¿Se puede deletrear la hoja?
16mm / Color
¿Se puede deletrear la hoja? (Can you spell the sheet?, 2022)
by Valentina Alvarado Matos, a Venezuelan artist working in Spain. It is a garden film that reaches out to different experimental film traditions without being singularly impressionistic, essayistic or formally analytical. It is filmed in the Royal Botanical Garden of Madrid and comprises close-ups of leaves (and their diagrams), flowers, petals, ants, hands and earth. A research-based ecological and material interest is immediately apparent, as is an interest in gestures of the hand and its unique expressive possibilities, but perhaps what most interests the artist here is the rendering of these images without being descriptive. The voiceover maintains a curious relationship to the flow of images, it seemingly comments on them but conjures a narrative of its own. The volume alters, the recitation varies in speed, pausing to emphasise words like landscape (paisaje in Spanish), sometimes a sequence of words are read out serially, syllables of certain words echo followed by shallow singing, in between we hear murmurs and repetitions. The phonetic units of the Spanish language are allowed to register. The film becomes an exploratory journey not only through the garden and its flora and fauna but also through language and its determinants.