KALK’IIN (in the throat of the sun)

Spain / 2020 / 16mm live performance / 40-45 min variable time


Focused on the essence of fire as the center of the common, the gathering, the sharing, and the enlightening (physical and spiritual), Kalk'iin takes the audience into a singular cinematic experience. Other than been confronted by a frontal screening, the spectators become the surrounders of the projection, acknowledging their being and position, as part of an inspiring collective ceremony.
KALK'IIN, the place of the throat of the sun (in Maya language), is a project that focuses on the complex and wide-ranging functions of fire, as a revealing, cohesive and transforming element, linking the individual and the collective consciousness.

As Bachelard would define it, fire is above its natural condition, a social being. As such, it reinforces itself in being at the same time intimate and universal. Considering also the words of José Antonio González Alcantud and María Jesús Buxó Rey: “fire, in its multi-meaning, nucleates social life in traditional societies, perhaps because there, around it, the disorder of daily life becomes order and solidarity”.

Starting from this fundamental base, I locate this power of fire in direct relation to the cohesive and transforming function of cinema. Departing from the essential correspondence between: light-shadow-movement, that determines on one hand the photochemical creative process of filmmaking, and on another, the analog-celluloide projection as a profoundly moving collective experience. Being in it –the projection- where this idea apprehends the its highest strength: opening a path into a revealing, acknowledging, and shared experience.

Kalk'iin dislocates and decodes, the place of the projection into the center, assuming the centrality of fire. That is, moved from the conventional context that has been given to the projection as a front screen, into a new place: the one of a core, inviting who attends into its inside, into the heart and axis. The projector (which is a light expeller), and the projection itself, become the central fire that brings the audience together in a circular and associative way.

The bonds between photochemical cinema (its mechanics and processes) and fire alchemy are evident. Where the alchemic condition crosses each step, from the laboratory process to the projection environment, taking the complete cinematographic experience into the field of a ceremony. Pondering at place not only scientific relations, but particularly its social and poetic allegories.

A journey that guides the audience into what Bachelard would outline as a state of reverie. A state in which the brightness of the fire, the moving light, calls and offers a sort of brightness of consciousness. An awareness that knows about itself. Because contemplation, the hypnotized observation of a flame, can provoke internal movements that only those who live it can recognize. And yet, in this personal revelation, social ties are deepened. Far from the subordination of the understood, imposed or assumed thoughts, the fire experience invites to return to the beginning, to the intuitive primitive guidance into the self and the shared.

Performed as a first exploration after residency at the Art Center Convent de Sant Agusti (Barcelona 2020) in tribute and accompanied musically by Seward.

Project research supported by Generalitat de Catalunya “Recerca i creacio” 2020. In residency at Crater-Lab (Barcelona).