All fires the fire
“… truth, whose mother is history, rival of time, depository of deeds, witness of the past, exemplar and adviser to the present, and the future’s counsellor.”
Pierre Menard. Don Quixote, part one, chapter IX
Nine individual parts for a war machine outside the State apparatus. Pure multiplicity, of unclear size, exteriority confirmed by mythology, fabulation, drama, festivals and infrarealism. The irruption of the ephemeral and the power of metamorphosis. In the face of measure, wielding fury; in the face of gravity, celerity; in the face of the political, a secret; in the face of sovereignty, power; in the face of apparatus, a machine.
Individual parts to highlight another justice, sometimes of incomprehensible cruelty, but sometime also of unknown compassion. Above all to highlight other relations, since everything connects in future potential relations, rather than creating binary relations between “states”: an animal-becoming of the warrior, a volcano-becoming of the people who are missing.
The nine parts evoke a war to come, but it is not an institutionalized, regulated, codified war, with a front, a rearguard and battles. On the contrary, it is a war with no line of combat, no confrontation and no rearguard—ultimately a war with no battle: pure strategy.
What renews the strategy is a multitude of questions in a precise form that queries the time of a diffuse action, already past and yet to come, of a fire that brings to life all the incomplete figures that make it up, a proliferation of questions that ask:
– What happened to make a volcano call for a war to come in the singular voice of the masses and of the people that are missing? [Infrarrojo/Reclamos de la tierra]
– What can have happened to disjoint celluloid and its rhythm, and to cause the delicate phylum of the image to be continually shot at, manifesting its original and precarious but no less lovely materiality? [Abecedario/B]
– Where does the other, foreign neutral voice come from to render legible and audible a terrible event that has been interpreted over and over by habit and tradition until it has lost all content? [2 de octubre/Lejos de Tlatelolco]
– What has happened to enable us to glimpse, amid government propaganda, another violence, that of a vast war machine growing inside the “amicable image” of itself that the State apparatus wishes to present? [Falso movimiento]
– What does the gaze capture in the moment of its suppression? [Francotirador/La mirada captiva]
– What has happened to enable the silence of a letter turn a festival into a continual dance of depleted shadows, remnants of celebration? [Abecedario/Q]
– What has happened to allow a weightless perception make its way between random rotations and burned mythologies? [Abecedario/R]
– What can have happened to make us, in the shadow of the consuming fire, insist on calling for the pertinence of certain weapons to the immanence of a life, an oscillating machine of war outside the State apparatus, fractal perception of a Soldadera and a Zapatista that have been, yet have not taken place? [Zapatista/Música en el vientre] [Soldadera/Percusión visual]
Finally, whatever the calls or claims, we have to partake in the risk of suffering time as a pure form of destitution. To litigate celluloid as a surface that is neither simple nor smooth. A body that is hit and harassed by the singular holes of entropy. To derail the 24 frames to show that each engram bears the embodiment of Time and the Idea in its least pleasing form. To make the celluloid crawl and mobilize it with the disheartened pulse of danger. To join the debris that the Angelus Novus contemplates and to assign to the rubbish of progress its status of transitory evidence. Briefly to repeat the example of the fires in Alexandria and the Mexican national film archive, to make the moment of danger, of a flare-up, reveal the non-partial fate of memory.
Los Ingrávidos collective, Mexico 2014
Collective’s website: http://losingravidos.com/
Los Ingrávidos, Mexico 2014
To mark the return of Pantalla CCCB, we present Los Ingrávidos, a collective of three young video artists with links to the Infrarrealistas (Bolaño and Papasquiaro), a literary group enamoured of the precarious, that which is never actually voiced.
Their videos contain things that neither are nor mean what they appear. The work of Los Ingrávidos is sometimes densely political, centring on Mexico’s highly complex society. Their universe is made up of trees, rivers and fields, peasant farmers and popular festivals; but also of empty spaces in places that have seen executions, fires in kindergartens, erupting volcanoes, audios of hit men who record their killings. Their themes include the disproportionate repression of popular protests, immigration, media manipulation and everyday executions that compete in bloody spectacularity.
There are things that have never been easy to represent fairly, things that are somehow unknown, ungraspable. They are, perhaps, some of the ones that sadly are most frequently and most poorly represented: violence, sex, death, happiness… Things that are difficult because the attempt to represent them rigorously, not trivially, always falls short, though we are not quite sure how. Los Ingrávidos are conscious of the general abuse of trivial representation and want their images to make us think.
“We want to generate a state of questioning in viewers, to make them wonder what has happened. We want to make sure that these struggles, these acts of resistance, don’t fall through the cracks.” Sometimes they play with the contrast between abstract images and voices that are taken from or talk about horrible things, backed by music that seems to invite reflection. “Television diseases the viewers’ eye, turning them into passive viewers”, they say. They are also interested in the materiality of images, different supports and a different kind of narration—when there is one—to the conventional forms.
Deconstructing the misleading images that are produced by the mass media in cahoots with whichever government happens to be in power, dismounting the apparatus behind their manipulating rhetoric, attempting to show up their lies. Using recordings from the past aims to reactivate political discourses and apply them to today’s reality. In the face of the supposed neutrality of images, which are always permeated by ideology, Los Ingrávidos set out to reconnect old injustices with the present.
Fèlix Pérez-Hita [ Video artist and cultural critic ]