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Narcisa Hirsch

Narcisa Hirsch, una pionera del videoarte experimental (1967-1974)

Narcisa Hirsch, A Pioneer of Experimental Video Art (1967-1974)

Cinema is what occurs between photogram and photogram, Werner Nekes has said, as it is also the light in motion reflected on a wall, and also the large image caught by the lens, minimalized, concentrated into 8, 16 or 35 millimeters, and amplified, larger than reality, larger than life.

Cinema is what flows and goes away, what doesn't stay, an image every 24th part of a second; cinema is being in the dark with others in a room, sharing a ritual.

But, above all, it is the luminosity of images, the images that, projected, make visible to others, the internal ones, the images saved, the dark and forgotten ones, in the beam of light that runs over the right terrain in order to pull us out of where we are seated, to be almost fused with that light in an almost passionate surrender.

It is sometimes called experimental cinema, underground cinema or independent cinema, in order to distinguish its anarchic form of stripping the image of history, of the cord that is the argument with which we have passed by the abysses of that reflected light which threatens to spill over our unconscious, to pull us toward dangerous and dreaded places.

There is fear, fear of an unconventional rhythm and time, fast or slow, the real time that is never cinematographic time, the time of the commercial cinema; there is amazement and distrust of the frames slipped out of place, of the out of focus, of the insinuated, of what is opened to be filled up, there is fear of acceleration and also of the threat that it may never end.

I mean that the cinema without visible argument, with other times, which are not known, with the description of daily life or of the seldom seen, the dreamed-of -- that cinema awakens passions, great loves and great refusals, and is also boredom before images that have no echo.

It is clear that the violence of a scene such as the bloodbaths they offer us every day doesn't alter the public so much as a sequence of peaceful images in which, for a time longer than is customary, apparently 'nothing' happens. In the former, the violence is that of the 'other', whereas in the latter, it is our own. Yet also ours is the happiness in the face of an image that is totally what we've needed to see; the mind rests then, and there is an instant of perfection.

They sometimes say that this isn't cinema. Those who say so are unable to open the doors of perception without prejudices, to feel what is rather than what ought to be.

Dalí, Buñuel and Cocteau were the first, and after followed the Germans from the Bauhaus era and cubism, and it later moved on to the United States, where today there exists the largest school, the longest tradition of this cinema, which can be seen in museums, universities, galleries and spaces where projections are held with the filmmaker present.

The freedom to work with very little money is the freedom not to have to sell, it is the freedom to work at home in a home-made way, without big crews or stage settings. Without time pressure. You make a photogram a day, or a year. Each one chooses his or her time or space. For this reason and for all the rest, the experimental cinema is a subversive art, more than the documentary or political cinema.

More subversive than an intellectual or conceptual cinema. For that reason there are few who go and even fewer who stay.


Narcisa Hirsch