Community of practices that, through the audiovisual creation in first person, reflects on the psychosocial malaise.
The perfect human (2018)
Between October 2017 and June 2018, in La Rara troupe we reflect on the concepts of body and affective-sexual diversity and on the multiple intersections that occur with mental health.
During an extended process of creation and reflection, the group participated in an erotic writing workshop with the activist and teacher val flores (January 2018) and watched and commented on films like Love Meetings (1965) by PP Pasolini, O amor natural (1996) by Heddy Honigmann, Yes, We Fuck! (2015) by Antonio Centeno and Raúl de la Morena, Living and other fictions (2016) by Jo Sol, or The perfect human, (1967) by Jorgen Leth. Specifically this last one has been remade shot for shot, in a version under the perspective of La Rara Troupe: “The perfect female human”, an exercise that contains many of the reflections developed by the collective throughout the term.
El cuerpo del delito / The evidence (2017)
It is the final piece, focused on the body, of an audiovisual exchange made with Diversos, a group of people gathered through the mediation team from Sala de Arte Joven (Madrid).
It was part of the exhibition Notes for a Destructive Psychiatry.
What unusual days (2016)
During April 2016, the members of La Rara Troupe were recording our day-to-day. We meet to find a sense while editing the produced materials, maybe a shared journal, maybe a notebook on rains. We are still searching.
From the presentation of the film at the LAAV_16 Meeting: What does it mean to be normal?, Alfredo Aracil, researcher and curator, wrote:
There are not many spaces where cultural producers can share our speculations, so often removed from the social reality that clarifies them. The artistic collectives as such are not common either, despite the fact that categories such as work or author were put into question decades ago. In La Rara Troupe, two of the most interesting attitudes of contemporary art come together in an excellent mode: on the one hand, their collective work is an end in itself, where the ways of doing and the process are so important as the result; and on the other hand, its political attitude, which responds to the fundamental challenge that every producer must face, that is, not only to reflect on how we live together, but to offer models of coexistence beyond the merely observation. Some texts have defined it as a political-aesthetic, which would renegotiate the position that we normally occupy: the opening of an abyss in the dominant sense.
The same title of the work session on Thursday 24, What does it mean to be normal? it is an invitation to think in what sense we are all different but identical. That is, how from the absolute dignity we can claim and enjoy our right to be others, more than the violence that entails the language that makes the word as abnormal or different tools of social control. What unusual days precisely relies on these subjective variations to articulate a choral story that does not elude the hardest parts of mental illness. Although the general tone, is not melancholic, nor vindictive, in its easy sense. On the contrary, in each shot of the film you can observe a fascination for the world, liveliness and desire to learn to represent perfectly what is La Rara Troupe.
La Rara Dreams (2015)
The audiovisual is created from our meetings in the workshop after the summer of 2015. We found the topic of “dreams” engaging to combine several ideas that each one had been writing down during summer, in different locations, moments or situations. At the same time, with this topic or the global context of the film (the dreams), we continue reading texts and watching fragments of films. Some examples from the director Albert Serra were important.
One of the texts we worked with, was a writing that Susana brought us and became the storyline that joins the different scenes of the film.
The scenes, or situations, were agreed by all the protagonists, choosing the setting, the time of day and the situation. We had only set a rule for the dialogues: “to talk about dreams, but without naming the word dreams”.
Here there is a fragment of the article Dreams as ethnographic instruments, by Marco Tobón1:
If you admit the idea that in dreams you can acquire “knowledge as legitimate and valuable as those obtained during the vigil” (Niño, 2007: 295; Cheniaux, 2006: 171), dreams can constitute, therefore, an active instrument of the same ethnographic exercise. This means asking ourselves what we feel, think and live through our bodies during that other half of our sleep. As Lichtenberg’s famous aphorism would say: “Our entire history is only the story of awakened men” (Galinier et al., 2010: 821), hence paying attention to those dreams related to our investigations, and to the dreams of our interlocutors, are part of a kind of ethnographic practice of the night (Galinier et al., 2010: 835), which can not only motivate deep discussions with the people with whom we work in that shared reality, but also a source of information and anthropological concerns in itself. In many societies, the dream is instituted in such a way that an experience, apparently strictly individual, is a form of communication not only with the “other world”, but also between human beings (Perrin, 1990: 11) […]
These references reveal that concepts, cultural practices and dreams are conjointly involved. The mind and dreams are affected by cultural experiences, and in turn, sharing and narrating dreams contributes to nurturing the ways in which we feel and think such experiences (Hollan, 2004: 172). Ethnographic practice, in my view, does not escape this situation. The dreams that are experienced, whether they are our own or those of our interlocutors, related to the problems studied, are offering us messages and ideas about our own experiences, about the relationships with those we work with, about the mutual behaviour, about our intellectual moral concerns and about the historical manifestations of the reality with which we face.
1 Tobón, M. (2015). Los sueños como instrumentos etnográficos. AIBR, Revista de Antropología Iberoamericana, 10 (03): 331-353. DOI:10.11156/aibr.100303
End of line (2014)
End of line is the first experience in collaborating in the filming and edition of materials among all. In this work, developed in three months, we directly linked the topics of the reading group with the topics of our films.
In the previous months we had focused on vulnerability from the texts proposed by Esquizo Barcelona and in the letter from Kafka’s father proposed by Fernando Colina, this time, several members of the group proposed to read texts from antipsychiatry. On the other hand, it coincided with the exhibition from Luke Fawler: Common Sense, which we visited at the Cerezales Foundation, and which included the films All Divided Selves (2011) about the Scottish psychiatrist R.D. Laing and Bogman Palmjaguar (2007), a portrait of a former patient of R.D. Laing. Therefore, we can say that End of line is the film in which we most directly talk about health issues or mental suffering.
In that period we had also attended the recording studio of Rafael Martinez del Pozo in Castro de la Cepeda, where we wanted to experiment with sound, on the one hand, and on the other leave the space of the museum.