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Mirar el cielo, mirar la tierra is an intense visual poem that gathers the artist’s aesthetic and sensory impressions in the Moroccan city of Essaouira. The end result is a notebook of images of the everyday life of the city, which Sigler’s gaze selects, focusing especially on the women and their activities. Through its sinuous treatment of images, the piece opts for contemplation, geometric compositions and the capture of the flow of time.
According to the author, the visual exercise that she proposes looks to reflect the world of opposites in which we find ourselves: the sacred and the profane, the masculine and the feminine... managing to transmit the harmony of simple life. Time goes by, flows... but at the same time it seems to stand still... to become immortal. The two final images, a centenary tree and a girl with long braids, symbolise the two opposites of birth and death, beginning and end.
This piece is an ode to contemplative life, to meditation... to looking slowly, away from that addiction to stress which we can’t escape. The editing and the chosen visual effects, bathed in a tone of serenity and sensuousness, invite us to concentrate on the fragments, the gestures, faces, arms... on the geometry of a life without dramas.
In the video the artist is interested in the capacity of the videographic tool for analysing perception, the gaze... for letting us capture sensations and intuitions, which the eye doesn’t see and which the video, due to its formal qualities, manages to capture. This is a piece that is both thematically interested in the issues that have to do with the everyday life of nonwestern women, and that also speaks about visual language, about the power of electronic images to provide the viewer with “never before seen images”, as Bill Viola indicated years ago. The video throws an unconventional look at the places we visit, against the domestication of the look imposed by the dominant canons of film montage.
Actors: Idmad Idder, Fátima Bouirdate
Essaouira, Marrocco. 2003
Recorded by: Carmen F. Sigler, Idmad Idder, Karima Bouirdate