VIDEOS SELECTED BY PABLO PÉREZ SANMARTÍN

By Pablo Pérez Sanmartín | Intro: Teresa de Andrés. June 5, 2012

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Funfairs, virtual love stories where a bunch of machines do anything to show they can be more than a piece of flesh, rapturous bodies that dance to the rhythm of their own funeral march and laughter, roars of laughter. Pablo’s work, dark and in bright colours, becomes darker and brighter as we go deeper into his hypnotic selection of videos, prepared especially for us.

'Agotados de esperar el fin' (Exhausted from waiting for the end) was the title of his latest exhibition, which could be seen at La Fresh Gallery in Madrid any afternoon of suffocating heat, when future didn’t seem more than a sad stain on the wall.

 


As for references, for me it all began with that so end-of-the-20th century activity which is “splashing around in the supermarket”. This video from the J-pop duo Halcali stages many of the processes I like to subdue these kind of heterotopias: the distanced perspective (an oriental pop band in a such a bastion of white trash Europeanism as Carrefour can be), the presence of disturbing characters that we assume are harmless pets although they look nothing like it and that ending that leads to the 2012 neoliberal trigger effect: the cake that was going to end the festive performance is ruined and we pretend that the world is still spinning even if we have to recycle the confetti that has scattered all over the floor… 

I dig you


Krisma is a duo closely related to the Italian New Wave. In this performance from the late seventies they leave all complexes aside and play with the replicas of their dancing figures while they cover I dig you by Demius Rousos. The TV set is then multiplied, vanishing towards an emptiness that is splashed with sensuality and synthetic melodies. While the lyrics say things like Oh you've got a way of [dig / tea], I'm just crazy by the way that you [die, dive], they mix erotic and thanatic pulses and speak in a sensual way of diving as a plunge into the infinite loop of the screen that has kept us hypnotized throughout the whole performance.


Baby Google


That’s how a friend and I call this scene from Demon Seed, where the supercomputer seduces with information the wife of the scientist who designed it and inseminates her while she is in a 4g ecstasy.
Later on, the definite human-machine labour takes place, giving birth to the product that names this clip.
 

Insane Wave Pool




I have always loved huge swimming pools that try to emulate tropical resorts. This video of a pool transformed into a rolling mass of bodies seems to me like something capable of taking apart everything that Spencer Tunick has been trying to tell us all these years…
 

The scene 


I really like group choreographies used as cathartic resource within a narration. I also love line dances in programmes like Soul Train, because I see in them a certain vanitas quality that I find very interesting. It’s not that I am obsessed: the emotional distance of those days and those couples offering the best of their youth in a brief choreography that ends when they reach the end of the walkway should be interpreted as what it is. In this case, the name of the programme –The Scene– intensifies that feeling. The song is called Shari Vari and not only it sort of anticipated Detroit techno, but it was later rescued by electroclash, one of the first recreational-aesthetic movements of early 2000s.


Catwalk 


 

I have always followed the work of Nagi Noda, who sadly passed away. I really like how she dilutes the boundaries between art, advertising, fashion and other disciplines related with the aesthetics of consumption. She was obsessed with the doppelgänger concept (a negative ghostly double). I have always thought that the doppelgängers that inhabit her work are not as much the doubles of her characters but of the discourse handled by the artist herself: they are the doppelgängers of art itself as a category within today’s consumerism, its own negative mirror image within the context of the leisure and entertainment industry. I think this is patent in this video, both the discourse I’m trying to make clear and the intention of the artist to short-circuit the aesthetics of seduction in, for example, a catwalk. These discourses become even more complex if I add that this video is a promotional clip for some department store in Harajuku.
 

Crying


For many, Harmony Corine’s first film, being so generational, has become some sort of commonplace of cult cinema. Nevertheless, for me, Roy Orbison’s "Crying" with images of tornadoes from a VHS has always been one of the best ways to end a film. And on the other hand, taking into account how this playlist has been directed, a hurricane is the only possible way out.
 

Pablo Perez Sanmartín lives in Madrid, surrounded by artefacts from the future.

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