Location, 2013

Two-channel High-Definition video installation
Colour, stereo sound, 16:02 min. Loop.
Original language Spanish. English subtitles

https://vimeo.com/130012878

  

Location proceeds from the archaeological ruins of a Clandestine Detention Centre
operated by the last Argentinian dictatorship (1976–1983). The ruins were excavated
in the context of a lawsuit and initiated in 2004 to prosecute and judge the crimes
committed by the totalitarian government.
Location aims at dismantling the conventional visual rhetoric of historical testimony
and search for an aesthetic language that does not subject the history to the forces of
ideological assimilation or mass media commodification. The project explores historical
memory and private articulation of that memory, materiality, spatial structures
and strands of time. Not only in the information the work is based upon, but also in
the medium itself, which condenses to become one with what is being depicted. The
work wants to test our perception of the past and the present and the relationship
between the textual and the visual information.
The film combines images of the archaeological excavation, with disembodied voice perform by my self.
What we see on the images are the foundations of a building, the archaeology site, alternated with takes of the filming crew at work during the shooting.
The voice keep telling over, reading a script base on excerpts from a Court Trial, in which survivors of the Detention centre where ask to describe the Mansion interiors.
The images depict the place, alternating takes made during the day and night. To capture the images I use a motion control system to circulate the location with the camera.
The camera movement across the archaeological site, oscillates day and night, light and darkness. In terms of camera angle and motion, both day and night images are identical to one another, as they reveal details of the excavation.
The images disrupt any continuity of time as given by sense of day and night. Past and present try to catch up with each other, in this sense the hybrid temporality in film becomes a theme. It shows to what extent the cinematic dispositive is affected by the way the visible constantly slides away. Therefore constituting a challenge to memory.

  


Voice-over (fragment)

The residence consists of two rectangular-shaped floors: a basement and an annex,
located in the down floor, which can be accessed through the hall.

An old house surrounded by a park.
Its chamfered corners have high doors and windows with latticework which are
always shut.
On the first floor, there’s a kitchen with natural light, a wooden bathroom and
several other rooms.

An old house, with large, double leaf wooden windows, located in the down
floor, which can be accessed through the hall.

In the lower floor there are six rooms, used at times as torture places, a bathroom,
and the living-room.

There’s an annex that you can get to through a hall with tiled floor. A squared
space, divided in four sections: a hall, an ironing room, a kitchen and a pantry.
There you can see a white squared column that belongs to this area.

The room belongs to an old house, with wooden shutters. These are held shut.
There’s nothing there.
Just two mattresses.

The lights can be switched on and off from the outside of the room.

Beyond the concrete stairway there’s a basement adjoining the living room.

On the upper floor : eight rooms in total, two bathrooms and the kitchen. They
are distributed along a double-loaded hall.
A room for women, a small bathroom, another room for men, a desk and a table.

Right after, turning to the right and crossing the hall, there are a torture room, a
bathroom and the kitchen.

Along the hall there is a room intended for retaining the detainees, followed by
the area where the stairway is located, and the torture room.
At its right, in this order, there’s a bathroom, the kitchen and, turning again to
the right, a small room followed by two bigger ones.

Three white marble steps.
A hall.
A wooden stairway.
The floor is also wooden in the upper floor. In that level there’s a double-loaded hall.
Going up the stairs, at the right I think, there’s a bathroom just as you leave
the stairway.

At the left there’s a kitchen, two rooms and… turning there to the right there’s a
smaller room with a stairway that leads to the roof. Then, another room and the
torture place.

The steps are short and a bit rounded. They are marble steps. And some wooden
steps after them.

A wide wooden stairway along the wall, with a landing, and approximately ten
steps before reaching the first floor.
We entered a house and went up a stairway. A wooden stairway, with a straight
main flight, and two or three other steps in a right angle.
In the upper floor, two rooms with wooden floor, high ceilings and beige windows.
And doors with big glass panels.

An old house, with large, double leaf wooden windows, yellow walls and olive
green woodwork.

As for the stairway, it turned to a side. It was quite high and it had a landing. It
was made of wood.

A wooden stairway, with the door at its right. It was L shaped.

A house in which I climb a flight of stairs. A wooden stairway, I think. The stairway
leads, at the right, to the rooms. One of them is a torture room. There are
wall sockets in there. The other room has windows. The type of windows that
old houses have, with two panes. One of the windows gives onto a balcony. In
the upper floor, there’s a kitchen.

A bathroom, a small washbasin, and further on, the toilet, no bidet, a clawfoot
bathtub and a window with glass panes.

The bathroom… next to the bathroom there’s the kitchen.
Six rooms altogether, the bathroom, and that’s it.

A very old bathroom, next to the kitchen. It had a window that wasn’t boarded
up.

The bathroom has a small washbasin, with a mirror.
There’s also a toilet. And a window that opens onto the front of the house. To
the front door, that is to say, the opposite wall. The bathtub is located at the
right, as you enter the room, and to the left there’s the washbasin with the mirror.
The toilet’s also on the left. The window was also boarded up.

A window and the toilet.

  

complete version of the voice over script is published in RABRAB journal.
www.rabrab.fi