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Archivos públicos

Jacobo Sucari


In the world there are various sorts of professions, some are common and others are unimaginable. This video portrays the passengers in the underground of various cities and in the process reveals those professions which are well known in the fiction/reality of the media, but which at the same time are ignored in our everyday encounters.

In Archivos públicos, all the persons on screen are real; the characters are fiction. In this piece Jacobo Sucari combines images from undercover recordings he has made of passengers in the underground of various cities. He suggests a universe of anonymous specialists by displaying the faces and records of these infiltrated agents. The text, as in a police record, creates a new point of confluence in terms of the relationship individual/power.

By following the work of Guy Debord and Hakim Bey, as well as by introducing the heteronym Luther Blisset as the omniscient narrator, Sucari generates a conspiracy theory about power in the shadows, which takes place, literally, in the underground. What we are presented with is a conspiracy plot that links distant points creating a sort of map of psychogeographical driftings. The paranoia around the power in the shadows is identified when its architects are named. Anyone can be someone else under their anonymous appearance. Only the camera seems to be able to discover them and follow their footsteps.

By means of displaying the undercover observation of neutral behaviour patterns in the passengers (its identification combined with fiction characters), modifying the time of the image, interpellating the transitions with electronic noise and showing most of the video in black and white, Sucari is able to create a context of surveillance, documentation and filmic tension, which is suggestive of spy narratives. The image is further relativised and situated within the context of fiction video with the audio, which combines electronic dance music, arab voices and electronic noises.

This piece is related to some of the ideological proposals of the collective 12ª visual and of the Ovni Festival in Barcelona, which is part of the resurgence of Situationist theories at the beginning of the Nineties. It is also related to the work of Toni Serra and Joan Leandre, based on working over images stolen with a handheld camera, as well as to the cover-up investigations of Xavier Hurtado.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Archivos públicos
  • Direction: Jacobo Sucari
  • Production: Jacobo Sucari â?? La 12 Visual. 1996.
  • Duration: 00:09:41
  • Languages: Catalan - Spanish
  • Original format: U-Matic
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright