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Kc#4: El Tránsito

León Siminiani


KC#4: The commute is, so far, the latest chapter of the series of videos "Key Concepts of the Modern World", by León Siminiani. It is a subjective visual essay revolving around ideas of work and rest in the modern era, for which transit between distant places where individuals carry out both of these practices is necessary, always from the viewpoint of "the American dream".

An eloquent text about the idea of contemporary transit, with a previous definition and an ironically dogmatic epilogue, is recited, in English, by a female voice, with the images placing the recital in the present time. With a very fresh editing style, helped by sound and direct cuts, the paradoxical simultaneity of both elements clarify the daily magnitude of the ideas covered.

Just like Siminiani says in his video Introduction to Transit, all his works from the series Key Concepts... (which include The Office, The Permit, and Digital) are sustained by seven self-imposed strict rules, giving the video a structure, and different approaches. From the start, the irony and radical subjectivity of the series dismantle both a didactic appearance, and any dogmatism or categorisation. Other concepts of the "modern world" emerge and are programmatically developed, such as productionism, entertainment, conversations, and thought, as part of the explanation for transit. A world narrated like a tale that takes place within the "American dream".

As a parody of contemporary art's need to be supported by, or based on, a philosophical theory that not even the artists know on the one hand, and the artists' need to instruct the viewer, who is not as ignorant as they think (treating him as an ignoramus through the media, which turn him into a mass under the denomination of "audience"), on the other, Siminiani exchanges the same images that, depending on different fragments of text, end up taking on a different meanings every time they appear. With these visual alterations of the story, he prevents the conformism of a supposed viewer, activating him through his perception. The saturation of references allow for him to be redirected towards his own perception of reality through what is narrated, resolving it, like a (oppressive) bond, with the "American dream". This quote is reminiscent of both imported films from the United States, producing an ironic smile of the "oh, he's talking about them" kind, and the verification that everything that is said is also applicable to any context of Western culture. In short, Siminiani implicitly inscribes the viewer and his daily life as realities of that dream, even when they find themselves at a thousand miles' distance.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Kc#4: El Tránsito
  • Direction: León Siminiani
  • Production: León Siminiani. 2009.
  • Duration: 00:12:35
  • Languages: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Original format: Betacam Digital
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Copyright