SOUTH SOUTH FILM
Rafael França

29 – 31 October 2021

Films will launch consecutively starting Friday 29 October at 8am GMT.  All films will remain active until Monday 1 November 8am GMT.

Rafael França (1957-1991) was the forerunner in Brazil of experiments combining art and technology during the second half of the 20th century. A restless artist, he made innovative use of media such as photocopying as early as the 1970s. In the 1980s, after doing installation, performance and urban intervention work in the group 3Nós3, he turned to innovative video art performances.

Artist courtesy Galeria Jaqueline Martins

Reencontro, 1984

video

7′ 49″

The first in a trilogy of tapes from the mid-80s which investigate the language of video narrative, each centered around a lonely, isolated character.

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In Reencontro a lone man confronts his own traumatic past and his mortality. Playing with narrative conventions, this video has no synchronized sound and no linear story. The experimental narrative language explored here reflects the post- modern human conditions and the complicated negotiations between emotion and modernity.

Read Less

After a deep sleep (Getting Out), 1985

video

5′

In this second experiment with video narrative, every day objects (a stove, a door, a cigarette) take on a psychological significance as the female protagonist fights the oppression on her domestic surroundings.

Read More

The apparent realism of the story is actually an artificial strategy for the development of a plot that does not convey reality at all but, rather, a state of mind.

Read Less

As if Exiled in Paradise, 1986

video

9′

The third in a trilogy experimenting with the language of narrative video.

Read More

As If Exiled in Paradise tells the story of a writer who has become so involved with his work that he has lost track of reality. His psychological world is terrorized by hallucinations of his written world. This protagonist suffers from loneliness imposed by the irrevocable differences between modernity and technology.

Read Less

Reencontro, 1984

video

7′ 49″

The first in a trilogy of tapes from the mid-80s which investigate the language of video narrative, each centered around a lonely, isolated character.

Read More

In Reencontro a lone man confronts his own traumatic past and his mortality. Playing with narrative conventions, this video has no synchronized sound and no linear story. The experimental narrative language explored here reflects the post- modern human conditions and the complicated negotiations between emotion and modernity.

Read Less

After a deep sleep (Getting Out), 1985

video

5′

In this second experiment with video narrative, every day objects (a stove, a door, a cigarette) take on a psychological significance as the female protagonist fights the oppression on her domestic surroundings.

Read More

The apparent realism of the story is actually an artificial strategy for the development of a plot that does not convey reality at all but, rather, a state of mind.

Read Less

As if Exiled in Paradise, 1986

video

9′

The third in a trilogy experimenting with the language of narrative video.

Read More

As If Exiled in Paradise tells the story of a writer who has become so involved with his work that he has lost track of reality. His psychological world is terrorized by hallucinations of his written world. This protagonist suffers from loneliness imposed by the irrevocable differences between modernity and technology.

Read Less

I have lost it, 1984

video

5′

Despite living in the USA for years, it is possible to sense Rafael’s concern about what was happening in Brazil (by the early 80’s still living under military regime).

Read More

Reluctant affirmations and questions without answers are placed in the screen together with deadpan faces that express no feelings. The brief image of someone that seems to be tortured or under questioning adds even more layers to the sense of paranoia that is portrayed throughout the video.

Read Less

Fighting The Invisible Enemy, 1983

video

2′ 45″

In this video, as in others produced by the artist, images are used not to show a conventional linear narrative but, instead, to illustrate a state of mind.

Read More

Here, an out- of-tune TV screen (shown both in horizontal and vertical orientation), along with radio feedback, white noise and an image of someone that seems to be interrogated, represent one’s emotional distress and internal struggle.

Read Less

I have lost it, 1984

video

5′

Despite living in the USA for years, it is possible to sense Rafael’s concern about what was happening in Brazil (by the early 80’s still living under military regime).

Read More

Reluctant affirmations and questions without answers are placed in the screen together with deadpan faces that express no feelings. The brief image of someone that seems to be tortured or under questioning adds even more layers to the sense of paranoia that is portrayed throughout the video.

Read Less

Fighting The Invisible Enemy, 1983

video

2′ 45″

In this video, as in others produced by the artist, images are used not to show a conventional linear narrative but, instead, to illustrate a state of mind.

Read More

Here, an out- of-tune TV screen (shown both in horizontal and vertical orientation), along with radio feedback, white noise and an image of someone that seems to be interrogated, represent one’s emotional distress and internal struggle.

Read Less

Insonia, 1989

video

8′ 26″

A man wakes in the middle of the night and cannot fall back to sleep. This video explores the persistent thoughts which plague him as he lies awake.

Read More

The bed and even his dreams become his enemy, the origins of his discomfort. “Yes or no?” he repeats, trying to answer an unspecified question. Insônia (Insomnia) combines formal experimentation with dream logic to portray sleep as a psychologically threatening, disconcerting action.

Read Less

Prelúdio de uma morte anunciada, 1991

video

5′

Rafael França finished this video a few days before he died in Chicago (1991). In it, the artist and his then partner, Geraldo Rivello, are shown caressing each other. Concomitantly, countless men’s names that were engraved on his affectionate memory, many of whom AIDS’ victims, go about floating on the screen.

Insonia, 1989

video

8′ 26″

A man wakes in the middle of the night and cannot fall back to sleep. This video explores the persistent thoughts which plague him as he lies awake.

Read More

The bed and even his dreams become his enemy, the origins of his discomfort. “Yes or no?” he repeats, trying to answer an unspecified question. Insônia (Insomnia) combines formal experimentation with dream logic to portray sleep as a psychologically threatening, disconcerting action.

Read Less

Prelúdio de uma morte anunciada, 1991

video

5′

Rafael França finished this video a few days before he died in Chicago (1991). In it, the artist and his then partner, Geraldo Rivello, are shown caressing each other. Concomitantly, countless men’s names that were engraved on his affectionate memory, many of whom AIDS’ victims, go about floating on the screen.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Rafael França (1957-1991) was the forerunner in Brazil of experiments combining art and technology during the second half of the 20th century. A restless artist, he made innovative use of media such as photocopying as early as the 1970s. In the 1980s, after doing installation, performance and urban intervention work in the group 3Nós3, he turned to innovative video art performances. His output subverted usual fictional forms, portraying himself and friends as challenging characters, manipulating elements such as the synchronism of speech, and altering the notions of time and space. Prematurely deceased in 1991, França addressed and  complexified questions such as sexuality and the body, in artworks that were also characterized by intensive research into narrative possibilities.

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