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Video Art

| origen |

video-art ; installation


ORIGEN. Quesa, Spain. Nov, 2023; concept, sculpture, video-installation by Isabel Rodriguez Ramos; soundscape by Pablo Diaz.

ORIGEN is the origin of time and cyclical movement, the symbol and manifestation of generative fertility and the sacred, plastic power, the power to give life, the mystery of nature, the welcoming of the mother, healing and regeneration, the custody of what dies and the goal of what lives. The sculpture, built with only materials offered by the site and therefore completely biodegradable, appears as a crack in the red earth and recalls, in its organic forms, a womb. The base of the structure was built using the traditional technique of dry stone walling. The womb of overlapping rocks stabilised with earth and gravel was then covered and modelled by several layers of fibres and sieved raw earth. A concave space was created inside the mother-sculpture, spacious enough to accommodate a body curled up inside. The installation, ephemeral and iterative in character, is intended to be an opportunity for the community to confront a more intimate and somatic dimension of time. During the creation process, a site-specific participatory performance was developed in dialogue with the mother-sculpture and the people of Quesa. ORIGEN is the image of a ritual and circular time, as well as the wish to rediscover the shared ancestral heritage and to tune in to the circadian rhythmicity, that original condition in which humanity and naturalness, body and space, once again become inextricably One. *The sculpture was created as part of the Enclave Land Art 2023 art event.

| yo siempre pienso en ti |

visual-diary; short-film


Yo siempre pienso en ti. El Sitio, Cuba. Sept, 2022; visual diary by Isabel Rodriguez Ramos; soundscape by Rossana De Pace,

“Yo siempre pienso en ti” is the declaration of a love that knows only dawns. It is a promise that is sincere because it springs from an embrace, curled up in a nest of goodbye tears and long dark hair. It is a commitment to fertilise one’s mind and heart with the land of one’s origin, letting its scents and silences become an oasis amidst bewilderment and nostalgia. In September 2022, back in Cuba at her father’s family home, the artist Isabel Rodriguez Ramos gives her camera the respect and sensitivity of her own gaze, collecting instants of daily gestures between the kitchen cooker, her grandmother Ana’s terrace and the intricate dirt roads of “El Sitio”. To punctuate the sounds of the grinder, the wind in the clothes hanging in the sun, the trot of the horse and the grater with which Aunt Yudit patiently gathers the pulp from the coconuts, there is an unparalleled stillness. A stillness that is not an absence of vitality. Rather, it is a pulsation, another breath, slower and more baritone, to which lives are tuned. And it is this breath that Isabel gives to viewers, when they find themselves watching the eyes of a black dog absorbed in the afternoon shadows, or the hands of Grandma Ana intent on washing beans for lunch, and realise they have lost the frenzy of wondering what will happen next. “Yo siempre pienso en ti” is not a documentary, nor a reportage or a short film. “Yo siempre pienso en ti” is a visual diary, guarding the intimacy of its scenes with such care that anyone watching it becomes not a defiler, but a lucky guest of the Rodriguez Arias family.

| raíces |

video-art ; installation


RAÍCES. El Sitio, Cuba. Sept, 2022; video by Isabel Rodriguez Ramos; sound art by Rossana De Pace,

“Raíces” is a collective artistic act of root investigation and is born to heal that perennial restlessness that the artist feels growing up far from Cuba, a land that she does not inhabit, but which lives in her. In her perennial search for a sense of belonging, “Raíces” represents a moment of self-healing and fundamental awareness.

Installation – The artist’s paternal family has worked tobacco in the fields of Pinar del Rio for many generations. The installation realized inside her uncle’s tobacco house is a collective artwork whose realization involved the entire Isabel family. Each family member actively contributed to the creative process and the work installation. The desire was to create a shared space and time to reflect on roots, using as a metaphor the plant that has characterized the artist’s family history for 150 years: tobacco. The weaving of the word “Raíces” took place using the veins of tobacco leaves (grown and cared for by uncles and cousins) on a “tela de tapado”, a wide-meshed cloth used by farmers to protect plants from the sun’s rays. The thread used to apply the veins to the canvas is traditionally used to sew the tobacco leaves together before drying.

Performance – The artist devoted time to performative research within the tobacco house, documenting its evolution by means of video footage. The essence of her performance can be narrated by focusing on the two salient points in the artwork’s narrative: duality and fusion. At first, two phantasmal entities chase each other inside the house without ever meeting, although they follow the same trajectories. The fusion of the two entities occurs only at the end of the journey, with the return to the roots.

Sound Art – During the research period, the artist sampled the sounds of the tobacco house and its surroundings. The rhythmic part consists of sounds from the environment, recorded by means of a Zoom microphone. The harmonic part results, instead, from the application of special sensors on the tobacco leaves, which, thanks to the innovative PlantsPlay device, can pick up the electrical variations of the plant and transform them into sound. The soundscape, curated by sound artist Rossana De Pace, is the result of the fusion between the two audio parts.

| ingranaggio |

video-art ; installation


INGRANAGGIO. Turin, Italy 2022; video by Isabel Rodriguez Ramos; sound art by Rossana De Pace and Paolo Valgrande.

‘Ingranaggio’ (gearing) is an interdisciplinary artistic project that involves a video-installation and an experimental sound machine assembled with recycled elements such as antique clock gears and old typewriter motors. The encounter between digital and analogue has resulted in an audio-visual artwork that emphasises the concept of “inexorability”.

| meta |

video-art ; installation


META. Valsesia, Italy, 2022; video by Isabel Rodriguez Ramos; sound art by Rossana De Pace.

Meta-morphosis, a process of destruction and regeneration. At each step, the abandonment of the ego. At each step, the fatigue of the body and the power of the mind. At each step a prayer. The goal? To keep walking.

| requiem |

video-art ; installation


REQUIEM. Milan, Italy, 2022; video by Isabel Rodriguez Ramos; sound-art by Rossana De Pace.

The soundtrack was conceived by applying two sensors on the pith of a felled tree at Sempione Park, in Milan (Italy). Through these electrodes, ‘PlantsPlay’ device converts electrical variations into musical notes. The interaction between the hands and the tree trunk provides an example of how plants react to human touch.

· What about Plants Play? Plants Play is the first wearable device that allows you to listen to the music generated by plants and trees straightaway on your smartphone. By means of two sensors set on the leaves, Plants Play turns its electrical variations into music, which can be sent via bluetooth to the downloadable app for Smarphones, iOS’s and Androids.

| somatic spaces |

video-art ; installation


Spazi Somatici, atto I. Maremma National Park, Tuscany, Italy, 2021; video and performance by Isabel Rodriguez Ramos; sound-art by Rossana De Pace. Dune artist residency.

‘Somatic Spaces’ blossoms from the collaboration of the visual artist and performer Isabel Rodriguez Ramos and the sound artist and songwriter Rossana De Pace.

It consists of field research, both performative and audiovisual, carried out in natural territories of the world with always different inputs. This project aims to create new awareness about the possible interactions and contaminations between Humans and Nature.

Starting from the philosophical assumption – one of the core values of the animist tradition – that the Earth is animated and therefore endowed with Spirit, “Somatic Spaces” presents itself as the opportunity to investigate the physical space of the body through the environment and vice versa, considering the Inner Soul and the Outer Earth united by osmosis.

Peoples from many different cultures perceive the Land not in terms of a mother who nurtures and punishes (Cartesian view), but rather as an integral part of their souls. In the light of the man-nature binomial, Isabel investigated this correspondence through site-specific performative acts and resumed the creative process documenting its evolution.

Isabel Rodriguez Ramos © 2024

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