Jérémie Magar’s short video work, “Une réflexion personnelle sur le mouvement social du 15-M,á Madrid, 2011”, looks at the events that took place in Spain early in 2011. The unification of the people and the energy that accompanies it is beautifully shot. The interludes show the artist in a cliché pose, the outsider, the observer, one step back from the events yet necessarily in them. The footage itself being of course representative of that fact that the artist must be there to feel it yet there must also be the objective stance present too.
The film has been shot free-hand and this is considerately maintained throughout. Whilst this is effective as a camera technique, the differences between the nature of the event itself and then the interludes which show the artist are not really acknowledged and as such the impact of the protest is carried much more adequately then the interludes are. What I mean by this is that the camera is clearly able to direct our focus and lead an audience through the events taking place without there being a sense of dissatisfaction. There is so much taking place visually that we are content to see as much as the camera can capture. On the other hand the contemplative interludes attempt a sense of intimacy or openness which is not fully explored by the camera. In the most basic terms the camera does not attempt to expose the observer/thinker in the same way as it explores the event. It is not as confident in breaching the personal space that is established. On a basic level more close-ups could have been used to expose the character.
Despite the atmosphere created by the people being largely the focus of the visual material, the sinister closing shot of the film brings it back to the underlying cause of the protest.
Every day I wonder how I can compress all of the days thoughts into some radical and concise points that I could then share and use as a platform for more and more increasingly intricate and perspicacious pondering. As forays for comprehension go, one can only ever really be dissatisfied by this desire, a desire that is most likely geared towards some sort of self-affirmation that I am not wasting my time. However, the point is really that this desire is futile given that the whole process of narrowing down ideas is boiling over in the background, behind the hubbub caused by the more immediate and often less compelling concerns of the day.
Yesterday I went for a walk, I had first decided to go and talk to the crew at the Swamp Circus shop on Penryn High Street but the shop was closed. The sun was up and the weather wasn’t bad and there was not anything pressing to attend to so I thought I would go and retrieve my bike which was 2.5 miles up river along the coast where I left it the night before. The coastal walk between Penryn and Flushing in Cornwall, opposite Falmouth town, is a nice walk and is usually quite poorly attended by hikers so one has plenty of time to think about things. As it happens I walked around the coast to Mylor in the end because whilst Flushing was very interesting and the walk was long, it was not sufficiently long for all of my thoughts and mental preoccupations. Note also that we are encroaching blackberry season so I munched on these whilst I walked. Now one of the things that has been on my mind incessantly is my relationship status as I am afraid I am occupying another cliché existence yet really I suppose I just have to accept it and get on with my life. However as I walked along the muddy track and brambles pulled my sleeves I couldn’t help trying to place myself correctly – because this is all that I am trying to do, I am trying to place myself correctly. For the past couple of weeks the best placing I had found was quite inappropriate and actually quite incomplete. Georg Kluever-Pfandtner phrased it as being a well documented tragedy of the fairytale kind (I dramatically rephrased this for the benefit of the paragraph). Although I think it is less likely to be of a Fairytale nature than it is to be of a low-brow gossipy magazine nature. Anyway, the problem rolled around my head; If you haven’t clocked that the problem is one to do with the centralization of amorous desires then it is likely that I have been obtuse.
The cliche, I think I should elaborate, is that of the dance between the lover and the heartbroken. Such is it that the dance can not go on and neither should it go on. It is a doomed preposition. But as it stands, life must go on and the protagonists of the dance must go their separate ways. There are many little situationist protests but really none of these have any real power against the contortions of the soul that are fundamentally driving an oppositional stance. I mean to say that the logic is there and whilst the conclusion it provides isn’t tasty it shouldn’t be argued with. [As an aside I would like to clarify that I am aware that logic and rationale are mutually compatible only in that they are independently married to the illogical and the irrational. And all four work simultaneously and never on their own. So I mean to say logic and rationale are adverse partners and neither are what they say they are. It’s a matter of principal that they work really isn’t it.]
I wonder how much my own perceptions have changed or are changing. People I meet everywhere are dissatisfied with their lives, either they are not fulfilling themselves or their lives are not fulfilling. The only logic I can deduce from this is that people are never happy. Unhappiness drives us, and then there is the next cliché of the artist making his best work whilst depressed. Depressed people with monomania’s digging holes in their lives does not sound healthy but then how does health rank next to achievement? The western need to achieve is clearly tinted with insanity. Is there truth to the saying that the happiest people are those people with the least to their name? I recently read an essay that Clare Antczak forwarded to me that was about a longitudinal study performed on the lives of men who were deemed at the beginning of the study to be promising successful lives. They were called the Grant Study men and the study intended to provide an example for how to live ones life in order to be successful and happy. Of course happiness is subjective, that is obvious, but the most interesting things to come out of the study were the ideas of phases and the perspectives that each phase implied. Throughout our lives we are to grow through several phases of self-value, self-worth, of paranoia, of confidence. Each of these phases can take a certain amount of time to pass through and we might not even pass through them successfully, we may get hung up in a phase and spend a large portion of our lives unable to develop our character. We might be unable to see the humorous side to things or acknowledge our temporality. Interestingly the final point of development seems to one characterised by altruism and the ability to turn problems into humour. I don’t have a sense of humour so I have a long way to go.
The sea surrounds me! This is a harbour town and there is a lot of water. So naturally finding out about boats isn’t so difficult, the potential for learning about seafaring and moving into working with the sea as a venue or source of inspiration seems like a promising idea. How much I can achieve now seems capped by the amount of time that I have to hand. There are many charitable and open source things happening in the boating world. The ingenuous use and reuse of boats, ropes, sheets etc, is fantastic and eye-opening. I am disappointed that I am not going to be around to see how the project is completed. A barge is sitting on the coast and is being literally carved into, sunk, and then brought back to working buoyancy (it seems) in order for a much larger boat to sit in it as though it were a cradle. This cradle will be the dry dock that will hold up the boat, allowing for maintenance work to be carried out on it.
This barge needs to be cut like how you cut the core from half an apple. The insides need retching out and the deck’s frame lowering down to make a new base within the barge for the vessel Keewaydin to sit in. Actually this photograph is a surprise, Paul took this whilst I was preoccupied with a cut in the deck.
And then we made Pasties today. This crust has been crimped very well I will have you know.
And so whilst there are many things going on. Including the Dérive Project, which has been through many iterations and I personally feel should continue as a project that abhors systematic processes and bureaucracy – the burdens of its livelihood now. For that matter the last poster for this project looked like this. Once it is over I will have to admit that there has been a lot that has been learnt from this project, most importantly we have learnt that the way in which a project is presented ought to be rooted in social events and not in the virtual space matter of digital technology.