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Primetime

Félix Fernández


Prime Time is a parody of tv zapping: a polyhedric media mural by Félix Fernández comprising politics, society, film, videoclips, clairvoyants, pornography, football and infomercials. The continuous flux, fragmented by the noise of the zapping itself, and the subversion of the manipulated contents generate such a heap of nonsense that we are forced to escape and take refuge in intimacy.

The attraction of television is beyond doubt: wherever the appliance is located, it is always looked at. Moreover, if the screen contains a good amount of movement and brilliant colours, the gaze will rest on it for that much longer. The screen takes advantage of the disinterested attention of the spectator, of his empty look, and so becomes the window through which he experiences reality. Paradoxically, it seems to do the opposite, it appears to give us the option of freedom. We can change our way at will, we just have to change channels.

Back in the days, public entertainment took place in the circus, in public executions and inquisitions, or in stadiums; nowadays, it is in the radio, cinema, television and the internet. With the gratifications on offer, the television viewer becomes a sort of vampire that devours someone else's desires in order to escape his own immortal vacuum. (The spectator abducted by the screen is an easy target for all kinds of media noise. Already a binary being, he takes on one of the two positions, each exclusive of the other, in the televised debates.)

The apparently indiscriminate flux of of images (and sounds) that allows us to give up critical thinking, produces a vertiginous apocalyptic narrative that questions all that surrounds us and that makes us suspicious of each of the images displayed. In a first instance the images themselves are demythified and then separated from reality, and in a second instance, a certain confusion and indifference towards the visual referents are created, which induce a short-lived mental insanity. The artist is however conscious of the fact that Prime Time is just a playful, accurate and brief commentary that questions current decadent archetypes, those, whose highest ambition is always focused on the most intimate.

"Thus, from this perspective, even when we are, in front of the television or a film, exposed to disturbing scenes of violence and sex, there is still the possibility of confronting the images knowing that their effects are harmful. Instead of feeling totally overwhelmed by what we see, we can take these scenes as a kind of indicator of the pernicious nature of uncontrolled negative emotions." (Dalai Lama, The art of happiness)

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Primetime
  • Direction: Félix Fernández
  • Production: Félix Fernández. 2003.
  • Duration: 00:13:10
  • Original format: Mini DV
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright