SABEMOS CÓMO ES EL FUEGO (Screening)
'Sabemos cómo es el fuego' means 'We know how fire is'. This project parts from a strange event that took place during the blaze that burned down the original headquarters of the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City in 1982. The screen of the theater caught fire at the same moment the scene of a fire was being projected in a Polish film: the climax of The Promised Land. This accident resulted in an indiscernible union between the virtual image and its real mirror, the screen acting as a great reflection that consumed itself in the end. But it was not just another movie theater that burned down; the entire Cineteca building was ablaze for over ten hours, incinerating a film library of over four thousand films and killing at least three people.
This accident has made me reflect on the fictitious nature of cinema: its relationship with the viewer in terms of time and space. It has made me consider its ephemeral condition, as well as the significance of such a far-reaching historic loss. Once the moving picture has disappeared, what remains in that void?
One of the main elements in this staging is a text that, positioned on a LED projector, takes on the form of subtitles, that cinematographic byproduct. Parting from the coincidence of the two fires, the text consists of a meditation regarding the possible meanings and consequences of this accident: the loss of the time inscribed in the incinerated films, the absence of history, the rupture between viewer and space, etc. The project alludes to the possibility of a phenomenon where the moving picture has disappeared and is no longer transcendent. What remains may very well be a cinematographic time that extends beyond both frame and screen.
Screening at the new headquarters of the Cineteca Nacional in Mexico City
Text sequence excerpt