Crossing the Imagination

(T)he Connections between one element of the story and another are not always obvious, the objects could have various meanings, but what enhanced every event was the space that remained around it, a void not filled with words. – Italo Calvino

Crossing the ImagiNation is a journey of the imagination and attempts to escape the invisible chains of ideology. During the peregrination, the mind explores different cities that border fantasy and reality. This poetic video essay is my graduation film and is a collage of both my theoretical and visual research into nationalism and ideology.

‘’It makes you feel very small, very lost…’’

For my graduation I did research into some of my personal fascinations: cartography and architecture. Both forms of art have a delicate balance between science and aesthetics. Cartography and architecture also function as a form of narrative for ideology.

The collages in my film are created from pictures of different cities.

Crossing the ImagiNation is a film that comments on nationalism and ideology. As part of the human imagination, nationalism can be considered a false consciousness that is propagated through cultural institutions. As a result, the ideology of a small and dominant group of people is accepted as the norm while actually guarding the status quo of the people in power. By traveling you can try and escape these invisible chains and look at the world from a different perspective in order to identify your own place in the world better.

The voice-over is based on Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

You can watch the film here:

You can read the voice-over transcript here:

The listener retains only the words they are expecting…

A traveler’s past changes according to the route has been followed

Traveling back to the earliest beginnings of the world, when vegetation rioted on the earth and the big trees were kings, it becomes an empty stream, a great silence, an impenetrable forest

It makes you feel very small, very lost, and yet it was not altogether depressing, that feeling

The sunlit face of the land is a treacherous appeal to lurking death, to hidden evil, to the profound darkness of its heart

Contemplating these essential landscapes, reflecting on the invisible order that sustains cities, on the rules that decreed how they rise, take shape and prosper, adapting themselves to the seasons, and then how they sadden and fall in ruins.

I take delight not in a city’s seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question.

Are cities the work of the mind or of chance?

Do I advance always with my head turned back? Or is what I see always behind me?

The more I am lost in unfamiliar spaces of distant cities

The more I can understand the other cities that have been crossed to arrive here

These images of my memories

Once they are fixed in words, are erased

By speaking of it, I am already losing it, little by little

I have the sense that as I press on more is revealed

Penetrating deeper and deeper into a heart of darkness

I retrace the stages of my journey

My past changes according to the route that has been followed

Arriving at each new city, I find a past that was unknown before

Does my journey take place only in the past?

Or are these journeys to relive my past?

By now from that real or hypothetical past. I am excluded; I cannot stop; I must go to another city. Where another of my pasts awaits or something perhaps that had been a possible future of mine and is now someone else’s present.

The catalogue of forms is endless

The foreignness of what I no longer am or no longer possess lies in wait for me in foreign, unpossessed places

When the forms exhaust their variety and come apart, the end of cities begin

These futures not achieved are only branches of the past

Dead branches…

Are these journeys to recover my future?

Traveling, I realized that differences are lost

Each city takes to resemble all cities

Places exchange their form, order, distances

The imagination of the living is not something that will be

Until every shape has found its city, new cities will continue to be born

We live in the flicker But darkness was here yesterday

It is what is already here

For we live, as we dream