Saltwater
Raphael Moreira Gonçalves


January 13  -  February 10, 2017

I need to make films to help me think through and build on my volume work. I need to experiment with forms, textures and colors to be able to make films. And I like it when both activities rub off on each other, because I get the impression that it’s in the intersection of the two that I’ll find what I’m looking for: a sort of “total story” where a multitude of space-times can come together, splinter, clash and fuse together. That’s what motivates me. I like telling stories by playing around, with a storyline that might, for example, grow out of an object, bounce back off a filmed scene and land again in a virtual environment. Instead of naturalism and the industrial approach inherited from the Lumière brothers, I prefer, like Raoul Ruiz, the artificialness and hand-made style of Méliès, intimately linked to sorcery. Anything hinting at the dramatization of a duration resonates profoundly with me. Anything to do with rhythm, harmony, breaking-up and chaos.

A profound change is already going on before our eyes. “First reality” is being hollowed out and transferred to cyberspace. Interpersonal relationships now turn on images. Internet speaks through images. And this new visual grammar means it’s also possible rethink the poetic image. And in my case, I try to link it to my own personal history and this idea of the phantom, the avatar, while sometimes trying to include, here and there, a few touches of dark humor.
My way of working is also haunted by that tipping point where everything is suddenly prone to destruction and renewal in diverse mutations.

What also intrigues me is the fascination someone might have for an object, an inanimate thing. As if a kind of contemporary romantic essence might emerge from their duality. Because the feeling of internal drowning depicted by 18th and 19th century romantics is no longer brought on by confronting complex, incomprehensible and overwhelming nature. These days it is channeled through the technological artifacts: smartphones, computers, tablets, etc., which we look at every day. Existential uneasiness is no longer provoked by our outside environment but by objects that make us forget about it, seen on screens. So today, screens have taken the place of raging oceans, craggy mountains and fiery skies. They are teleportation systems transporting us into a virtual world which takes up more and more space.

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