The 59th Minute

Most of us see more movie trailers than the films they advertise—indeed, the trailer has become a genre of its own. You Should be the Next Astronaut is the first in a series of short films by Charles de Meaux that revisits the principal cinema genres, here referencing science fiction. But this work is not a preview of a film coming to theaters nearby; it plays with the conventional cinematic trailer’s role as a prophecy, a promissory note and stoker of audience expectation. In this case, there is no feature film to come.

You Should be the Next Astronaut is part of a larger series of works, titled “Trailer Part 1,” which will operate as a set of conventional cinematic previews. In de Meaux’s project, the trailer is the final film, and exposes the current condition of cultural consumption in which the attention to promotion has in many cases surpassed our interest in the product itself. As de Meaux’s collaborator Agnieszka Kurant states, “most individuals have now read more of the blurbs on the back of books than they have books, and browsed more exhibition reviews than they ever have exhibitions. The consequence of this is a cultural biosphere in which synopses, fragments, and commentaries live an arguably fuller life than ‘whole’ works.” In today’s world, the coming attraction is the attraction itself.

You Should be the Next Astronaut is an Anna Sanders Films production. The “Trailer Part 1” series, beginning with this work, will find another life in a project by Agnieszka Kurant that proposes to include a number of interventionist urban artworks within a feature sci-fi film she is undertaking, in effect curating an exhibition that exists only as cinema.


Charles de Meaux (b. 1967, Istanbul) founded Paris-based Anna Sanders Films in 1998 with Pierre Huyghe, Philippe Parreno and the Association for the Diffusion of Contemporary Art (Xavier Douroux and Franck Gautherot), joined later by Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster. ASF is a production tool for projects that hover between cinema and contemporary art. As a participant in the program, de Meaux directed and produced several films that contributed to the definition of an imaginary character named Anna Sanders.

Agnieszka Kurant (b. 1978, Lodz) is an artist, and a curator of Anna Sanders Films Program. She is currently an artist in residence at Konstfack (Stockholm, Berlin, Paris, Istanbul), and authored a monograph of Anna Sanders Films with Mathieu Copeland, published by Les Presses du Réel and Forma in 2003.

You Should be the Next Astronaut, 2006
November 14 - December 31, 2006