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Xavinayú. El Tigre

Xavi Hurtado


Xavinayú. El Tigre is another one of those pieces that Hurtado has been making for the past few years between Colombia and Barcelona. On this occasion, prompted by a popular native Colombian song - the same which gives the title to this piece -, the artist has composed a kind of musical score, in which intercultural melange, as a creative attitude, acquires a solidity that manages to create an amalgam of images of both the Colombian jungle and the interior of his own home in Barcelona. The central axis of this video is deetermined by the presence of an inhabitant of the Colombian jungle who stands before us, the spectators, with firm attitute and the clear intention of telling us, as he does, the encounter he once had with a tiger not far from where the camera is situated at the moment. He is hereby carrying forward a most important tradition: the transmission of information via oral narrative. This specific oral tale ends up turning, at the hands of Xavier Hurtado, into a digitalised oral tale, as he himself likes to call it. In fact, this is one of the objectives that the video pursues (and attains).

The tiger was killed “with a machete”, the man tells us. Then its head was cut off, and it is now kept as a trophy: a reminder of its danger, a souvenir of death, always near, and of the courage of confronting it face to face. The story concludes and is blended with the images of another feline. In this case, it is Bala the cat, with which Hurtado lives in his flat in Barcelona. The comparison of both animals prompts us to think about cultural distinction, about the different forms that we take on when we relate to nature, to the world, -in short- to life.

Whilst a canoe crosses one of the jungle rivers, the artist’s camera records the voice of the rower as he hums the traditional song of the title, a song that has been passed down from generation to generation among the inhabitants of this area. The song also tells a story about tigers, another story charged with symbolism capable of making us, again, draw nearer this culturally mixed landscape.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Xavinayú. El Tigre
  • Direction: Xavi Hurtado
  • Production: 2001.
  • Duration: 00:13:50
  • Languages: Spanish
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Original format: Mini DV
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Copyright