Raúl Bajo Ibañez

Abismo has been assembled in the form of a short essay out of various different media fragments. Constant flashes of images make up a technological war march - with increases and decreases in speed - leading to an unexpected end (that dilutes all aggressivity). The lesson learned is that salvation comes through the little domestic satisfactions and about the recovery of innocence.

In this hypnotic piece Bajo Ibáñez develops a sketchy approach to Kulechov’s experiments about the linear continuity of images with different meanings, which, in their combination, introduce a third meaning. The sequence of themes (since each beat is not just a new image but a concept that either confronts or reinforces the previous one) are synchronised through the music: industrial, rhythmic and aggressive.

With images appropriated from the mass media Bajo Ibáñez puts together a miscellaneous pattern of visual suffering (hunger, violence, war, catastrophes, bombs, Hitler, and death) interlaced with icons of pleasure (lips, eyes and faces of beautiful people from a multicultural catalogue, beating hearts, and the faces of porn actresses), representing the video’s Eros and Thanatos. These sequences are themselves complemented by images of scientific experiments and of the earth (making this a global conflict). At the end of the piece, a child is happily running in a park (a home video), and a drop of water falls from the faucet. There is still hope.

Bajo Ibáñez works out the disparity of the violent images with the rhythmic sound of drums in the soundtrack, which combine singularity and anarchy into different meanings. He uses the symbolic clarity of the chosen images to provoke an ephemeral emotional impact. It is like a synthesis of the visual torture that Alex is subjected to in “The clockwork orange”. Fragments of the common memory constructed by the media are popular culture snapshots that are assembled together, in a brutal yet musical manner, in order to reflect on the provisional character of feelings (and sensibility) when these are sifted through the screen.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Abismo
  • Direction: Raúl Bajo Ibañez
  • Production: Raúl Bajo Ibañez. 2004.
  • Duration: 00:01:05
  • Original format: Betacam Digital
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright