Geological drama (s) - On living ruins and earthly entanglements
Palacios’ artistic research is divided into two parts. The first one looks at progress, acceleration and the overall obsolete logic that brought us to the current global ecological crisis. Taking the notion of the Anthropocene and its multiple narratives as a framework, it explores the current uncanny eco-social paradigm we live in. Using the city of Hong Kong as a case study, he proposes a film that tells three parallel stories, all of which take place during the Hungry Ghost month. In the Taoist tradition, this is the month when the gates of the underworld open and the insatiable spirits of wandering souls come into the world of the living. From Gucci bags to MacBook Pros, all sorts of life-sized paper replicas of everyday objects are burned by people in the city to keep the dead happy. The film focuses on this ancestral yet ever-evolving tradition to explore the strange aura of a collapsing capitalist system that extends itself even as far as the afterlife.
The second part of his research focuses on the nonhuman. It looks at the possibility of cinema becoming a substratum where new terrestrial encounters can occur. Stories where the human and the more-than-human have the same narrative significance and are intertwined in something he calls “earthly entanglements”. His research project Permanent Being is a dramatic exploration of the stories embedded in a geological site in the Basque Coast. The film assumes that these rocks are a sort of memory that records not only the transformations of the Earth over eons, but also the memories of those who walk on them. By using different image-making technology and employing actors as “sensitive devices” for tapping into the nonhuman, Palacios’ “geological drama'' proposes a sensorial trip through the different temporalities of this extraordinary landscape.
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