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At first glance, this video is a huge assemblage of clichés; people into body-modification and ambient, post-something music holding performance art shows—which involve blood and leather gas masks—in an old slaughterhouse. It sounds like the pitch for a Marilyn Manson video. Delve a little further, though, and you’ll find it a surprisingly raw and beautiful look into the creative pursuits of two kindred spirits who were lucky enough to find each other.
KalistäcK is the stage name of duo Lady Pain and Cha Blasco, two Barcelona-based artists who combine their skills and passions (his for progressive, synth-based music and hers for suspension and flouting) in confronting and challenging performances. Director Paulo Pinto went along to one of their shows and captured the preparation (which involves piercing Lady Pain’s's back with thick hooks, from which her body weight will hang) and the show itself, which channels elements of burlesque and bondage in an engrossing, mind-bending way.
Needless to say, if you’re a little squeamish, this might not be for you.
Kalistack is a performance group with two musicians, live VJ and a performer that make suspensions (hangs on piercings attached to her body). she interacts with two other performers that make the connection between the states of mind.
It was filmed in an old slaughterhouse and the mood inside is hard!
This is a video i made (director, camera and editor) to DEVOTION BCN (devotionbcn.com) and it was my first work with them.
If you are fragile when it comes to images with piercings and blood, be careful.
INTERVIEW to Short films in bed about Kalistack:
How did you come to know about Lady Pain and Cha Blasco?
I met Lady Pain and Cha Blasco through the producer of the video. One day Devotion BCN, a creative video company called me and told me he needed a video about KalistacK, and that they would be performing in an old slaughterhouse.
How would you describe the whole process of filming Kalistack?
I met Lady Pain and Cha Blasco on the same day that they performed. The whole afternoon before the show, we talked about our lives and about what they were about to show me. I tried to film almost every moment of our conversations so I could have all of this as part of the documentary material. The performance is what you can see!
Both artiste mentioned that prior to this, they both lost the life of a loved one. As a document-er, would you consider their performance as a form of grieving?
I totally consider it as a form of grieving. Everyone has their own ways of grieving and every single one of them are OK if you feel fine with it. They started to do both music and suspensions after a bad time on their lives and it worked for them as a way of cleaning the soul and being creative. The suspensions are not a form of mutilation and people should know that. It’s just like making a bigger piercing on your body. The feeling of being suspended is well described by Lady Pain. As a document-er I considered this gold!!
Why was it shot in a slaughterhouse?
The event was organized by a local association in Barcelona. They invited KalistacK to perform there and I think it is the proper place. Not because of Lady Pain’s suspensions but the thin relation that we have with death itself. Suspending an animal shouldn’t be less painful for us and watching Lady Pain being suspended is watching a live person being suspended, a human being and the difference is that she is being elevated due to the pleasure and not the way to death.
There is a certain kind of peace crafted heavily in KalistacK. Before you shot this performance, did you have a certain kind of direction (in terms of the edit) that you wanted to work towards?
I didn’t know how to edit after the show. I was hypnotized when I left the place. While i was there, I tried to film everything that i could and I was very happy that they let me film the backstage which was really important. When I arrived home I was astonished by the show and when I started to edit, I decided that I didn’t want to show their performance as something violent or horrifying but something that could translate the feeling of serenity and the acception of pain.
What else are you working on? Any future projects we should be keeping tabs on?
I’m really focused on documentary right now. I’m directing a documentary about a Portuguese painter that has an incredible and long work. She has more than 40 years of career. The other big project that I have in hands is a journey through some African Countries. The main objective is to show how the doctors work in some poor countries and fight the most heavy diseases.
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