Willy Billy

Willy Billy

Silent color video, 23 min


Two clowns were asked to dress in their own costumes, but then make one another up to look like two famous historical clowns: Weary Willie and Billy Hayden. While the latter is representative of the 19th century Auguste tradition, the former is the most iconic representative of the contemporary hobo or tramp clown figure. Once the makeup was applied, I told the performers to improvise, asking them to restrict their movements, using primarily their hands and fingers to “clown” around with their painted faces.

This work was performed by Alan Fairbairn and Christophe Marand and filmed by Arthur Perret. It was produced for La Ferme du Buisson, Noisiel, France.

Willy Billy (2013) from Julien Bismuth on Vimeo.