WHEN I CLOSE MY EYES I SEE EVERYTHING, 2022
A Sunday walk in a forest turns into a poetic journey on perception.
Following a reading on Alan Watt’s The Joyous Cosmology together with a continuous research on the work of Stan Brakhage and his ideology on the notion of untutored eye, Alagôa’s new film WHEN I CLOSE MY EYES I SEE EVERYTHING (2022) explores the perception of light in the human retina through walks in the Luxembourgish forests.
Taking an impressionistic approach to working with film to capture sunlight - its direct or refractive colour projection - on trees, leaves, flowers, water and other landscape objects throughout various times of the day, Alagôa intends to subject the mind of the viewer to different states of consciousness, always challenging it, shaking it, piercing it, disturbing its breaking point, subjecting it to reach its full energetic potential, ultimately unveiling a clearer relationship between our sight and the external world, evidently going beyond any mere documented or figurative representations of reality.
From perpetualy fluid handheld and improvised camera movements, to the use of rain, glass and fog as lens filters, to alternating between long and quick shutter speeds, Alagôa evokes entoptic phenomena (phosphenes, purkinje trees, after-images) intrinsic to our auto-reflexive eye-brain-activity, which can easily resemble a journey throughout the cosmos, simultaneously inducing altered states of consciousness similar to the use of drugs and hallucinogenics, or even those common to the prisoner’s cinema, so expanding our mind and, hopefully, our poetic critical thinking towards the world.
For the portuguese filmmaker, we should consider such states of consciousness as an invitation to see the challenged, provoked and stimulated capacities of our senses as a humble teaching opportunity to soften, blur and finally destroy any kind of accentuated distinctions between ourselves, our own body and mind, and any other human, creature, object or landscape in this universe, that, until so, we might have considered to actually exist, so reaching the realization that we are all one single constant movement of concentric formless shapes doing the same thing in many different ways: moving forward.
Digital Video, 3:2, Colour, Stereo Sound, 11'37''
The corner of the street from Alagôa's house is matched and mixed with the chant of a bird recorded on that same street.
A symbiotic relationship is triggered: the rapid and successively repetitive montage cuts between the image of the street and the corners of the video frame itself produce new textures and shapes in our brain, whilst the sound follows the same rhythmic movements by emphasizing different “corners” (frequencies) from the bird’s singing. The energetic potency stemming from the junction of these elements creates a new image that is almost tactitle, maleable and rippling.
The result is a somewhat humorous operation of the portuguese word "corner" throughout the different stages of making the piece, finally unveiling a piercing physical and kinetic experience for all the corners of our eyes and ears.
*CANTO (from the latin cantus)
from portuguese: corner, noun, singular.
from portuguese: chant, noun, singular.
from portuguese: verb to sing, first person singular, present tense.
english translation: portuguese homonym word meaning both CORNER and CHANT/TO SING.
Digital Video, 4:3, Color, Silent, 08'20''
Taking the window of his room as the main subject of the film, Alagôa emphasizes the basic elements of cinema: the frame, the screen, light, and movement.
GRID, 2017 - 2021
Digital Video, 3:2, Black & White, Stereo Sound, 14'00''
A ritual of grids, reflections and chasms; a complete state of entropy; a space that devours itself; a vertigo that destroys the gravity of the Earth; a trap that captures us inside the voids of the screen of light: «That blank arena wherein converge at once the hundred spaces» (Hollis Frampton).
awards & honorable mentions
2022, Honorable Mention, Animatou, Genève, Switzerland
2022, BEST EDITING AWARD, EFEA: Experimental Film East Anglia
2022, BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM, EFEA: Experimental Film East Anglia
2022, JURY AWARD, Milwaukee Underground Film Festival
2021, GRAND PRIX: BEST FILM, Split VideoArt Festival
BnL: Bibliothèque National du Luxembourg, Luxembourg