Laida Lertxundi (Bilbao, 1981) is an artist and teacher who lives between Los Angeles and the Basque Country. Combining conceptual rigor with sensual pleasure...
An artist film made in 16 mm in the Lofoten Islands, in the Norwegian Arctic Circle, consisting of audiovisual field-recordings in the form of a portrait of the Utskor region intermingled with political memoirs of the Spanish Transition and a fragment of text by de Frederick Engels The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State. Utskor becomes a palimpsest that conceals traces of a previous historic moment and place. The editing of the fragmented, abrupt film leads to the political climate in the Basque country at the beginning of the 1980s. We immerse ourselves in a family amalgam, people (non-actors), who are intimately related but without traditionally defined family roles. We serve them in their day-to-day lives in an arrangement which falls between documentary and fiction in which the camera is present as a mechanism. The non-actors are like characters from Italian neorealism; more than acting, they observe themselves in their daily environment.
The boat-house with its cuts to other places create an impossible space of permeability between the radical presence of the landscape of Lofoten and domestic spaces, relating the natural habitat with the social habitat, with the midnight sun as the backdrop. We also hear the American deep soul music of Bobby Bland, who died this year.
There are no specialists or technicians, which differentiates this artist film from a conventional short film. The people who appear on screen are the same as those who create the film. The structure of the film crew is broken up in this way in favour of a physical relationship with the filming mechanisms, with synchronised sound recording. Based on this technical activity and on the friction between staged moments with real improvised moments, between the natural and real landscape and the external materials that come into dialogue with it, there emerges a playful atmosphere in which we create gifts such as a self-developed game and we can experience ourselves as homo-ludens specimens.