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Anitia

José Manuel Palmeiro
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Anitia is this video’s hero/heroine. It is constructed with damaged fragments of old film, and fights against the attacks of fighter planes in Bombay, mixing the latencies and noises of the celluloid with subliminal images of security and death.

Over the drama of the images on the film passing through the projector, the sound of a news piece about an attack in Bombay -thirteen bombs, two hundred dead- is heard in different languages. Anitia (the name means Grace) is here to solve the problems. She is the heroine of tremendous mute films. Damaged stills succeed each other in a constant throb, until Tarzan arrives. Within a succession of black and white scratched and flickering images of one of the adventures of the Tarzan family among the natives -including a rescue scene in the river-, are interpolated images of military fighter jets doing a demonstration, shooting and in ejection, who seem to hit the King of the Jungle. The different readings of the news piece about the attack are heard over the song Rasputin by Bonnie M, while graphic icons of security and protection are shown. Dead cats and satellite images of Spain, together with the face of a tiger, conclude this video with an emphatic yet insecure ending.

The way in which the artist reuses and actualises the damaged film, giving it new non-innocent meanings, evokes the Derridean concept of “archive fever”, as an archive of the violence of power, which requires the primitive experience of memory. By combining three simultaneous dramas in different formats -the one in Bombay (news), the jungle story (fiction) and the fighter jets (advertising)- with the images of Anitia, the gods’ daughter, Palmeiro proposes different levels of meaning to the spectator. The images’ instability and tension are dissolved by the disco music. We are being warned about the fact that someone is always watching, namely, the tiger.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Anitia
  • Direction: José Manuel Palmeiro
  • Production: C.H.A.O.S. Macro Tr. 1994.
  • Duration: 00:04:58
  • Languages: English - Spanish
  • Original format: U-Matic
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright