< freie intervalle .vbm-98> (intervalos libres_vbm-98)

Marisa Maza
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The screen is filled with pixels and movement. Quasi-abstract images are gradually revealed as fragments of the bodies of ice-skaters. They are in a speed competition, where the human body becomes a machine that cannot fail. <freie intervalle.vbm-98> offers us the process of control of the body and some of the effects of competitive sports.

The plasticity of the movements, the type of clothing designed for best performance, together with the Maza’s selection of images,  present us something almost superhuman. Competitive sports, on television, requires a level of perfection that the body cannot assume. The body stops being gendered to become a machine carefully prepared to carry out one sole task. The images in <freie intervalle.vbm-98> (sifted through the video and its presentation on television) do not allow us to identify specific individuals (identity, nationality, gender), all we get to see are fragments of bodies.

In the midst of these movement, over a soundtrack that helps bring what we are seeing closer to abstraction, comes the moment of pause: a text is shown on screen: the story told from the inside. A sportswoman feels the secondary effects of the hormonal treatments she is being subjected to. Her body changes in such a manner that she stops being physically a woman and becomes a man.

Skating images follow next, but these are no longer of speed skating, but rather of couple skating. Sexual roles seem now clear, but somehow, skaters continue to be the same machines.

Marisa Maza works in <freie intervalle.vbm-98> with issues such as gender, competition and the duties of professional subjection to bodily discipline.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: < freie intervalle .vbm-98> (intervalos libres_vbm-98)
  • Direction: Marisa Maza
  • Production: Marisa Maza. 1997.
  • Duration: 00:06:30
  • Languages: German
  • Original format: Super VHS
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Copyright