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Tiempo Real

María Ruido


In his text of 1993 Virtuosity and Revolution Paolo Virno indicates some of the fundamental elements of  so-called immaterial labour. At the same time he wonders about the possibility of giving back (counter)power to gestures such as flexibility, reticularity, imagination or the capacity for improvisation, which had been until recently part of certain political practices and have, gradually, been assimilated and profited from by the transnational forms of production, to the point of becoming strategies of global capital.

Up until a few decades ago we still considered the term “work” in terms of production, in opposition to reproduction, and as a concept linked to salaried employment. Today we not only speak of outsourcing, just in time and hyperflexibility, even traditional divergences dissolve, and spatial and conceptual oppositions between times/places of leisure and those of work are no longer operative: biowork defines our relations, precarity erodes us and rearticulates our personal decisions and the elaboration of our subjectivities.

From the 1970s onwards, inhabitants of “total work”, against traditional union movements, call for a withdrawal from production as a fundamental position of resistance. Tiempo Real is located within this process of redefinition, stemming from the artist’s own experience as a cultural worker. The project reactivates some previously examined questions, and tries to think about the possibility/opportunity of constructing for the new working class its own visibility and a narrativity.

At a clear distance from classic militant cinema and from the television documentary shaped by the dominant ideology, Tiempo Real proposes a reflection on the capacity to generate effective political forms through texts (images and words), in order to dislocate the strategies of action in the field of salaried employment and to reintroduce them, as suggested by Virno, into the public sphere.

Tiempo Real is consciously constructed out of audiovisual and literary narrations, it is imbricated within a specific genealogy, of which Ruido considers herself part. The piece locates itself in relation to defection and sabotage, by means of certain “narratives of negation” (de-aesthetics, de-montage, out of (visual) field, reframing, real time of the sequence shot...) in order to propose representation as an important field of political practice.

The piece is structured around two axes -(dis)organisation and (re)location- articulating the above mentioned strategies. Chantal Ackerman’s emblematic film Jeanne Dielman (1975) provides the fundamental deconstructive material. This project aims to be a research piece imbricated in the work of some European women groups who are working on the contemporary conditions of precarity. This is a piece that proposes a parallel reading of certain feminist discourses and actions and certain strategies of representation as referential political practices.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Tiempo Real
  • Direction: María Ruido
  • Production: Fundació La Caixa. 2003.
  • Duration: 00:42:30
  • Languages: Spanish
  • Subtitles: English
  • Original format: Mini DV
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright