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Ninots

Julián Álvarez


The artist observes the work of another and reinterprets it. Paper dolls hang from trees. Transparencies of beings over white beings. A multitude of hanging dolls, hung like innocent beings trapped among the poplars’ branches, floating like spirits or forest fairies. Children’s voices, an anguished lyrical song, chewing noises, walking in the forest...

Julián Álvarez develops in Ninots/inocente a visual exploration based on an unorthodox musical score that appropriates and transforms with his personal memories Rosa Puig’s documenting photographs of her piece ‘Ninots’. Because of the portability, immediacy and flexibility of the camera, he is able to move in-between anonymous, common, or, simply put, innocent characters. He moves the hand-held camera, slowly but capriciously, in various directions, thereby stimulating with fluid an earth laden with memories. Álvarez creates an exceptional active serenity that allows him to relax while taking delight in the divergence of meaning, loosing himself in a creative observation that integrates the figures into the landscape.

In Ninots/inocente, Álvarez appropriates Rosa Puig’s mis-en-scéne in her photographic series “Ninots” (which was exhibited in the gallery Antonio de Barnola). Just like the cut-out figures that are cheekily hung on the back of those who have suffered some kind of prank, these “ninots” look like de-personalised individuals, simpletons, who, when they get together, form a translucent multitude, constantly swayed by life’s eventualities, shaped by life’s particular circumstances. These transparent silhouettes are transported, adapted, deformed, and later installed in different landscapes, in this case a grove in Veguellina de Orbigo (León), the village where Julián Álvarez was born.

A certain melancholy can be easily recognised in the images of this video, maybe due to their emotional proximity to the author. They are diffused and desaturated, and clearly suggest an oneiric atmosphere. At the same time, other “ninots”, generated in 3D, are overimposed on the “ninots” in the landscape. The latter thereby turn into shadows both of themselves and of their others. Virtual dolls hang over real dolls, resembling immaculate spirits levitating in this powerful landscape - a natural breath defining the different states of a “ninot”.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Ninots
  • Direction: Julián Álvarez
  • Production: Julián Álvarez. 2006.
  • Duration: 00:05:15
  • Original format: DV-Cam
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Copyright