Dora García and David Nogués-Bravo

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Dora García Dora García / Photograph by Moritz Küng

Dora García

Dora García has developed works on the political police of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) (the film “Rooms, Conversations”, 24′, 2006, presented for the first time at GfZK, Leipzig, Germany), on the comedian Lenny Bruce (“Just because everything is different… Lenny Bruce in Sydney”, Sydney Biennale, 2008) or on the associations of anti-psychiatry (“Mad Marginal”, book series since 2010, and “The Deviant Majority”, film,34′, 2010, part of his expanded performance project “The Inadequate”, presented for the first time in his solo exhibition at the Spanish Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale. Dora has used classic television formats to investigate Germany’s more recent history (“Die Klau Mich Show”, Documenta13, 2012), frequented Finnegans Wake reading groups (“The Joycean Society”, HD film, 53′, 2013), created meeting points for voice hearers (“The Hearing Voices Café”, from 2014) and researched the crossover between performance and psychoanalysis (“The Sinthome Score”, 2013, first presented at Kunsthaus Bregenz, then at the international exhibition 56th Venice Biennale; and “Second Time”, HD film, 90′, 2018). She is currently concluding her film project “Red Love”, about the Marxist feminist Alexandra Kollontai and the impact of her legacy on intersectional feminism in the Third World. Thanks to CNIO Arte 2024, Dora has created a new film project, ‘END’, about the intersection of climate catastrophe, human memory and the female voice.

END (dos prólogos), 2024

END (dos prólogos), 2024

END (dos prólogos), 2024
END (dos prólogos), 2024
HD, color, 16:9 26’ 35’’
Idiomas originales: Español, Inglés
Subtitulado en inglés

David Nogués-Bravo / Fotografía de Egle Kudirkiene
David Nogués-Bravo / Photograph by Egle Kudirkiene

David Nogués-Bravo

Dr. David Nogués-Bravo is Professor at the Globe Institute of the University of Copenhagen. Copenhagen and researches the impacts of global change, including climate change, on biodiversity loss and the health of the planet. His research career has been spent at the Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and the Universities of Oxford and Copenhagen. Dr. Nogués-Bravo is editor of prestigious scientific journals in the discipline of Ecology, including journals of the Ecological Society of America and the Nordic Ecological Society. For a decade he has been a member of the Board of Governors of the International Society for Biogeography, of which he is Vice-President for Development and Awards.

Flakes, Silver and Dark, Falling Obliquely Against the Lamplight1

For the work commissioned to Dora García by CNIO Arte for its seventh edition, which turned out to be a film called End, the artist opted for one of her signature mediums, cinema, but also incorporated writing and performance, arranging all these devices in such a way that they operate as drivers to stimulate our abilities to critically and poetically interpret the images and discourses that underpin what is, in this case, a filmic narrative.

The macroecologist David Nogués-Bravo was also chosen by CNIO as the other half of the artist-scientist duo on which the annual CNIO Arte programme is sustained. In their first meeting, Nogués-Bravo and García jointly decided to travel together to the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic to discuss and begin to outline their future collaboration on the question of climate change and the loss of biological biodiversity.

And so, in the first few days of last August, Dora García started the project we now know as End and which the artist visualized very early on as a film struc-tured around images, sounds and words: landscape, soundscape, mindscape. The abundant material recorded in these three directions were edited by the artist herself as a kind of introduction that we could view as the beginning of a more extensive future project. In fact, End (a prologue) gathers the ideas, opinions and warnings of Nogués-Bravo on what could become, before too long, the sixth mass extinction. In the background, some natural settings from Svalbard and also its recent industrial archaeology; we can also hear some questions addressed to the scientist, posed by the artist and by other people from behind the camera.

Opening and closing this introduction, the images give an account of the pow- er of one of Svalbard’s glaciers, seen frontally and from a drone’s-eye view; its imposing monumental presence is accompanied with a double sound, first of all, a constant industrial murmur and, closer up, as if inside our eardrums, the sounds of liquid and solid water in collision.

When it seems as if End and its introduction are about to finish, a second prologue suddenly starts. The nature of the images in this second introduction is radically different. While the first gives room for scientific positions, data, threats and dan- gers, the urgency to create a collective consciousness, political responsibility … and all straight from the mouth of a voice authorized by science; in the second part, as if it were a kind of response to the initial introduction, the artist herself chooses a register she is well acquainted with, from art, and especially from the realms of the unreal and the imaginary, from narrative delirium. The images show us the Norwegian choreographer and performer Mette Edvardsen reading (learning) with difficulty the last page of Finnegans Wake (1939). Back once again to James Joyce, an author on which Dora García has worked obsessively in recent years, and particularly his more cryptic and complex work. FW—as untranslatable as it is potentially approachable from other languages, in such a way that it can grow and expand infinitely—tells of the death of Anna Livia Plurabelle, one of the main characters of this infinite text and an embodiment of sorts of the Liffey, the river passing through Dublin.

The reading is accompanied by some intimate domestic images, and others of nature that passes and dissolves in water and in mist.

In Joyce’s text one senses the presence of night and also the sounds and mur- muring of water, the flapping wings of flying bats, a spirituality shaped by beings, natural accidents and their corresponding sounds. A musicality that also draws from the strange linguistic forms with which Joyce composed this text and in general the whole “novel”. Somehow, it connects with another earlier short story by Joyce himself: The Dead (1914). Here too, albeit through a more orthodox narrative, it tells us how snow, wind and rain become one with the universe and with the bodies of the living and the dead. Nature here—and also in FW—is retold as an affair that goes with and intensifies loss, absence and emotion.

Just one century later, the present and its natural reality offer us alarming data: in Svalbard, Nogués-Bravo tells us, the climate has warmed five times more than the rest of the planet and that the melting of the Arctic ice could be irreversible. And that these and other changes have been caused by human action. In the first prologue of End, our scientist raises his eyes to the sky as we hear the noise of an engine of an airplane passing over.

Dora García’s film, for the moment, places us as critical and sensitive spectators before the void of time instituted by sonic and visual realities so far removed in their political and poetic transmission.

Juan de Nieves, CNIO Arte curator

1 Quote taken from James Joyce’s short story “The Dead”, published in Dubliners (1914).

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