With Ana João Romana;
Maria do Mar Fazenda
Festina Lente (Make haste slowly)
two interpretations transcribed from/on/in the same space. The lessons described open up two distinct premonitions about a specific site. The device and the individual. Two concomitant times that act on a place that closes multiple continuities into itself. The active (working) past, the memory in the present (the intimate). The cadence that results from the research conducted by Ana João Romana and Susana Anágua around the (inactive) Gas Factory in Matinha refers to a fragment from Giorgio Agamben that says “this festina lente, this alternating astonishment and lucidity, discovery and loss, passion and action constitute the rhythm of the study”. A study in duet.
two seconds of black film.
Scene: EASTERN AREA OF LISBON: GASOMETERS OVERLOOKING THE RIVER. EXTERIOR. DAY.
a panorama with the structure of a gasometer at the centre, where the gaze is framed by the network of pipes through which the various stages of the gas have passed (tar, ammonia, sulphur). The impalpable made physical, visible albeit secret. The reason for the design produced by these pipes is enigmatic. Though their surroundings, circularity and distribution favors their understanding. As if the design were explanatory of itself. The presence of man hangs between the nature’s energy and the technology’s device. Here, it is remembered.
the foreign voice, of the character that has nothing to do with the place, describes the space that is being presented to us. Oscillating between factual observations about the construction and outdatedness of the place and small episodes from the lives of former workers. The participants are introduced in this story that takes place between various times and unfolds in a space that is in suspense.
(the voice off is simultaneously diegetic and non-diegetic, when the text relating directly with the narrative, sometimes, coincides with the texts that were inscribed in the place of action. At other times, these snippets of text on which the gaze of the camera falls work as intertitles integrated into the picture. In turn, the voice adopts this breathing space between pictures.)
the place is materialized by the word, is like Marc Augé describes the ability of places that are the opposite of what he identifies as non-places. The “Matinha” project, which revolves around what could be described as a non-place, gives it the right to speak again, that is, transcribes the identity of a memory, discovers the relational intimacy, describes the historic bridge; bestows its interpretation a feeling of festina lente.
Maria do Mar Fazenda
text for the catalogue Matinha| Ana João Romana & Susana Anágua – arteportugal’s current exhibition. Until August 27, 2009.