Aviation Field, film still

Aviation Field, film still

Aviation Field, film still

Aviation Field, film still

AN AVIATION FIELD

Joana Pimenta
Portugal/USA, 2016, Video, 14’, loop


An aviation field in an unknown suburb. The lake underneath the city burns the streets. The mountains throw rock into the gardens. In the crater of a volcano in Fogo, a model Brazilian city is lifted and dissolves. Two people find each other in this landscape, 50 years apart.

Brasília was built on the horizon line. It is artificial. It began with an X drawn in the middle of a deserted landscape, the marks and traces of its coordinates meant to erase the years of history buried under its soil. Effacing stories of landing in departure between Portugal, Africa and Brazil, its pristine whiteness bore the universal horizontality of utopian modernism, glowing and obfuscating the dirtiness of its erection. Brasilia, the imaginary city, was built with no place for the rats.

In parallel geographic coordinates, across the ocean, an X marks a reversal. Fogo lies above it. Every fifty years the volcano at the center of this island dissolves all architectural forms of permanent construction. Fogo, the ground from underneath which Brasilia was built, sieges entire cities inside its crater to cyclically erase them.

Between the two, An Aviation Field builds a landscape. A geographic future lies already in the past of an impossible chronology. The history of the building of a city elides with the destruction of another, both volcanic and glacial, both nature and cultured, organic and electronic, both one and the same, a world of its own that is already a historical artifact. Out of built architectural models and painted film mattes, the film attempts at constructing its own geography. More than imagining an experience, the film tries to experiment an imagination. To make a landscape rather than describing it. To narrate a constructed architecture so that it becomes a real geography, a tangible ground, a map upon which to build. Working with materials and with the camera as a rover roaming through these models, layers of history subside under the collapse of the scale of magnanimous concrete, while a small detail still bearing the marks of a pencil is the point of departure for an image to form. Brasilia and Fogo are here totems, monoliths, a hostile landscape to be erected, destructed and rebuilt out of paper, grain and debris. Two ends of a line, encircled by the walls of a mountain.

There I found myself, time traveler, space archaeologist, trying to rebuild exoticism out of wrecks and remainders.

© 2018 Curtas Vila do Conde