QUEER (theory). Starting from the premise that sexuality is not a simple natural fact but a social construction, this field of studies, the heir of feminism, has developed into a field of research and activism on the culture of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transsexuals and intersexuals. The ‘queer’ theory as seen from various specialised fields -history, critique, literature, sociology, philosophy, art…
EXPANDED CINEMA. Journalist Gene Youngblood published Expanded Cinema in 1970, heralding the extensive possibilities offered by experimental cinema thanks to the new technologies. According to the author, cinema could be made using three media: traditional celluloid, video and computer. This was not about creating new contents, but new contexts for viewing it.
One of the first things which fascinated me about Mexico was its folk art, specifically ‘los papels picados’ or paper cutting. It is a type of popu- lar folk art made from tissue paper worked with hammer blows and normally used in popular festivals especially for the Day of the Dead, on November first. Mexicans place it on altars they have made for dead family members.
Way too much instruction manual. Nowadays the code of a user programme seems to be the perfect functional language to apply to any occasion. In the instruction book we have perfect literature and a happy tool that saves us from anxiety, ravings or even social exclusion. Even something as rootless as utopia can occur in the form of a self-help breviary that indicates the ways to use the revolution or organise its liturgy. Worrying, without a doubt. We have routinized utopia as an ideological pamphlet at the service of any common destination, without questioning its true capacity for transformation, as the inexcusable bearer of radical and positive change always pirouetting between the real and the desired. Utopia throughout our most recent past, in becoming legitimate has lost the pleasure of discovery and has become converted into an almost mechanical ideology that applies prescriptions that only function a priori. However, utopia is like the sirens’ song in Ulysses travels, more worrying due…
Cul-de-sac is a French expression which, although its literal meaning refers to a specific physical location thanks to the promiscuity of language, the meaning extends to those situations that are impossible –or almost impossible- to solve, and to those issues that produce a conflict that turns into an absurd circumstance in which someone ends up fighting just because they are fighting something that doesn’t give in so easily. Cul-de-sac, translated into Spanish as “callejón sin salida” or dead-end street, implies a deadlock, a tessitura into which one has entered but from which one cannot depart triumphantly. One normally finds oneself in a deadlock without exactly knowing how one got there, as part of a situation in which one entered voluntarily. In contrast, when proposing the idea of “cul-de-sac” for a series of gifs, this exercise functions in the opposite way: it is intentionally devised as a deadlock: a problem is posed without anyone seeking to find a solution.
The idea of presenting a series of artists’ animated gifs for the Arts Coming platform came up spontaneously in an informal conversation with one of the founding members. I was asked if I knew any artists who might be interested in doing some art pieces in this format to be later published on the project’s website, and this general question led to an exchange of ideas which culminated in the presentation of the concept of “distance”. This project aims to preserve the spontaneity of this first series of themes that features four animated gifs, organised in the context that brought it about, and is thus presented as a light curatorial event, which far from offering an academic theorization on the chosen theme, shoots them at the artists so that it works like a catalyst.