El tenista


In El tenista, a videogame image -a tennis match- acts as a metaphor for the reality in which we live. Information society has imposed a series of life dynamics which leave us no time to think. The time between an event and the search for knowledge about it, is minimal, leaving very few possibilities for understanding reality. Thinkers such as Eduardo González and Castell, with his notion of atemporal time, have been studying this subject. Although the match has been won, the player -narrator- feels that something is not going right and questions his own existence. The ludicrous metaphor of the Winner and the Looser is shown to be the product of the current crisis of the socio-political model of competition that we live under.

The videogame image of the tennis match is accompanied by an emphatic text: “I was the tennis player and had played many matches, but none as strange as the one that day. Even though I was winning, something wasn’t right. I didn’t quite feel I was being myself. Why was I moving in such a way? I guess it soothed me to think that I was trying to do well, trying to work hard, trying to win, trying to be myself. But things don’t always turn out as you want them to, and when you think that everything is going well, things start to go wrong, and you realise that you have no idea why you are here, nor who the fuck you are.”

In a recent statement regarding his film Match Point, Woody Allen commented: “in a match, the ball hits the top of the net; for a fourth of a second, it can fall to one side or the other. With a bit of luck it bounces on the side that suits you and you win the match. But it can also fall on your side, and then you loose.” This video by the collective ZEMOS98 doesn’t however make use of the tennis match metaphor in order to assert the role of chance, but rather, in order to rebel against a system which forces us to appear as that which we are not, and to an inertia which takes us to places where we don’t want to be and which makes us loose control over the situations that we live.

In the end, the player (that is, the narrator) decides to leave the court; the match has been lost, or has it been won? As in the rest of their pieces, the audio, a ballad by Bonnie Prince Billy, plays an important role in the video.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: El tenista
  • Direction: ZEMOS98
  • Production: colectivo ZEMOS98. 2006.
  • Team:

    Edició: Felipe G. Gil
    Música: No More Workhorse de Bonnie Prince Billy
    Llicència: Creative Commons CC BY 2.5 ES

  • Duration: 00:03:10
  • Languages: Spanish
  • Original format: Mini DV
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Creative Commons