Verónica Wiese: Anamnesis
A sequence of enigmatic scenes works as a trigger of a series of ambiguous perceptions and feelings, halfway between reality and fantasy, as if they were memories of unlived experiences or as if they were escaping any chance to be remembered.
In Anamnesis, Verónica Wiese presents a reflective look at the relentless passage of time, the threat of death, and the mystical question of the “other world”. Her video-installation creates a space where memory, oblivion, and imagination compete for the leading role. The mnemic trace, expectations, desire, and fear are invited to that space, and in doing so, they transform it, mirroring our own psyche.
The etymology of the Greek concept of Anamnesis, namesake of the show, announces the linkages of the past, present, and future with the two words it is comprised of: “ana”, a preposition that can be understood as above, over, on top of, until, towards, through, return, back, once again, another time, and “mneme”, which is translated as memory, but also has the meaning of thinking, remembering, mind, conciousness, among others.
In its current meaning, Anamnesis implies the representation of memento in the memory. Verónica Wiese teases us with this meaning or direction, and gives it a twist, driving the constellation of strange images which the video-installation sets in motion, into a circular trajectory.
A circle of five large screens provides the stage for her scenes. With this setting, the artist allows our eyes and body to engage in a dynamic tour which asks us, as the audience, to get actively involved and follow the visual sequence within this arena. However, the formal language she employs, asks for contemplation. She achieves this through the use of slow-paced shots, rythmic variations, combinations of compositions, tones and lights, which at times are mesmerizing. In terms of filming and edition, she bets on reminiscing, using scenes, which in spite of not being encrypted, do not reveal themselves immediately nor completely. Thus, we are driven to engage our capacity of deduction and interpretation.
What are those vaguely familiar but deeply alien scenarios appearing in Anamnesis? There is no clear answer. Captivating and intriguing, the artist’s images are a sort of invitation to a peculiar dance with our own memory, a dance where we cannot avoid tripping again and again, because the memories being summoned originate before life itself (in a moment in time flirting with the primigenial ocean of a mother’s womb) or after it (in that waiting room formerly known as limbo).
Anamnesis by Verónica Wiese is an attempt to follow the mysterious boundary between life and death. A boundary that sometimes does not seem to be an unforgiving dividing line, but a potential space in which the phases of matter, conscience, and spirit can exist in a state permanent flux.
Max Hernández Calvo