If water can be liquid, solid, or gas, what can history be?
The essay film 'Stone Acrobatics' takes as a departing point the case of a Romanesque church, originally located in my hometown region, in Spain. In the 1950's each of the stones of that church were carefully dismantled and shipped to New York, where the very same building was re-erected.
Seduced by the idea of such a fluid process affecting something so solid as a building, I spent months in New York researching that church. I wrote, I filmed, I made sandcastles. As a result of that process, I produced an essay film as well as a number of related works in which architecture is related to language, etymology flirts with ancestry, and a detective becomes prisoner of a writer.
The film draws a parallel between language and architecture as systems that help us delimiting experience while depending on basic units of construction (words and stones). Besides this, religion is related to the display of historical objects by focusing on the shared theatricality of their mise en scéne. In addition, ‘Stone Acrobatics’ observes the construction of the city of NY as an image and reflects upon the use of images for the disneyfication of history. The film also relates the role of the artist as a researcher to the archetype of the 'lonely detective’ in recent literature.
single channel HD film.
Spanish spoken with English subtitles.
Original music and sound design by Sjoerd Leijten
50 x 34 x 60 cm (column 2'50 mts high)
View at the group show 'When Elephants Come Marching In'
Curated by Mark Kremer.
De Appel Arts Centre, Amsterdam.
'Acrobat' (2014) is a sandcastle and is one of the diverse outcomes of the 'Stone Acrobatics' project. This work is a consequence of my interest in the modes of construction of a narrative. On the occasion of this group show, 'Acrobat' reflects on corbels, capitals and friezes as pre-cinematic storytelling devices.
The figure was sculpted in situ and is inspired by one of the romanesque corbels I found during my research in New York.
View at Instituto Cervantes New York