ἐκπύρωσις

2018

Music: Giacomo Salis
single-channel video
B/W – Color
16:9
stereo
14 min
Italy/ Spain

Detoxify oneself from accumulate images, being able to see again as after an electroshock.

ἐκπύρωσις, ekpýrosis, “out of the fire”, in Greek philosophy is the universal conflagration or “great fire and end of the world”.
The light is the same of the Nazi fire, the burning synagogues in the night of Berlin and Dortmund, and it is also the same light as the electric shocks. “The very short passage of the electricity corresponds to a sudden muscular contraction (phase of electrical spasm), followed by epilepsy immediately or after a few moments, with a tonic phase, which lasts 10 – 20 seconds, and then, the clonic phase, announced by bilateral and symmetric clashes”. In order to remove the historical aspect of the images, I tried to rethink of them as electrical images. Nazi soldiers move around the fire, some people move in a place immersed by light, like the body of a man moving through electrical spasms. The electricity of the transmitters destroys and, at the same time, modifies and then creates. The action of light is not conceived as a way to hide the history, it is not the historical Nazi devastation, but rather an act of transmigration. The fire that destroys and the fire that generates new form through light, which is revealed and becomes an icon in the same way the image becomes coloured, when it manifests through the red colour of the flames, after the white and black of the documentation, of the historicization of the image. The question I started with is how the weight of the images can still be felt, as now, in a surplus of images, we can still see. In the end, the electroshock seems to be a cancellation of the contaminated look, an action to return to a pure image.

Archive material
The Night of the Broken Glass (Kristallnacht), (1938). Euronews.
Electroshock Therapy, (1940). History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine.