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La Vigilia del Vigilante. Sueños de Amor, Sueños Espúreos.

Xoán Anleo


Relentless observation of the working day of a construction site security guard.

Inside a fence, a security guard lost in thought, wanders around a construction site. After a few moments in different spaces where he seems almost inscrutable, he goes into his cabin. We can almost see him as he changes his clothes, talks to his colleague and leaves, in plain clothes with the security guard uniform in his hands. And then another - or is it the same? - takes his place. Time goes by and we see him speak on his mobile. Night falls and through the window he can still be seen sitting at his post.


Anleo’s usual practice of structuring his videos in loops of everyday moments, such as in Fricción and Anel, Fricciones and Anel, takes in this piece a different dimension. Instead of having a sequence in time repeated by the protagonist, in La vigilia del vigilante a conceptual relationship is established, in the form of a loop, out of the paradox of watching the watchman. In spying with his camera on a construction site’s security guard, Anleo ironically recalls the first comic gag in cinema history, the Lumiere brothers’ The Waterer Watered. In the spirit of film noir, it seems as though Anleo is taking note of all of his subject’s acts, making sure that he is doing his job, that is, to watch.

The fact that this desolate space - in construction or abandoned - is delimited by a fence, separating it out from the outside, where everyday life is represented by intense traffic, makes us immediately think of the animals in a zoo, wandering in boredom around their spaces of captivity. The only difference is that in this case, one security guard replaces the other. From a contemplative and attentive point of view, such as that of a sniper, an object/objective is being controlled. The author records his subject’s routine, putting together a list of frequent circumstances. The final ecstasy arrives with the end of the guard’s working day - which reminds us of Bill Viola’s Room for St. John of the Cross  -.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: La Vigilia del Vigilante. Sueños de Amor, Sueños Espúreos.
  • Direction: Xoán Anleo
  • Production: Xoán Anleo. 2005.
  • Team:

    Edició: Manu Paz

  • Duration: 00:03:45
  • Original format: Mini DV
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Copyright