Tomorrow's Colors

Eugenia Balcells
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In the sound, a mantra reciting colours according to the objects or beings that carry them. In the image, a hand unfolds and reviews card by card, a catalogue of colours for printing (pantone or pantonario) whose references have been modified with the ideas that are being named. Its various associations between colour and concept present a hypnotic journey through the different meanings. The viewer in his mind is able to visualise both the motifs and, fleetingly, the moments in which he perceived each named colour.

Using a simple paper colour chart (and modifying their names), Eugènia Bàlcells manages to operate a subtle change in the viewer's perception of the plastic process. The pages of a chromatic catalogue turn, like a counter-clockwise wheel, accompanied by a slow reading, a recitation that punctuates beings and objects, until a new intense and contemporary sense of the pictorial is explored. In this video, painting is not imposed but recited. The meanings given to each sample progress slowly as if it were a succession of monochrome pictures although, unlike what is usually observed in this pictorial tendency, each one carries an image provoked by the word, or denomination, and which takes shape in the imagination of the spectator, broadening his or her perception of reality.

Freeing the mind from the flow of thoughts that confuse it, as a colour chart might, this mantra of concepts recited over different colours brings the viewer into a state of deep concentration, almost hypnosis, an evocative illumination. The tantric wheel, gently turned, allows access to the world of painting, usually closed in on itself, through the back door: through the samples of colour, converting the plastic action into a process of spiritual knowledge. The fascination and suggestion of this work produces a placidity similar to that which comes when contemplating the flames of a bonfire, or the spatial contemplation that occurs before the changes of light in a stained glass window, a painting in movement.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Tomorrow's Colors
  • Direction: Eugenia Balcells
  • Production: Eugenia Balcells. 1982.
  • Team:

    Tomorrow's Colors per Ivan Chermayeff
    Càmera: Eugènia Balcells
    So, lectura: Peter Van Riper
    Muntatge: Eugènia Balcells

  • Duration: 00:12:08
  • Languages: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Original format: Quicktime
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Copyright