Soul Field (english text)

Performance: Santiago Cao

Camera: Mercedes Abú Arab

Video edition: Santiago Cao

November 2006. Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Text translated to english by Mikey Watts.


Duration: 8:19 minutes



In film, the unbearable thing to see is the metaphor that posits society does not want to see. The unbearable thing to see is reality.

We maintain a distance from the object lest we self-identify with it, yet it is within this very distance that we consume it, covered by a veil so that nothing of the unbearable can be seen. We consume on a daily basis, influenced by the massive media, everything from news, services, food, clothing, yet in reality we never understand what we are consuming. We think we know, but in this knowing we reconstruct and fictionalize reality. Everything that we consume is influenced and mediated.

This “knowing” is related to the imaginary, while the “understanding” is side-by-side with reality; it arises as a result of the impact with reality and leads to a revelation, dissolving the distance between Object and Subject.

I choose black-pudding as something clear in this respect.

I begin the film by showing the black-pudding and eating it, generating in the observer nothing more than culinary interest. Herein lies the “knowing” with regards to the black-pudding. It is only when we really take notice of the process (the extraction of blood by syringe, encased in intestine and cooked) that we really understand that what we see before our eyes is not what is appears to be. No longer is it black-pudding. Now, under the guise of black-pudding, we are presented with – in the form of a synecdoche – a human body, or failing that, a human body part, the eating of which reminds us of anthropophagy and so-called “primitive” cultures.

Now the viewer’s interest is not culinary but cultural.

Black-pudding as extreme concept between reality and the imaginary. The blood that the imagination turns into a black-pudding and the black-pudding that reality turns back.

 

No longer do we know what we eat.

No longer do we know what we buy.

No longer do we know what we consume.

Soul Field is metaphor made flesh.

                 Or rather – made blood.