AND THE WORLD WAS CALM, 2020
COLLABORATION WITH GRACIA RAMIREZ (writer, researcher and Lecture in Film Studies at University of the Arts London)
VISUAL POEM : 4 MINUTES
Departs from images recorded in March 2019.
It's a visual poem that reflects on the automatisms that we adopt during our daily journeys, the frantic movement of masses, the speed and inertia of life in large cities. It explores anxieties and longings, individual and collective boundaries, the functional and limited vision of our interdependencies, of the others. It also analyses a “no place”, the transitory space of the city where there is a constant coming and going that swallows us in some sort of collective hallucination which is also a physical experience continuously changing. A time for not stopping, for not thinking.
But the world has stopped, and we have too.
Now we are living an uncertain moment where we try to adumbrate the changes to come. From the distance of confinement these images have acquired a different dimension, we are questioning those patterns of social behaviour and with it, the very identity of the city.
Will those patterns be restored in the new normal?
Yet so close
Yet so close
In the beginning of April 2020, visual artist Daniel Solomons and myself, a film scholar, set out to collaborate to produce something in response to the experience of the lockdown. We departed from a set of video images recorded in London’s Liverpool Street Station in March 2019. From the distance of confinement and the stillness of the worldwide shutdown of passenger transport, the video images of the frantic movement of people in one of London’s biggest train stations had acquired a different dimension. We wrote a text to accompany the images which took as driving force the last words of Wallace Stevens’ poem ‘The House Was Quiet and the World Was Calm’ (2006). The poem evokes an image of quietness and contentment that created various contradictions with the situation that we had been thrown into. We wanted to explore the feeling of seeing mass mobility from the perspective of stillness and belonging to the past as in the present was to be avoided.