Projects

MicroCinema: Acts 1—3, 2004-07
Videos + Photographs

The videos in MicroCinema’s trilogy present isolated characters that wander around the stage in an apparent monologue. The protagonists -most of them entirely amateurs-, can hardly ever obtain some reply; a situation constantly repeated in all these works. In many of the feminist texts of the 70s, the term ‘isolation’ appears constantly to refer to the sensation experienced by artists and activists regarding their works and political positioning.


This trilogy is composed by:



Casting: James Dean (Rebel Without a Cause), 2004
Video

In Casting: James Dean (Rebel Without a Cause) 16 women represent a key scene of the film Rebel Without a Cause in an empty set. In response to an open call, the protagonists accepted to play James Dean and re-enact masculine behaviour from their different perspectives, using an array of personal resources that give some interesting clues about the construction of one of the most penetrating and influential models of masculine behaviour in our current society. The traditional casting is transformed here into an ideal laboratory for experimental research in the patterns of construction of images with a highly normative potential.


Casting: James Dean (Rebel Without a Cause), 2004
DVD, colour, sound, 32’ 50’’
Video stills


Casting: James Dean (Rebel Without a Cause), 2004
Installation view at Centre d'Art la Panera, Lleida


Casting: James Dean (Rebelde sin causa), 2004
Installation view at Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela



Exercises of Power. Cases: Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List), Fred MacMurray, Jack Lemmon (The Apartment), 2005
Video + Photographs

Exercises of Power, a project composed of a video and a series of 6 b/w photographs, explores the dynamics of power and subordination that still lie behind the strict gender divisions on which capitalism social structure is supported. Shot in an abandoned tobacco factory, the video visualises the character of construction of masculine behaviour in a working environment by re-creating some revealing film scenes played by Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List), or by the duo of Fred MacMurray and Jack Lemmon in The Apartment. In this occasion, two women who accepted to collaborate in the film, one of them interpreting the bosses, and the other playing the apparently submissive, and therefore feminized employee, reinterpret their characters. The film was shot in the building of Tabacalera, a closed tobacco factory in Donostia-San Sebastián where it would be also projected for the first time.
Cigar maker women were very important for the trade union movement in Spain, but their presence in the tobacco companies was practically limited to the storage rooms, being hardly noticeable in the offices, where decisions were taken, and not beyond the role of secretaries. In 2005, when we were asked to develop a project in the building of Tabacalera, the place had been already abandoned by the company, with furniture and documents left behind and still there. Keeping nearly everything in place, the scenarios in the video reproduce the original film sets as closely as possible, revealing how industrial and corporate architecture globalised its designs and ways of functioning.


Exercises of Power. Cases: Liam Neeson (Schindler’s List), Fred MacMurray, Jack Lemmon (The Apartment), 2005
DVD, b/w, sound, 8’15’’
Video stills


Exercises of Power, 2005
B/W photographs series, 122 x 180 cm. each


Exercises of Power, 2005
Installation views at Galería Elba Benítez, Madrid



After Apocalypse Now: Martin Sheen (The Soldier), 2006-07
Video + Photographs

After Apocalypse Now: Martin Sheen (The Soldier) analyses the masculine ideal of the anti-hero, here interpreted by a Filipino woman, and places him/her in the original locations of the film Apocalypse Now, reviewing the problems and contradictions in the processes of identity construction in what some call a post-colonial era. During the 70s, Francis Ford Coppola chose Filipino landscapes as an ideal background for his renowned film.
These landscapes were used to represent other Asian countries such as Vietnam or Cambodia, and were converted into a scenario that would act as the representation of a Western image of Asiatic exoticism. In the end, The Philippines are transformed into the oriental no-place and their particular identity goes unnoticed. “My film is not about Vietnam. It is Vietnam”, stated Coppola during the presentation of the film; but it was The Philippines, and not Vietnam. Coppola’s film makes a reference, hardly recognised by its director, to Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, one of the first Western narratives that tells about the devastating results of colonial occupation in Africa.
In the original tape, Martin Sheen (Captain Willard) travels upriver Pagsanjan through a dangerous journey into the jungle that will take him to a remote place where he has to encounter Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando). In this version, the mechanisms of representation act in favour of a different heroic character, a new and solitary Captain Willard, whose gender identity is in dispute with the dominant identities and who inhabits and tries to unveil, with theoretical tools, the ambiguities present in a fake landscape made of western fantasies and tourism. The video was shot using the effect of backdrop, repositioning the protagonist out of his/her natural environment, in a theatrical game that abruptly dislocates reality and fiction.


After Apocalypse Now: Martin Sheen (The Soldier), 2006-07
DVD, colour, sound, 9’50’’
Video stills


After Apocalypse Now: Martin Sheen (The Soldier), 2006-07
Installation views


After Apocalypse Now #1, 2006 and After Apocalypse Now #2, 2006
Colour photographs, 180 x 122 cm. each


Backstage (After Apocalypse Now), 2007
Colour photograph, 66 x 100 cm.


Backstage (Gender Trouble), 2007
Colour photograph, 66 x 100 cm.