This entry was posted on August 7th, 2017

Manuela de Laborde’s As Without So Within (2016)

The Sea: organic millenary presence, reckless, that constantly roars under the Moon’s spell. Place of combats, and great escapes. Sunken Universe which evokes the immensity of its nature. Unavoidable poetic image that transcends the human simplicity. As part of the Media City Film Festivals 2017 ’s International Competition, two films approach the sea from the cinematic experience to evoke new aesthetic relations with it.

Elli (2016) by Esther Urlus portraits the exact place where the Greek participation in the World War II started. Place of combats that remains incorruptible, in silence about the time that has passed, immutable. Urlus makes the most of color variations to go deeper into the seascape’s profundity, loaded with wars. A cobalt blue, saturated, pours onto our glance, and surpasses our visual experience, almost from beginning to end. Textures, sea’s calmed movements, withdrew by the intensity of the cobalt blue which diminish space for any figuration. That monotony gets interrupted with the presence of foreign elements to it, such as a ship, or a swimmer. Presences that burst in and transform that order, but also impact on us with a serie of flickers that evolve through different pigments, in positive and negative. Immerse us into the experience of a historical event that such as the final shot of Elli (2016), dyed the seawaters of red, and such as the optical evolution of the film, fragmented a pacific and controlled vision of the World.

On her behalf, with Terra Long’s 350 MYA (2016), we find ourselves before the evocation of an Ocean that existed in the actual zone of the Tafilalet’s region in the immense Sahara’s desert. Since the beginning, there’s a suggestion about the Rheic Ocean, that was situated in that zone during the Paleozoic era. The undulating wind that flutters a piece of fabric, accompanied by a sea babbling, evokes the movements that the sea communicates. Although the impotent desert’s presence, Terra Long achieves an analogy between this two spaced of immensity that only find a vague limit with the Horizon. A determination imposed for geographic delimitations, but that in essence it doesn’t have a proper sense. The frames also acquire an indetermination in its movement, that offers an exciting experience of the landscape, by abstracting it and setting us before a skyline that has lost its lineal -geometrical- understanding. With ethnographical traces, we get to see little animals and archaeological rests, which give us a senses of the ecosystem of that landscape and its age. A man pick up water like a fisherman that is fishing, that’s the only moment when we get to see the ocean’s element presence. Nevertheless, through out the film, we find ourselves in a evocation of a dim Horizon between sand and sea-sky.

Cinema achieves new aesthetically experiences with matter, the concrete world, from its capacity of representation, but also its own materiality. In the case of Manuela de Laborde’s film, As Without so Within (2016), the director makes a visual study of the cinematic image capacities to transform the objects of its representation. Apparent space rocks, Moon’s surfaces, in spaces of black emptiness, that hover and remain static. The dynamism and variations achieved with superpositions, angle positions, distances and closeness, resemble a scientific study of the physic phenomena of seeing and of matter. Laborde goes further by creating different inner and outer spaces of those objects, with the handling of the image, through textures and layers. What in the beginning seems like a outer space exploration, evolves into a plastic approach that achieves the abstraction of matter that is an index of a outer-space. With extreme closeness, those object’s “inner space” reveals the materiality of the image that makes possibly its scientific and aesthetic study.

Artist: Esther Urlus
Country: Holanda
Format: 16mm
Duration: 8 min
Year: 2016

350 MYA
Artist: Terra Long
Country: Canadá
Format: 16mm
Duration: 5 min
Year: 2016

As Without So Within
Artist: Manuela De la Borde
Country: USA
Format: 16mm
Duration: 25 min
Year: 2016