Saudade, 2014

A super 8mm film performance (approx 15 min)

Saudade is a word in Portuguese and Galician that claims no direct translation in English. It describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic or profound melancholic longing for an absent something or someone. It often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing might never return. Its the recollection of feelings, experiences, places or events that once brought excitement, pleasure, well-being, which now triggers the senses and makes one live again. It can be described as an emptiness, like someone or something that should be there in a particular moment is missing, and the individual feels this absence. It brings sad and happy feelings all together, sadness for missing and happiness for having experienced the feeling.

Through each showing, I manipulate the film as it is being viewed on a manual film editor and rerecorded digitally as it is being projected. Originally a performance ritual act where I try to control my body through a single repetitive motion and documented in Super 8mm. The performance lasted a half hour where I whip myself with wet hair until I get nauseous, dizzy and pass out. The performance purged my own insecurities where my internal balance shifted as I tried to control the motion of my hair in the air; unwieldy, chaotic, undulating like a dance. I was entranced by the process of capturing this performance on film that I wanted to keep the spirit and energy of the way light forms the image. In presenting this film as a live manipulation, “Saudade” becomes a hypnotic trance of the moving body as I vocalize an internal dialog of my intentions, desires and experiences. When I show this film as a live film performance, I become a puppet master, manipulating my body as I watch it in film, the beginning and end are set, but how I move through the film changes with each viewing.

Camera: Nung-Hsin Hu

Special Thanks: Juan Betancurth, Stephen Kent Jusick, Edwin Ramoran
2015 Poster available for Purchase (feel free to contact me for this)
Designed by Frank Gargiulo

(Original Performance Stills as well as Installation Stills and Film Scans)


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