Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Representations of Relations: An Homage 
Pina – Wim Wenders, 2011   
Wim Wenders’ Pina is an evocation that pays homage by rendering the familiar uncanny, almost as possessed by the spirit of the departed artist. The viewer’s access to the great dancer’s persona is constantly mediated and constructed, in a reinforced maze of layered spaces, as to both suggest and protect the unique sense of her presence that persists now through her absence. This sense is re-appropriated by the dancers’ accounts which we hear as we see them looking back into the camera – their thoughts however are not in direct address, as their relation to Pina cannot be spoken but only thought of and danced. These deconstructed interviews lead us to reconfigure our process of perception through matching the aural element (the voice, the accent, the meaning of the words) with the facial expression (the sadness, melancholy, smile, thoughtful glances) and the name given in written title. The viewer becomes thus active partaker in the re-construction of the interviewee as a social actor that serves as channel for the communication with Pina.

Through this refusal of automatic isomorphism between the spoken words and their speaker, we are instantly, if minimally, immersed into the idionsyncrasies of each individual, while at the same time we get one soul closer to the great absence that is at the center of the film. The maximum transference happens through dance, as the performers embody their master through a choreography speaking of affect – of desire and control, of entrapment and struggle to freedom, of tumultuous feelings and their acknowledgment. A liberating movement, the dance frees the body and spirit, and charges the space with stylized, abstract qualities. In an inside-out turn, the interior (of psyche) is projected onto the exterior (concrete spatial), the latter taking on an abstract meaning as contextual frame of the emotional commotion.                  

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