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Los paseos nocturnos is a video in which Ruiz de Infante refines his poetic streak in a postromantic setting, where beauty is always suspect and where lies and truth mix in a sort of sentimental personal diary of the process of maturity, of change, of the loss of eden.
“When that part of me died, anguish took hold of me.”
Los paseos nocturnos emerges out of the production process of the feature length video Los lobos, out of the material that was originally intended for the prologue and epilogue. The piece is structured around three moments: the stages of childhood, adolescence and adulthood (the second stage takes shape in the video as ellipsis, a pause in the narrative). What originally was supposed to form a prologue and an epilogue, ends up acquiring an autonomous identity, even though the pieces can still be read as square brackets framing Los lobos.
The narrative driving Los paseos nocturnos unfolds in a continuous present. Narrated in the first person, it is a sort of enumeration of signs, of hints, of something that is happening or is about to happen. The piece starts with the voice of a man being replicated in a recording (memory, conscience). During the length of the video, this voice will be replaced by that of a woman and that of a child.
Los paseos nocturnos is a utopic quest for tranquility, an expiation of a harm which the character believes he is guilty of. The video initially argues in favour of self-humiliation, self-flagellation and self-mutilation in order to escape fear and pain. The feeling of having been forgotten and abandoned, because of his guilt, leads the character to have death symptoms, as he recognises himself imperfect. But his conscience, from the outside, still accuses him of being guilty.
By reviewing memories, secrets and illusions of his childhood the author introduces himself into a process of change that involves the loss of conscience, the loss of morals. It is at this moment that the wolves (los lobos) appear. In the use of electronic edition technology to show memory searches and pauses, a point of inflexion takes place: when the image displays grass at ground level, there is a narrative pause (the ellipsis containing Los lobos) and as it continues, the main character is different, more mature.
After the process of initiation that is adolescence, self-knowledge begins. Even though the feeling of guilt persists, as well as the search for tranquility, the character finds new capacities in himself to fight against his fears, loosing his innocence in the process.
“My wanderings at night don’t calm me down, neither does motionless memory”
Idea, text, image and direction: Francisco Ruiz de Infante
Edition: Jacqueline Inizan
Soundtrack: Jesús Gestoso y Francisco Ruiz de Infante
Voices: Dorothée Goll, Diego Mastreles and Ibrahim Bousso
Image Studio: CICV Montbéliard and Transatlantic-Vidéo (Paris)