Paisajes Para el Olvido (Viraxe)

Xoán Anleo

Leisure images of a boat journey around glaciers. All the passengers are carrying some kind of device for capturing images: analog and digital photographic cameras, video cameras, even mobile phones.

In Viraxe, Anleo hides his aim of exploring our most immediate reality behind what seems like a home video of a journey on a ferry through the glaciers in Patagonia. The object that is being captured by the camera is, however, not the spectacular landscape, but rather, the passengers themselves busily capturing images of the spectacular landscape. Anleo has gone from examining the decontextualised individual in his previous works, to studying her collectivisation in Viraxe. The individual's microparticularities are here delimited by a common denominator: being in a foreign reality, and the compulsive necessity to appropriate it as a souvenir.

The boat's purring sound, the water, the sound of the wind and of fragmented conversations in different languages, provide Anleo with a background noise that functions as the sound track from which portraits of the passengers, with camera to eye, are extracted. There is no narration or identity, we don't know where they come from or where they are going to, there are only moments of typical tourists looking amazed at the multiple aesthetic offers in the natural landscape, in their common habit of searching, choosing, photographing/recording and forgetting images as soon as the next potential image makes its appearance. In Viraxe Anleo confirms that his understanding of the relationship between the documentary format and art (as is the case with fiction in other of his videos) has to do with the requirement that the latter contain stories, as opposed to telling them. The documentary value is in the portrayal of a collective behaviour alienated by the latest trend of anxiously consuming, by means of one's own personal images - rather than those in commercial postcards, in spite of these being necessarily better (more objective and well studied) -, virgin landscapes. This sense of owning the landscape and of immersing oneself in it by posing before it, provides the evidence for the "I was here" (which comes to mean something like "where you haven't been"). By means of typified signs, the individual enacts a form of self-affirmation before third persons, a testimony to her desire to stand out and display her social status. "This process contains a metaphor about the relationship between the individual and her fellow human beings, and the desire to search for an identity of one's own".

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Paisajes Para el Olvido (Viraxe)
  • Direction: Xoán Anleo
  • Production: Xoán Anleo. 2006.
  • Team:

    Edició: Manu Paz

  • Duration: 00:03:40
  • Original format: Mini DV
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Copyright