affections and disaffections

curatorial text: Arlindo Machado

Video has been characterized as a low-resolution image, at least until now and comparatively with other technical images, such as photography and cinematography. A low-resolution image means it works better in small screens. It is also an image in which you can put a small amount of information, since there is always the danger that a too much abundant frame in motives will be dissolved in the storm of reticulated lines, thus losing the details and the deep focus. This has been suffering modifications in the last few years, due to the appearance of the digital image (of variable resolutions) and the high-definition television. But the 30 years’ history of our video was actually done with the granulated, mosaic images that characterized the first videos. For this reason, video was always inclined to the analytic decomposition of the motives, to the dismembering of the scene in a series of details indicating its totality. The electronic image, for its own technical nature, uses a metonymic language, in which the part, the detail and the fragment are articulated to suggest the whole. This makes it the adequate way for the close-up, for the detail. However, this doesn’t mean, evidently, that there are only close up shots in video, but that all the shots are always inclined to the fragmentary cut whose model is given by the close up.

Well, to make a radical choice for the close up means to incorporate in the very structure the shifts that this frame determines. The electronic image is inclined to limit the number of protagonists that appear at the same time inside the frame and to work always in small spaces, preferably in interiors. So, almost by fatality, there is a predominance of intimate themes, connected to common people in their daily struggle. And, just as the composition of the frame tends to be the most deprived as possible, the scenarios can’t seem to be excessively realistic nor minutely filled; they must point to the synthesis or to the schema. Therefore, we have the prevalence of nude or blurred scenarios and all the attention pointed to the character and his or her private drama. It wasn’t by chance that the small screen has revealed to be the most adequate to explore questions concerning human feelings, affections and disaffections, the whole intimacy that we can read in a person’s face, in a close-up of the character, or in the details of the objects that translate his or her world. Thus, another line of force of the Brazilian video is the work in a lesser key, made of intimate details, unarticulated whispers, shaking hands, silent screams frozen in the throat, anguishes not yet formulated.

Affections and Disaffections
An exhibition of contemporary Brazilian vídeo for
Plataforma 01
Puebla, México (2006)

1. From the Window of My Room (2004) – 5’
Direction, photography, editing: Cao Guimarães

2. Stereoscopy (2005) – 6’20’’
Conception, direction, photography: André Parente

3. Lonesome (2004) – 3’20”
Conception, direction, editing: Simone Michelin

4. Inutile Landscape (2005) – 4’
Photography, direction, editing: Kátia Maciel

5. Rhizome 0667 (2003) – 9’25”
Conception, direction, editing: Marcellvs L.

6. Without You (2005) – 6’40”
Conception, direction: Patrícia Moran

7. Flesh I (2005) – 7’15”
Conception, direction, editing: Analivia Cordeiro

8. Red Dreams (2004) – 6’50”
Script, direction, editing: Rachel Rosalen

9. Portraits in Motion: the Kiss (2005) – 5’
Conception, direction, photography: Luís Duva

10. Ball (2005) – 2’45”
Photography, direction, editing: Inês Cardoso

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