Josu Rekalde

The planet we live in is a complex organism resulting from a conglomeration of physical and sensitive matter. James Lovelock’s theory of the earth as Gaia is metaphorised into images by Josu Rekalde over the improvised live music of María Eugenia Luc.

Gaia is a research project that stems from Rekalde’s artistic experiences. It focuses on the notions of social conscience and human conflict, and expands on these in order to think about the laws of life. Along this exploration, the artist stops to admire the planet from which these laws stem. By means of ambiguous images of the closest biosphere, he creates a metaphor of the creation of existence. This is formally achieved by subtly manipulating the speed and direction of the images, thereby proposing a web of changes to challenge all evidence. Rekalde thus adapts his habitat’s shapes, surfaces, and manipulations to the erratic movements of María Eugenia Luc’s music.

Seed dust falls on the broken ground from a pair of masculine hands that crumble it. A female hand cuts the ground open with a knife. From it dry flowers emerge. Then fresh bay leaves. In the dust, floating pollen, an affirmation of life, we notice on the screen something that looks like wheat but is actually dirty water. Inside the sea, the waves go the other way, the translucent water drops prevent us from observing the mutation of the fluids. The same female hand cuts now through the image of a river bank, and we go under and explore the mud in the river. Wood, hand and skin, a caressed skin, towards a moving surface of green trees, which simultaneously blends into the digital chaos. Clouds of gray noise, the title Gaia, and the hands that once disseminated the dust, now picks it up, in the same inverted movement, absorbing the particles in a neverending cycle.

Rekalde suggests implicitly that human beings are neither owners nor masters of this earth, but only one more particle of this organism called Gaia. The piece proposes to question our modes of communion with the environment, with humanity and the ways we interact in relation to a new world more conscious of itself. Gaia’s resistance is based on the intelligence of its ecosystem, on its capacity to develop and self-regulate against the aggressions of its inhabitants. Earth emerges, by means of a seemingly autonomous behaviour, as a developed being, with the capacity to be fragmented and propagated, whose anthropomorfization allows us to understand who is it that generates, opens up and breaths, new life and existence.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Gaia
  • Direction: Josu Rekalde
  • Production: Josu Rekalde. 2004.
  • Team:

    Soundtrack: María Eugenia Luc

  • Duration: 00:07:00
  • Languages: Spanish
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright