Las Cosas Simples

Francisco Ruiz de Infante
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Las cosas simples is the first work in video by Ruiz de Infante. The fact that the language used in the video is not Spanish determines the thematic content of the piece. A personal diary of the experience of loneliness, pain and of feeling an expatriate, this work constitutes a point of inflexion between the “purely autobiographical” and the “simply poetic”.

The narrative thread of the piece is provided by a narration in the first person in the voice of a child, who is from a country different from that of the language he speaks. The child takes us through the paths in the memory of a grown man who, in the course of his life, has lost his roots. The strange complexity of the task of talking about simple things implies two parallel modes of learning. On the one hand there are the simple things of mature childhood, during which simplicity must untangle complexity. And on the other hand there are the simple things of everyday actions, small acts that become enormous in the loneliness and isolation of the foreigner.

Simple things in a foreign language forces us to fashion deep thoughts by accumulating combinations of a reduced alphabet, of simple structures (both oral and visual). Similarly, simple things of that foreign language are hard for us to understand. “That pain is a complicated feeling and loneliness exists.”

Francisco Ruiz de Infante is part of a generation of artists with a very specific sensibility, determined by both the coming together and the coming apart of technology and other very elemental materials. The rhetoric that he uses in this piece for the text in the monologue is the same rhetoric of the images and the sound, as well as that of the latter’s syntactic pauses. What results is a parallel construction from all three sides. In this accumulation of themes without room for innocence, Ruiz de Infante maps out in an affective manner, from within and around it, the suspect beauty of images and words uniformly concatenated in a continuous flow. As if part of a litany of visual, textual and sound elements that together compose a hypnotic poetics, each new paragraph of the text and each new sequence, restart within a register of short sentences and neutral images that are slowly going to get more complicated. Early statements in this video help us understand later ones; an accumulation of sensible pieces of knowledge displaying the key to Ruiz de Infante’s poetry.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Las Cosas Simples
  • Direction: Francisco Ruiz de Infante
  • Production: F. Ruiz de Infante. 1993.
  • Team:

    Image, Script, Text  and direction: Francisco Ruiz de Infante.
    Editing: Laurent Desplands.
    Soundtrack: F. Ruiz de Infante y Jesús Gestoso.
    Aditional soundtrack: Gustav Mahler (extracto de "Das Lied von der Erde").
    Sound: Jesús Gestoso.
    Voice: Ibrahim Bousso.

  • Duration: 00:17:03
  • Languages: French
  • Subtitles: English - Spanish
  • Original format: Betacam SP
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: PAL
  • License: Copyright