ALEXANDRA GELIS / Markings and Traces

The works in this program are illustrations of the multiple perspectives and multiple forms of doing in Alexandra’s artistic practice when she uses film or video. They marks and traces left by bodies, political subjects entangled in psycogeographic explorations. Encounters that become events, events that become fragments that subvert the proper and the improper ways of experimenting with moving images and sound. For more about Alexandra’s work visit: www.alexandragelis.com

9 SHORT FILMS

44min.

RUNTIME
1.

English for Beginners

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Alexandra Gelis

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The beginning, the first border crossing, the first video made after the artist’s move to Canada. Language, country, identity. It is composed in three frames, an echo of the Canadian flag. The speaking face is also divided, cut in half by the landscape that pours into the new wound of identity.

2009, Canada | 2min. 30s.

2.

Borders

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Alexandra Gelis

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A masterpiece of multi-screen bodily decomposition, Borders offers a nine-screen collective portrait, made entirely out of photographs. Inviting six of her queer feminist housemates who identified as women for a suite of portrait sessions, the artist pictures the borders of skin, and by recombining them into a grid creates an always shifting composite body that floats between genders. The soundtrack is created out of the spaces between words, the beginnings of sentences, the pauses and hesitations, where the unconscious lives.
(Mike Hoolboom)

2009, Canada | 3min. 13s.

3.

Casiteros

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Alexandra Gelis

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The body as an immanent part of the landscape. About tenderness and innocence.

Casiteros is an observational video introducing Pachito and his kitten. They both live in a disadvantaged neighbourhood called El Bosque (The Woods) in Cartagena, Colombia. In Pachito’s house, there are approximately 150 roosters bred for cockfighting that sing in unison each morning. The work deals with tenderness, vulnerability, and innocence and hidden traumas. I was compelled to make this video when I learned that Panchito is a victim of sexual abuse, a common and known by everyone where younger boys have to have sex with older boys to get protection. Casiteros, makes reference to the young boys that plays to make little houses as part of the dynamic.

2011 Canada / Colombia | 1min. 11s.

4.

La Casa de Olga

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Alexandra Gelis

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Olga is a traveler who, in their quest for the perfect house comes to the ruins of an old monastery called the Ruins of the Company of Jesus in Panama City. There the trees are her roof, the roots that climb the walls in ruins are the curtains, the cats become her family … there is no better place to live!

2010, Canada | 12min. 

5.

Estera

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Alexandra Gelis

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As part of my investigation on the use of weeds for medicinal purposes I asked Alejandro a traditional mat maker in San Basilio de Palenque (Colombia) to make one using weeds. These plants are commonly used to shield children from wicked witches – the Mohana’s kidnappings, bad eye and other forms of evil spirits. The film registers the making of the mat and the activities going on around its making.

2009 Canada / Colombia | 2min. 30s.

6.

Bridge of the Americas

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Alexandra Gelis

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Part of an ongoing series of works made in Panama. Live animations re-animate this international bridge and border. The persistent background of life in the Panama Canal Zone are these passing ships crammed with waving travellers, the most temporary of citizens, their eyes like rain.

2015 Canada / Panama | 2min. 50s.

7.

Rayado en queer

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Alexandra Gelis

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A remix of the previous movie (a famous American super 8 movie from the 70s, scratched up by the artist), this time narrating the body. Fleeting texts conjure a space between genders that creates poetry out of theory: ” …the materialization of the political … increasing the level of testosterone… different than a cis-female.” The quotes are drawn from Paul Preciado’s devastating theory confessional Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era.

2014, Canada | 2min.

8.

How to make a beach

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Alexandra Gelis

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A poetic exploration of how to build a beach in your own home. A study about the business of sand and its destruction of ecosystems. Recorded to four cameras during a process of three recordings in a period of one year.

2019 Canada / Colombia | 4min. 13s.

9.

ALERTA . ALERTA . ALERTA

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Alexandra Gelis

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Marching politics: a tribute to the feminist struggle in Latin America.
Recorded at the Women’s March in Lima, Peru, 2019.

2020 | 2min. 10s.

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