MICHOACAN: LA MUERTA, MICHOACAN: EL TRAIDOR
HD Cam , 2006
Running Time 8:00 minutes and 8:00 minutes
Directors: Sabine Gruffat and Ben Russell
Two high-definition videos inspired
by the 1920’s Surrealist parlor game the “Exquisite Corpse.”
Prominent Surrealist writer André Breton invented the game utilizing
chance tactics and automatic writing. Each collaborator wrote a line
of text on a piece of paper, then folded the paper to obscure everything
written except the last word or phrase. A second participant wrote the
next line, folded the paper again before passing it. None of the participants
knew what would result until they unfolded the paper revealing a nonsensical
and jarring whole.
Frequently employed by the Surrealists to inspire collaborative drawings
and poetry, this game ensured results animated by subconsciously derived
dream imagery later attributed to many well-known Surrealist paintings
(Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory”) and
avant-garde films (Luis Bunuel’s classic film “Un Chien
Andalou”). “The Mythmakers” extends this Surrealist
tradition into the 21st Century, rendering the text as a script for
an experimental video.
In a gambit to separate our physical and emotional selves from that
familiar space of the everyday, Mr. Russell and I retreated to the Mexican
landscape – one dotted with deserts, snow-capped volcanoes, ancient
ruins, and a dream world of masked warriors and astrological beasts.
We authored the script employing the collaborative device of the Exquisite
Corpse. In each subsequent stage of the project (shooting and editing)
the same device adds layers and reveals new twists as we work to integrate
our individual contributions into an unanticipated and mesmerizing whole.
A SHORT SEGMENT OF THE MOVIE (QUICKTIME)