THE MESH AND THE CIRCLE, the movie by Mariana Calò and Francisco Queimadela produced with the contribution of Premio Lo schermo dell’arte Film Festival 2013, was in competition in two categories of prizes in the next edition of FID Festival International de Cinéma de Marseille.
We asked some questions to Mariana Calò and Francisco Queimadela.
ATP: “The Mesh and the Circle”: to what is the title referred to?
Mariana Calò & Francisco Queimadela: The title sets in place the intricate relations between forms and movements that develop throughout the film. The mesh can either be understood as a possible interpretation of the structure of the movie, a reflex of the phantom geometry that is projected upon the gestures and sequences, or as a record of the oscillations that occur in its space-time. The form of the circle alludes to both the quotidian nature of many of the actions that were selected, as well as the revolving movement of the film, which metamorphoses itself over time.
ATP: Could you introduce us to this piece? From which necessities does it stem?
MC&FQ: We sought with this fragmentary film to create a mesh around the origin, transformation and liberation of images, substances and ideas, and also to reflect about the materiality of cinema. Following a chain of activities and abilities related to quotidian rites and gestures we conduct a series of considerations in a game of interplay between forms of wonderment, symbolism and labour.
ATP: The project intends to create an inventory of images linked to ritual, work, play and domestic activity in diverse regions of Portugal, considering their gestural, material and aesthetic aspects as archetypal forms of consciousness. Which criteria did you follow in order to choose such activities?
MC&FQ: We were looking to collect visual testimonies of activities that are rooted in forms of empirical knowledge and which possess visual or symbolical aspects that would be relevant to the film. We captured both simple gestures and activities that are familiar to anyone, and also laborious trades which deal with primary elements and materials but where one can still decipher ancestral processes of transformation of matters and shapes. Furthermore, until a certain point in the process of the film, the recordings were happening in parallel to the montage, this was also important for the selection of certain activities that were chosen in relation to the emerging chain of ideas and movements.
ATP: The idea of transformation of matter has a central role in the project. On certain level, you accomplished to transform these practical activities into something “ethereal” such as the film medium. How does this project relate with your research as a whole?
MC&FQ: Many of our works involve a strong component of research and experience in field work, a method that is sometimes permeable to the one used in the context of some human sciences, which is freely developed by us, flexible in its processes and based on our curiosity, allowing us to establish relationships between what is documented and imagined. In this case, most of the recordings implied traveling to meet particular workshops and craftsmen, whose gestures we selected and combined, bringing to light an underlaying movement or phantom geometry.
ATP: Are you working on any new project?
MC&FQ: We are currently in the development stage of three exhibition projects of newly commissioned work, that will be taking place 2016.