It was an odd task to think of the curatorship of the competitive session Mostra Competitiva Brasil of the 14th Cine Esquema Novo - Brazilian Audiovisual Art. First, because like all humanity, we have our heads turned to the concerns of a pandemic. Second, because we are faced with the reality of an online festival, which would not allow us to experience the relationship of audiovisual works with the physical space and with the audience of the cinema theater or the visitors to the video installations.
Having accepted the new reality that we are all living in terms of art, which is of individual enjoyment, and seeking to understand each work within its own universe, we were embraced by the feeling of finding films that had a unique voice, that revealed fundamental themes of contemporary life, crossed by history and imagining the future. All this came through narratives, images, sounds, experiments, which took us, curators isolated at home, away from our realities. They allowed us to travel elsewhere.
We came across political, romantic, unusual productions, that flirt with genres, that take us to the imaginary of the great films projected in the great cinemas, but also to the intimate space of a video installation, and we were building our curation thinking: what each work, what each universe of creation contained there, is making us feel? What do we have this year that is different from the other? Some works were produced before the pandemic, and to watch them today, we ask: how do we retain this experience in a moment of introspection? How to transform the audiovisual experience into something beyond viewing? Or how to reflect on works produced during the pandemic, thinking about what they speak beyond the historical moment?
Works by visual artists, works by filmmakers, now more than ever, are side by side in the same online space. The short and long films are even more mixed, because we, the curators of CEN, did not believe in reasons to differentiate between these formats anymore. After all, it was never the duration of a work that gave its importance.
If we have films that explode in color and romanticism, we have disbelief in politics. If we have the aesthetic rigor of the image and camera movements, we have the freedom of experimentation. And we want to bypass the boundaries that could lead us to a single, static idea.
The gaze of the other and towards the other has never been so necessary, so intense as today. The stories are so close and distant at the same time. The hidden, revealed thoughts. We want to be with those beyond ourselves. We are in transformation. And we dive into different universes, when we are alone, but seeking not to be isolated.
We have the Artist's Notebooks to take us on one more trip. We want to be led into the ideas of others, from one story to another story. A photo in which we arrive through a text, a book within a film, a film through another film... An all endless possibilities of relationships and bridges. The Einstein-Rosen bridge, or the wormholes, through which we can travel.
How much is a trip worth today? We hope it will be six days of diving between films and notebooks, ideas and daydreams, creation and enjoyment.
Dirnei Prates, Gustavo Spolidoro, Jaqueline Beltrame e Vinícios Lopes