Ser Dios

Julián Álvarez

This video is a continuation of Alvarez’s previous work Santa Sevilla, a progression in the virtuality that he presented in that video. Using the iconography of the Spanish card set by Fournier, the artist applies his treatment of Federico García Lorca to his fellow contemporaries, colleagues, contraries and complementaries: Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí. Constructing the piece around their centenaries, Alvarez presents a digital theatre, where games of alterity, appearance and attitude between the three characters take place in an allegoric dance and mis-en-scéne.

This piece is a sort of multimedia shrine to Lorca, Dalí and Buñuel. Alvarez started the piece as a CD-ROM project in 1998, premised on Lorca’s verses As de bastos. Tijeras en cruz. (Ace in clubs. Scissors in a cross.), and finished it as a DVD in 2001. Over a surrealist iconography, the author builds the symbolic portraits of the three gentlemen as electronic busts.

The three artists featuring in the piece lived in the same era, within the same milieus, shared the same students’ residence, friendship and a similar view of their culture. Then they diverged along complementary routes. The monochannel video Ser Dios creates the convergent synthesis of their myths, an exemplary model (a common minimum out of their anniversaries and contradictions). An exquisite corpse originating in a series of videos, that, through the paradigm of love and death, present the different celebrations of the Semana Santa in the birth places of the three: Seville, Calanda and Verges.

A procession of Fournier’s espadas (spades) takes us, in an exercise of historical memory, to an ace in bastos (clubs), crowned with the daggers of the obstinacy of the three characters of the oro (diamonds) suit. Due to their mythified lives, their characters are turned into icons, archetypes designed by the Spanish card deck, with Lorca as the sota (knave), Buñuel the caballo (horse/queen) and Dalí the rey (king). Alvarez moves these emblematic characters around the white spaces of the cards. The three men are transformed, although they can still be identified by some common signs, to offer a specific appearance within this virtual setting. These are elements that, although still inscribed within a group, nevertheless try to stand out from the rest.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Ser Dios
  • Direction: Julián Álvarez
  • Production: Julián Álvarez. 1999.
  • Team:

    3D Effects: Martín Contel (baraja), Armand López (buñuel)
    Original Soundtrack: Jep Nuix
    Visual and sound desing: Julián Álvarez
    Sound Postproductions: Ricard Rincón
    Editing/Composing: Pau Valiente

  • Duration: 00:07:15
  • Languages: Spanish
  • Original format: Quicktime
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright