Face to Face is a result of a videoinstallation, in which various men and women - gallery visitors - answer to 5 questions concerning love. These people were left alone with a camera, facing their own image on the video monitor. The questions, written over a paper, approached different aspects of love and provoked the participants to reflect and expose themselves.
Confronted by this provocation, the interviewed people react in a lot of different ways: they pass through states of hesitation, anguish, nostalgia, euphoria, emotion, questioning. And there're many instants of suspension between the answers. The video image is composed by these intimate moments of reflection, distended by the editing. That which is not said seems to be as revealing as what is expressed in their answers.
On the audio track, voices mix and overlap, ideas are repeated and contradicted. But the whispers form only one almost indistinct mantra, echoing thoughts and experiences about love.
The faces images that play in slow motion, added to the profusion of voices that alternate in both audio channels and the subtitles that translate them, defy the spectator: he must create his own narrative, combining his reflection to the material presented to him.
Best Video (official jury) | Videoformes New Media & Video Art Festival (France)
Honorary Award (students jury) | Videoformes New Media & Video Art Festival (France)
Aza Film Festival | Thessaloniki, Greece
Focfest International Video and Film Festival | Lisbon, Portugal; Yerevan, Armenia; Istanbul, Turkey
Supermarket of Art International Biennial | Warsow, Poland
Space Invaders | Gallery 1313, Toronto, Canada
SCAM (Société Civile des Auteurs Multimedia) | France, Paris
Videoformes 22nd New Media & Video Art Festival | Clermont-Ferrand, France
Mostra de Cinema de Tiradentes | Tiradentes, Brazil
Mostra do Filme Livre | Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
International Experimental Film Festival Carbunari | Maramures, Romenia
Videometry- Video as a mesuring device in contemporary Brazilian art | Barcelona, Spain
Situ/Ação – Aspectos do Documentário Contemporâneo | Sao Paulo, Brazil
Mostra Audiovisual Paulista | Brazil
Kika Nicolela Retrospective | Brazil
Re: Play Kika Nicolela | Sao Paulo, Brazil
CRITIC ESSAY by Carla Zaccagnini
Contents of the love dimension, which punctuate the limits of the understandable and utterable, tend to put in check the validity of any artistic representation. I think, again, on Fernando Pessoa and his poem in which he feels tired of symbols and wants the concrete happiness of the seamstress who he sees standing on the corner, waiting for the unlikely return of the boyfriend who left her. There are no symbols that can compare to the joy which only she might feel in case, tired of the waiting and the surprise, she saw him coming back. However, something of that joy, which may never be fulfilled, riddles or builds itself on Pessoa’s poem.
When Nicolela gives to the visitors your list of questions and invites them to answer in front of a camera in a reserved room, yet within an exhibition space, she is not demanding little. And there are many moments of suspension and silence sewing the answers. The video shows precisely those images. One after another, the faces of those interviewed looking thoughtful, without words, in moments of doubt and dilated hesitation summed in the edition. The images show what is not able to listen, what is not possible to say.
The sound - which sometimes comes from one sound speaker, sometimes from the other - overrides the answers. Every attempt to define love, whether yes or no, whether it sets free or imprisons, whether someone loves, whether another no longer loves anymore. It’s curious how the responses echo, are repeated and reverberated; wee see the sum of particularities settling the universal. Or perhaps what you learn as a universal value shapes our views and attitudes, even in the more private fields.
I still wonder: if Fernando Pessoa delivered the poem to the seamstress so, in case she wanted, she could send it to her boyfriend? What if he left the poem fly from the window so that she could also find it and recognized herself surprised? It would be a joy as well, to see her own life that way, from outside, important to a stranger like the cycle of the day and night? Would it be?