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The Institut Ramon Llull presents a new work from filmmaker Albert Serra curated by Chus Martínez
The artist and curator address the question of how the cinema machine creates a mind.

VENICE.- The Institut Ramon Llull presents Catalonia in Venice at the Biennale di Venezia for the fourth time. A film installation by filmmaker Albert Serra will be shown within the curatorial frame- work of Chus Martínez. The title of this project is SIN GUL A RITY. Under this rubric, the artist has conceived a new piece, an immersive film installation projected onto 5 screens arranged in a dynamic structure taking up the entirety of the exhibition space. Specifically conceived for this presentation in Venice, the installation choreographs not only a wide range of views on today’s world but also the visitors’ movement through the space.

As Chus Martínez states, “The original inspiration for this eight-hour-long moving image installation was a discussion between the artist and myself about the notion of the singularity. The singularity is the concept that mathematicians and artificial intelligence researchers use to name the moment where our relationship with the machine changes, when technology ceases to be a tool and becomes a companion to the human species. But what is the singularity here referring to? It names a contemporary condition, defined not just by the conditions of capital and economy but by a new epistemological turn in which we share our lives with machines and nature in a different way. Or put another way, the singularity is another name for cinema. Cinema represents one of the most eloquent and close relationships mankind has established with a device. We entrusted the camera with completely recreating our way of describing our deepest insight into our feelings, in the same way our eyes relate to our sense of life. And so we can assume that cinema has learned something from us and that the cinema machine, this very special machine intelligence, is transforming the future of the very idea of a picture in movement.

Albert Serra poetically interweaves what look like contemporary images filmed in Lleida, Catalonia (in PLANTA Sorigué) with less clearly realistic ones, thus creating a sort of ancient myth—like a fable. Some sections of the film are composed of a flow of purely visual and beautiful material. But in others the artist Albert Serra tells us stories that for him represent “ancient” and novel ways of talking about cinema. This very special piece by Serra attempts to create a “leg- end”—a visual and sensory memory for the viewer based on motifs that will mark a shift in our under- standing not of what cinema is able to tell but of the way cinema can transform us and prepare us for a different future of the image, man and the machine.”

In the words of Albert Serra, “In the 21st century, images are on the run and don’t turn back; the many screens cast them and they explain them- selves. The artist perhaps creates them, grasps them, exposes them in a baroque and titanic effort. In their death throes, images can still serve to illustrate the world with visual suffocation, but also with the ambition to narrate, with imagination. From mining pioneers to the gold rush of the early 20th century to the present-day regulated and technical industry of land use, SIN GUL A RITY explains the last major transition, the last with man at its core and the last that can still sustain the presence of the body as the driving force of all human transformation. Afterwards, the machines...”

This project includes a 32-page publication jointly published by the Institut Ramon Llull and Mousse which will be available as a free download on the project’s website. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a website: Graphic design for the project was done by Omar Sosa and Ana Domínguez and Guri_Casa- juana Arquitects are the authors of the exhibition interior design.

Martínez’s proposal was selected by a jury chaired by Marta Gili, Director of Jeu de Paume. The other members of this jury were Bartomeu Marí, Director of the MACBA; Joan Minguet, President of the Associació Catalana de Crítics d’Art (ACCA); Xavier Antich, President of the Board of Trustees of the Fundació Antoni Tàpies; Martina Millà, Head of Programming and Pro- jects at the Fundació Miró; Llucià Homs, Director of Cultural Sector Promotion at the Institut de Cultura de Barcelona; and Damià Martínez, Head of the Creation Division at the IRL.

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