VIDEOsPAIN TRANSVISUAL CROSSINGSSpecial Screenings
- Fri 20.May @ 18:00 - 20:00
VIDEOsPAIN TRANSVISUAL CROSSINGS | Curated by Iury Lech (ES)
VIDEOsPAIN is an international program of video art that aims to exhibit the most avant-garde and up-to-date elements in the varied Spanish audiovisual scene to day, with a theme compelling enough to capture the attention of a broad and diverse audience. This broad selection of works offers a caustic, unusual and critical tribute to twenty one works produced by Spanish video artists, whose works form part of the MADATAC archive. Many of these artists have been awarded the prestigious annual prizes given by MADATAC Festival. The subtitle “Transvisual crossings” alludes to the themes addressed by the video creations in this selection, which describe the dilemmas of fragmented societies in transit into yet unidentified new models, and recognise the changing terrain in which we exist and create, readapting landscapes and objects derived from an unexplored audiovisual digital culture. Here both dreamlike visions and realistic ones, oriented by networks of the in- tangible, encounter organic textures of great sculptural intensity and expand into different forms through which we may observe the dissimilar landscapes of captive sensations and emotions, as well as the one that expose the wakeful body.
Albert Merino (ES) | The essence of the stone
This is a journey through the architectural elements of a space in which the olfactory qualities and the walls are evoked through the appearance of decontextualized objects, unexpected presences and heavy elements. Two figures seek each other through the hallways, chambers and gardens in a static chase, while the space itself gradually undresses itself, leaving its fragments and wounds exposed in a display that overwhelms the gaze and transcends the senses. The images of this specific architectural space reflect a geometrical vision similar to blueprints and their “ideal” conception of space. However the space is also comprised of a series of elements that do not form part of its ideal conception, which are only perceptible at an unconscious or non-visible level. Among these components are all the visions that ever transited that space, moments that accumulate one on top of another through different temporal strata, leaving traces. Therefore the space is overflowing and replete with strange elements that evoke qualities such as aroma or absence.
Duration: 7:53 nmin
Alex de la Croix (ES) | Yurei, the ghost misconception
Conceptual video art drawn from the concept of the “phantasm or spirit” in Jap-
anese folklore and Shintoism. In this piece, the artist develops a character using influences from what is called “J-Horror” or “Japanese Horror” (a term used to describe Japanese psychological thrillers) and from Japanese mysticism, making use of experimental and abstract compositional techniques to create a sinister feeling of disorientation and tension. This is the feeling of the Yürei (the specific name in Japanese culture for this kind of being) who cannot be in peace after his death due to something incorrect which occurred in his life, as is also the case of the Borei or the Shiryo, spirits with different but equally disturbing characteristics. Here, as the title of the piece suggests, the character is shown as a confused spectre, immobilized and displaced from his impenetrable habitat, confined to a diaphanous space which outlines her silhouette exposing not only her vulnerabil-
ity by also an invisible but latent menace.
Duration: 2:13 min
Alfredo G. Barroso (ES) | Pictorialismo
Digitalism might just as well have been the title of this work, which imitates the form of the first moving image devices which reproduced animation cycles in a loop. The title also makes reference to the academic style in photography practiced in the late 19th and early 20th centuries that, appropriating pictorial genres, made the body its principle object of representation. This trans-media fact is equivalent, in this audiovisual work, to the recent effort by digital media to assimilate to analogical forms, in which the graphic and the symbolic once again take on importance in contrast with the real. The ingenuity of bringing new life to iconography through a gesture—desaturated photographs, developed in erotic tones by a camera which passes through the scene—here allows us a visual study of traditional techniques within a digital context. In this piece, each frame constitutes an environment more than a timeline. The perspective becomes fractaloid, and a transition, independent of narrative, is resolved through morphism. More than a medium, the digital is a paradigm and a field of cultural action.
Duration: 2:30 min
Ana Marcos & Angela Ruíz (ES) | entreVELADAS
Two artists of two different generations here present a frank and dynamic look at their female bodies, partially seen through a patina of time and experience, in a performative act in which the body shows itself as it wants to be shown: subject and not object of its own gaze. The whole image has been processed, perturbed, but swathed in emotions. The body is constructed in folds and surfaces that, in the multiplication of their gestures, generate signs of resistance, identities that are repeated in various layers manifest in a collective body, bearer of life expe-
riences. In search of fictions that inhabit us and in dialogue with contemporary notions of identity, these artists of different generations ask themselves how the emotional and artistic language about women affects them/us. entreVELADAS is a tale of how human beings of the present have the option to design their own in/ external bodies. They show the conflict between an ideal, open, living and chang-
ing body and a silenced, sexualized, closed and pornographized body. We cannot know what we seek unless we recognize its contrary.
Duration: 4:07 min
Belén Patón (UK) | City of Caves
City of Caves is a video dance that forms part of the larger project Cities Interpreted (Road Closed), developed by Belén Patón. This is an interdisciplinary project which brings together photo-montage, painting and video, seeking to reinterpret the atmosphere of different cities and their intrinsic characteristics: their life, architecture, and the continuity of their identity over time. This work, carried out in Nottingham, focuses on the complex web of caves underneath the city center, which reveal its medieval past and the city’s development over the centuries as a pre-industrial center. The final product is a dream-like space composed of digital composi tions. The point of departure for this product is collage, digitally animated to endow the work with atmospheric sensations that situate us in space (light, movement, sound, time). Thus an environment is generated which is surreal in effect but based upon real elements, in which the perception of the individual and the perspective vary continuously. Maya Brinner performs in the piece, lending it a corporeal element that compels us to look again at our interaction with the space around us.
Duration: 6:45 min
David Rodríguez Gimeno (ES) | Develop / Movement No1
This series of three pieces filmed in Antarctica addresses the process of approaching a territory through a structure projected upon it, exploring the access of the body, the gaze and the notion of time through three geometrical constructions which gradually open out from the spherical to the panoramic in direct analogy to cartographic projections. Indeed, the appearance of Antarctica changes dramatically depending upon the perspective from which it is seen: it goes from seeming a formless mass at the bottom of a flattened cartographic representation of the globe to appearing as the center of that geometry in a spherical representation. This is a reflection of the process that has drawn interest to Antarctica, and layered the place with expectations, myths and fables. Time passes differently here, on another scale; it situates the observer in a situation without limits: from this derives the distinct aesthetic experience of the place. In the first piece the move-
ment of the body defines the schema applied to this space, in the second it is the gaze, and in the third it is the passage of time.
Duration: 3:00 min
Elena Gaztelumendi (ES) | Leak Out / Defacebook Serie
Defacebook is a reflection on the speed of adaptation to which character is subjected in our times. The constant transformation of models of social interaction and communication, spurred on by the commercialization of technological and scientific advances, has turned the process of identity formation into a grotesque deformation of personality. This generates unexpected mutations, as human be-
ings do not quite manage to fully integrate these new advances. In this series the artist uses video and 3D animation to create fantastical environments. She draws upon the kind of animations used by scientists to communicate their discoveries to society when those discoveries cannot be seen. She uses this to interpret aspects of the psyche that also are unseen until represented. Her work is based on the re-creation of symbolic environments, as symbols are a language which works over time and across languages: she extracts ideas from mythology and the symbolism of ancestral cultures which called upon us to waken unconscious languages and to communicate through their processes.
Duration: 4:08 min
Fernando García Malmierca (ES) | Neonova
Neonova is a work that constructs and simulates future human evolution. The beings herein represented are taller, their dorsal curve is more pronounced, their cranium is oversized, and the loss of hair and the atrophying of the toes might suggest a natural logic of evolution. Above all, however, this work looks at the issue of genetic engineering. The idea is the creation of beings that are archetypes of future evolved humans (post-humans), both through natural evolution and through genetic engineering with the incorporation of technological elements. The Neonova have subcutaneous osmotic mechanisms that increase their specialization and functionality, in a wink to Freud’s “gods with prostheses” those persons with artificial elements or even hybridization with animals to increase their abilities and powers. These are not beings with a defined sexual identity: sexual organs disappear or persist without any function, conserved as an aesthetic element or as nostalgia for an earlier phase of evolution. The morphological design and choice of skin color mean that older concepts of race become meaningless.
Duration: 8:55 min
Isabel Pérez del Pulgar (ES) | Opus Nigrum
The objective of alchemy is to achieve—or at least to attempt—through a complex and labyrinthine process of thought and codification, the purification of the impure and through this purification to obtain knowledge of the absolute. Opus Nigrum is the alchemical formula that indicates the phase of separation and dissolution of matter. The artist takes the definition of this alchemical process as a metaphor for the creative process, a battlefield in which the construction and decon-
struction of the subjective and unconscious self is continually pushed onwards by dissatisfaction, frustration and doubt, impelling a permanent search for fresh answers. Marcel Duchamp, in his essay “The creative act” says: “Apparently the artist acts as a medium that, from the labyrinth beyond time and space, seeks his path towards a clearing.” In the creative act, the artist transits from intentions to creation through a chain of totally subjective reactions. Her struggle towards fulfillment is a series of efforts, pains, satisfactions, negations and decisions that cannot and should not be fully conscious, at least at an aesthetic level.
Iury Lech (ES) | Transmorph Realities
Just when everything around us presents itself as inalterable is perhaps when reality is most susceptible to being transformed into something visually stirring and mutant. Transmorph realities make reference to the current of transformation from the real to the virtual and vice versa as a way of capturing the past in order to lend the present a complex and exotic many-sided existence. The imperceptible metamorphosis of the visible means that nothing remains unchanged, everything varies in order to readjust and stir up the consciousness and the imagination of the spectator/observer. These random realities waver between perplexity and hypertrophy, living like a barely-tolerated guest on the retina, which in turn is surrounded by a passive world that marginalizes a creative practice based on constantly questioning the foundations of the dominant culture of the spectacle, which in turn pretends that the revolution of video art never occurred.
Duration: 1:50 min
Javier Lloret (NL) | Detached Series
Detached Series is a succession of evocative and artistic videos in which the characters show symptoms of alienation. Their lack of expression stands in marked contrast to the violence of the transformations generated by their repeated actions. A series of secondary characters observe this and interfere in the unfolding events. This piece makes use of a minimalist mise en scène, in which the austerity of the stage contrasts with the slow and controlled movement of the camera, cinematic in style. The slow and gradual unfolding of the highly ambiguous situations creates a tension that builds by the moment. The lack of dialogue or of music increases the impact of the sounds generated by the characters’ actions.
Duration: 4:16 min
Juan Carlos Sánchez Duque (ES) | Still Life
In this piece we see an animation of natural elements that have been filmed throughout the night in a frenzy of movement and activity, but are illuminated by a ghostly light that transforms them into beings closer to death than to life. The still life (or naturaleza muerta), so frequent in painting, represents inanimate natural objects—animals, fruit, flowers, plants—relying on color and light to produce a sensation of serenity, wellbeing and harmony. In contrast but in direct dialogue with this tradition, the images displayed here have a mysterious aura that brings to light the shared essence of extreme opposites.
Duration: 9:11 min
Julio Fernández Arpón (ES) | Effect 02
This piece is a video collage made with footage of the movement of leaves on trees. As a symbol of the cyclical transformation of matter, they compose a new form in constant metamorphosis. Effect 02 pertains to a series begun in 2011 that continues in process to this day, as every autumn, with the falling of the leaves, the piece is re-edited with subtle changes in color and movement. The piece uses its medium as both theme and content, distancing itself from conventional formulas and exploring new terrains. Its images mix a close observation of objects with a special tactile sensitivity and the distance that the imaginary provides.
Duration: 3:21 min
Laura & Sira Cabrera (ES) | Dreamworld
This piece alludes to good and evil, to the beautiful and the dark, to the dance of life and death, to subjective time and simultaneous time, to the abyss of the uncon-
scious, to finitude and the transformation that pushes forward into an inexorable and unknown future. These are impossible spaces, times and movements, not realistic ones. Mental images of a woman made up of parts of herself, as if drawn from a drowsing state, or perhaps from a human sentiment as multiple as it is ubiquitous which confronts us with the beyond. The technique is based on the overlapping of footage through which different moments of dance are joined, playing with sizes and transparencies, with the angles of earth and transpositions, such that the content of the video prevails over its techniques and that the techniques subordinate themselves to the theme addressed. With a figure dancing in subjective time, in which she may disappear, become paralyzed, transform herself into various replicas of herself, shrink, enlarge or multiply as in dreams, we fall into a black magma which gradually covers everything, leading us into the bottomless depths of destiny and death.
Duration: 7:06 min
Lisi Prada (ES) | Haiku Time
Haiku Time is a metaphor of survival which questions the traditional separation between nature and culture, between what is human and what is not, between the masculine and the feminine, between nationalities and languages—including languages such as poetic or scientific language—proposing an abolition of the borders and boundaries which distance us from the other and from otherness, in favor of all that unites us. It questions the alienation of contemporary urban life in which we behave like sheep, ants or pawns on a chessboard, obliged to continue in a meaningless daily routine imposed by the rule of the clock. In the form of a “video-haiga”, these images accompany a haiku preceded by a poetic text, which is recited simultaneously in English and German. Some verses are heard like a Greek chorus in Japanese, Norwegian, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish, emphasizing that what is being recounted could happen to anyone, anywhere. Based on simple and profound observations of daily life and poetic images among which references to the moon and to nature predominate, the haiga is a painting style from which the haiku poetic form is derived, with its three verses of 5-7-5 syllables, here represented symbolically through the use of three divisions of the screen, subtitles in three languages, and a total length of 5 minutes, 7 seconds and 5 micro seconds.
Duration: 5:07 min
Luis Bezeta (ES) | The Factory
The Factory (42764203) is a project that makes reference to video art and experimental cinema, both tendencies that arose out of the 1960s. A long take shows a creative space like the New York Silver Factory, founded in 1963, where Andy Warhol began to make his first films showing elements of daily life (sleeping, eating, cutting hair, drinking). In this spirit, the video work of Luis Bezeta uses a simple and direct point of view to approach issues of his daily life. The piece tells us little of his daily routine, his walks, or his personal reflections; rather it comes closer to a poetic dissertation on very simple acts. All of this is shot from a very personal perspective, the visual strategies of which are surprising and unpredictable. There is virtually no separation between life and work. This piece, between video art and film, aims to tell a story with many layers, with a final result that is much more complex than it might at first seem.
Duration: 3:45 min
Marina Núñez (ES) | Device 3
A mechanical gizmo, in which mutant and illogical heads might fit, holds the head of a woman immobilized on the floor. Perhaps they are her doubles, chimera arisen from her unconscious, or else real but ill-advised scientific ventures. We witness the end of the canonical body, so thoroughly represented in our culture as re-
strained and stable matter, consistent with the unitary human being, lord of the world and of himself. In the age of the post-human these foundations crumble. It has been some time now since the discourses about the unconscious made it clear that otherness is not external to us but rather something that constitutes us. Certain technical advances, especially in the field of biotechnology, acceler- ate the dismantling of old representations of the body and with them, obsolete definitions of the individual. If our bodies are reconstructed through mechanical, chemical, genetic and electronic inventions, it is difficult to maintain the image of bodily integrity. It becomes inevitable to think of the body as a collage, in which the boundaries between the self, the world and other beings become porous and blurry. This kind of body possesses the whole cumulous of characteristics which popular imagination has traditionally attributed to monsters, which have always fascinated us—attracting us and repelling us at the same time—precisely because they force us to see them as an only very slightly distorted reflection of ourselves.
Duration: 3:15 min
Miguel Ángel Concepción (ES) | The Last Supper
Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper and the conjugation of religion, gastronomy and creation/destruction, the artist invited twelve other artists to participate in The next last supper, a meeting around a table filled with food and concepts, in which the artists played the role of the apostles and of Jesus Christ. Each artist was to make a self-portrait and give it to the host, along with all the rights to its use and manipulation. Confronting creation (artists enacting the last supper, the classical painted image, the self-portrait as a form of creation) and destruction (the fire, Savonarola) is a fascinating subject, considering that religion has paradoxically served as the greatest form of creative patronage and also the greatest suppressant of art: from the magnificent commissions for the decoration of Church porticos, chapels and altarpieces to the Church’s retrograde attitude in various historical moments, quite particularly in the present.
Duration: 3:14 min
Ohn (María Roja & Berio Molina) (ES) | Minuison
The title of the piece Minuison is made up of three concepts: min-, meaning miniscule; -ui- which refers to User Interface, and –son, which means sound in Galician. Minuison plays with the idea of the miniscule in relation to exaggerated make-up, body gestures and sound drawing. All the visual and acoustic actions arise from the facial micro-movements made by the performer: blinks, opening of the lips, deformations of the mouth, stretchings of the skin and agitations of the body. These movements change the form of the drawing traced with make-up over the skin, while they also generate and modulate the sound in real time. This creates visual layers that are projected over the performer’s face in a digital interaction of changing emotional suggestions. The tracking system is done with Devuison, a self-made software based on openframeworks. It uses techniques of Computer Vision and Color Tracking. Part of the code being used is drawn from the project L.A.S.E.R. Tag, by the Graffiti Research Lab. The sound is generated and modulated in real time using Supercollider. Previously recorded samples of the performer’s voice are used. These sounds are transformed as a function of the data sent by openframeworks using OSC protocol.
Duration: 4:36 min
Rocío López Zarandieta (ES) | Within
Within is a self-portrait in which the artist uses her own pregnant image as a window and as an interior screen in which things occur which might not be seen by the naked eye. In the majority of the productions she has made using her own body, “my own self” as she says, she has transformed it into eyes, into nests, into a bearer of obstacles and, in this most recent work, into a screen or porthole, from which it is possible to look into the inside while showing the outside. There is nothing like a woman’s feeling in certain moments that some-
thing is taking place inside, a mutation she is secretly undergoing. The artist’s naked body is inside the window—inside her own body—like bipolarity, like a symbiosis between the static exterior and the dynamic interior. Living near the beach, the artist feels and hears how the wind moves the ocean and the sand, which buries her and uncovers her, thus revealing the domestic body, the container body, the cocoon body, the body on spin cycle.
Duration: 3:03 min
Rrose Present (ES) | Life, or burning shadows
The collective ritual of the bonfires of San Juan, in which citizens burn old objects in order to purge themselves of the past and renew themselves for the summer solstice, is here transformed into an individual ritual for bringing light (giving birth) to our own shadows. A hand lights a flame that gives life to a silhouette’s shadow. It grows, moves, dancing with the flame until the flame consumes itself and dies: a metaphor for the three phases of life. Or is it a ritual act of giving birth to our shadow; the shadow which is a psychic element representing our worst nightmares, the monsters and demons hidden under a mantle of fear in the darkness of the individual or collective unconscious, which is then illuminated by the “transforming” fire in order to exorcise our own fears and worst enemies.
Duration: 3:16 min