Blue Vanities, 2019
Internet downloaded footage (manipulated)
Color, 4:3, 01:53:58, 4K Movie, silent
Our construction of meaning is
only revealed has the footage even fully blurred allow the viewer to understand the meanings and ideas we are projecting onto the image, and not the image itself. These images ask the viewer to revisit the uncanny familiarity of they own ideas and meanings being projected onto an image that hide themselves only to reveal our inner order of things.
Objects lose their singular nature and are subordinated into systems that are relative to each other, just as language is understood only within a networkof relationships which constitute meaning.1
The subject no longer provides the representation of the world (I will be your mirror!2) It is the object that refracts the subjects.
And in the midst of this, we hope only to realise that perhaps these objects don’t seek to exist, more than has how our lives exist to us - a pure form of contemplation of these fogged ideals framed in blurred, edgeless, familiar landscapes of emptiness. Hardly understood outside the scope of entertainment.
No transcendence any more, but a potentialization of the sign, which, losing all natural signification,
shines in the void with all its artificial splendour...an image...without quality, a presence without desire.3
The contemplation of our oppression is thus made by these objects and images. Nevertheless they also reveal the realityhas an inner-construction. The films capture this blur, revealed only by a different lens. In the sea of myths, we’ve become the creators of a deeper simulacra in which things don’t have to be for them to be recognised.
By digitally manipulating the original footage to the point of near abstraction, to the limit that is only possible to recognise motions and vague shapes, the audience is only able to understand what they depict by recognising similarities between these images and images they have already consumed or lived. The video becomes less about the “original” images and more about the audience. By distorting, blurring the original images, Joao aims to allow
a desensitised society to rediscover the meaning of those images.
“One is not born, but rather becomes a woman” wrote Simone de Beauvoir. She might as well have said the same for men.4
1. Baudrillard, J. (2005). The System of Objects. Verso Books.
2. Zurbrugg, N. (1997). Jean Baudrillard, art and artefact. London: Sage, p.16.