Karla Desentis

2020, video-art and installation-preview

"I was interested in investigating and showing the gestures and tiny expressions of the hand effort related to a mental activity required for writing. Each aspect of the project has a conceptual reason..."

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Part 1

The first part of this project, entitled Latente, is a six-minute video collage in landscape format, depicting twenty close-up frames of women's hands. They are writing without ink on a white piece of paper, leaving invisible marks. Each frame portrays an individual story through unique hand movements, drawings, tools, sounds and spaces. The sounds produced by pencils, pens and other drawing instruments creates a crescendo of sonic textures.

Through the use of diverse video frames, materials and actions, I invite the audience to reflect on forms of violence against women and its impact. I'm attempting to show the invisible violence that women live with all around the globe. The final footage includes videos of people from Brazil, Canada, China, Finland, France and Mexico. The languages used are English, Spanish and French.

“Worldwide, almost one third of women who have been in a relationship have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner and 7% of women have been sexually assaulted by someone other than a partner... violence against women is pervasive globally. The findings send a powerful message that violence against women is not a small problem that only occurs in some pockets of society, but rather is a global public health problem of epidemic proportions, requiring urgent action.” (WHO, 2013)2

In my research around this topic, I've found that physical assault is more emphasized, while psychological violence like sexism and misogyny are mostly ignored. This is why I'm interested in exploring the universal objectification of women, which leads to other forms of aggression and violence, and the lack of visibility and understanding of this problem on a global scale.

With COVID-19 we understand more than ever what it is to have a problem of epidemic proportions, but, do we get this regarding violence against women?

Part 2

A preview of an architectural installation of papers, an immersive environment built of drawings by women who shared their views on violence against women and its global impact.

While walking through the installation, spatial constraints force bodies to physically interact with the piece. The interior walls and ceiling disrupt the normalized orthogonality of vertical and horizontal, and the hegemonic perceptual norms of space, forming a disorienting environment of twisted rooms and tiny corridors. The sounds from the video Latente will be played in areas of the room, engaging the spectator's visual, aural and kinetic senses.

For a future iteration of this project, I invite wider participation, to focus on the epidemic proportions of this problem. The goal is to create an installation combining papers, videos and sounds.

Participation is essential to keep constructing the space. At the outset, the installation will have an initial form, but female visitors will be encouraged to draw/write on paper and attach it to the wall or ceiling. Over the course of a week, the installation will be transformed, representing a multiplicity of women's voices and empowering us to make more visible the normalized and invisibilized violence against us.