Between the volcano and the slope, it is an experimental video-essay where a conversation is started with the mountain. It is an immersion in the territory, which, with camera in hand, envelops the viewer in the humid and abrasive texture of the moors and glaciers. The work offers a look that inverts the perspective to experience the vertigo of the summit, rolling along the slope and escaping in details of a territory sensitive to climate change: the snow-capped volcanoes of Ruiz, Santa Isabel and Tolima. The documentation was recorded for 7 years in this territory of central Colombia.

The individual experience composes the story where the temporal space of contemplation expands, both of the external and internal landscape, and thus what happens in the middle is evident: the transformation of the subject and the environment. The documentary intention is diluted to seek an intimacy with the mountain, from a subjective perspective that advances, rotates and surrenders to it. A fiction is created that starts from the pictorial and documentary to raise questions about geographical and ecological problems.

The film makes use of a device expanded to two screens to place itself in a “between” that makes up the immersive experience. The first channel is a continuous landscape that connects the earth to the sky and the sky to the earth. The camera movement is always circular, advancing around the territory in which it rises and reverses, zooms in and out. The second channel follows the rotation pattern of the first to delve into details, stories and accentuate relationships with each ecosystem. A constant monitoring corresponding to the serene and abysmal complexity of the mountain.

The meeting happens with camera in hand in an intimacy given by the effort and insistence of maintaining the turn, as a strategy of approach and narration. A body-to-body assemblage, that of the artist with the body of the mountain, where the camera surrenders to the fascination with the detail of the lichens, the grasslands, the rocks, the basins and the flows of water to document the change of the territory as a reflection and an extension of one’s own body.

It is a film that is nourished by an artistic practice, where the pictorial, cartographic and poetic gaze converges in a narrative guided by light, a chromatic transition from dawn to dusk, a life cycle of exhaustion and extinction. The montage goes through nine chapters: volcano, spring, bodies of water, lunar desert, finite cave, paramo garden, ancestral water tit, glacier relict and forested basin. An ontological journey to each element where changes in light drive the narrative in a plot of atmospheres, heights and bodies of water.

The voice-over opens a critical and at the same time poetic dialogue, an approach that appeals to a living being, a fable that pays tribute to it and at the same time questions the being of the mountain, a being of rights, regulator of waters and climates, so adverse as well as indifferent.

The film traces a comparative temporality through the document, between billion-year mountain time and human transience. These absurdly differentiated durations intersect in the experience of the trip where the body is pulse and breath to sustain our gaze and stop in the conflict that our progress entails. Thus the film allows a performativity where the body gives rhythm to the fiction.

A film by Natalia Castañeda Arbeláez,

Manizales – Barcelona 2023

Camera, ambient sound capture, editing, script and voice: Natalia Castañeda

Edition: Maria Calleguerrero
Script co-writing: Julia Calle

Sound design, mixing and mastering:
Sergio Castrillón Arcila

Musical fragments:
Sergio Castrillón (cello, electronics and voice)
Natalia Castrillón (levers harp)
Gonzalo Muruaga (guitar and electronics)
Fragments of the album Ärnär (2021)

Color correction: Simón Velez (Triangle)

Graphics: Diego Bustamante

Special thanks:

Guasch Coranty Foundation

Ministry of Culture of Colombia

Jorge Luis Ceballos, Julia Calle Pacheco, María Calleguerrero, Sergio Castrillón, Andrés Cruz, Cumbres Blancas Colombia, Orlando Castañeda, Carmen Tulia Arbelaéz, David Koral, Juanita Hincapie, Bibiana Crespo, Manolo Laguillo, Assupta Bassas, Galería Nueveochenta, Carlos Hurtado, Manuel Romero, Angela Sierra, Maru López, Cristian Zambrano, John Jairo Muñoz, Juan Pablo Arbeláez, Carlos Pineda, Santiago Quiceno, Carlos Vásquez, Valencia Alvarado, Roberto Contador, La Escocesa, Sebastian Castañeda Arbelaéz and Valeria Castañeda Palacio.

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