The principle of the Accueil livre d'image is to create a hospitality zone around the film. In the French language, hôte ('host') and accueil ('welcome') are reversible terms: both refer simultaneously to the one who is hosted and to the one who hosts. This is why everyone issuing an invitation or organising an event is also expected to produce a zone of hospitality in which Image Book will be presented on a large monitor and eight visible loudspeakers, very much akin to the set-up in which it was created in Godard’s home studio. These recreations can take place anywhere in the world.
One of the stipulated ingredients of the set-up is the book Images en parole by Godard’s partner Anne-Marie Miéville, presented on top of a small prayer rug. Godard thus underlines the importance of dialogue with the Arab world, just as he does in the final section of his latest film.
For the Rotterdam version of Accueil livre d'image, the lobby and dining room of the Atlanta hotel are an obvious location, not only because these already thematize the notion of hospitality, but also because they provoke a sense of history. The Art Deco hotel is one of the rare buildings in the center of Rotterdam that survived the devastating bombing by the Germans on 14th May 1940.