Digital Video, 3:2, Colour, Stereo Sound, 13'30''
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.
Short video about the process behind the film