Vestígios // Sept-Oct 2013

With the project ‘Media Memory Collection’, Kika Nicolela collected temporary donations of old homemade films from families in the countryside of São Paulo, and transferred all the collected material to video – almost 30 hours in total. The first goal of the project is to return the digital copies to the participants along with the original material. These films ranging from the 1930’s to the 1980’s can be again seen by the families owning them. By the other hand, this material serves as base for a series of video and photo installations.
The project offers a reflection about time – condensing and uniting elements such as memory, the time of the recording, the documentation of time passage in the lives of the families and the impression of time over the media itself (with the physical deterioration of the film). In addition, the artist intends to investigate the tensions between fiction and reality, History and personal stories.
The exhibition VESTÍGIOS (Traces) took place in the Museum of Image and Sound and presented an installation of photos, 2 single-channel projections and one duo-screen projection, using as base the archive of the Media Memory Collection.
Project supported by LIFT – Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. The exhibition was recipient of The São Paulo Arts Council Award to Visual Arts.
“Scenes from childhood, babies in arms, family celebrations, birthdays, plays, pets, family meals, Christmas parties … the banal everyday special occasions unfolds before our eyes, showing how everything is interchangeable. The pride in the eyes and attitudes of characters parading past the camera becomes the restless look of the spectator who, plunged in the excess of those special moments, quickly realizes the trap that the art work puts us in: does to immerse yourself in your personal memories completely reveal how much they are composed of a substance that is common to all, and therefore unimportant in itself? A story could be another, a person could be someone else, and an event could be something else. But there is not much difference between what each human being lives or what each chooses to perpetuate what is meaningful in life. We want to preserve the memory of what we consider extraordinary and keep it alive, but, in reality, what is shown is a sequence of images of common events. It is the cruel realization of our insignificance as singular beings, which is the wire that connects the current project Kika Nicolela with so many of her other productions: the explanation of this lack of intrinsic importance, the indistinctness that everything plunges when confronted with the mirror image.”
excerpt of the text TRACES: FOLLOWING THE FOOTSTEPS OF KIKA NICOLELA, by Alessandra Monachesi Ribeiro