prize at ZKM Videokunstpreis and SDR in 1995. In 1989 he created
a visual piece titled “Boulez/Response” about the music of Pierre Boulez.
Robert Cahen was the “Villa Medici hors the Murs” Fellow in 1992. He produced a
permanent video installation at Euralille in 1995 for the Ally of Liege of Lille. The first
exhibition of his video installations took place in 1997 in FRAC, Alsace. Since then his work
has been shown worldwide, including Italy (Pisa, Rome, Palermo, and Milan), Germany
(Berlin, Ludwigsburg, at ZKM in Karlsruhe) in the USA (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Canada,
Switzerland, Peru, Morocco, France, China, Vietnam, Azerbejdzan, Brazil. In 2004 he was
invited to show at the Biennale of contemporary art in Shanghai.
Born in Valence, Robert Cahen lives and works in Mulhouse, France.