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Isabel Rocamora: 'Horizon of Exile'

Ive been trying to work out how to write about this, it’s a weird one im so excited about a project im probably never going to get to see.



After a long wait Isabel Rocamora’s newest work is about to premier in Valparaíso, Chile. Whilst Isabel’s work sits firmly in the Art end of the film spectrum (Isabel being a trained choreographer & Developer of the genre “aerial dance-theatre”) all of Isabel’s work is stunning, having been a fan of hers for the last 6 years (and having the pleasure of working with her on a number of occasions), one of my fondest memories is seeing her performing her work in the ceiling of the Statue room at the V&A in London.



Horizon of Exile follows the journey of exile of two women (Camila Valenzuela, Paulina Garrido) across timeless desert landscapes. Strongly referencing Middle Eastern culture the film reflects on the female condition; self-image, belonging and effacement. Within a cinematic framework punctuated by voice testimonies of Iraqi exiles, Horizon employs choreographed gesture to consider issues of land and identity. Set to a soundtrack by Jivan Gasparyan the bodies betray a serene violence, travelling as though released from consciousness or gravity, falling and recuperating, haunted by an irrepressible past.



The film particularly looks at female identity echoing cultures where woman is forced to leave her country in order to salvage her sense of self. In this way Horizon strongly references particular Middle Eastern contexts (Iraq, Iran) while wishing to treat universal questions surrounding self-image, belonging and effacement. Positioning itself between the cinematic, the real and the performative the work sits somewhere between fiction, representation and metaphor. Testimonies of Kurdish and central Iraqi women, today living in London, inform the unfolding of the narrative alongside two older women, also exiles, now local to the landscapes of the Atacama desert, Chile (where the film was shot). This chorus of voices carries, on the one hand strong memories of female circumscision, erasure and escape, and on the other simple images of a distant childhood home.

Having seen both her previous cinematic works I can firmly say they look and feel as good as Baraka, if you get the chance to see it, you simply must.


UPDATE: After speaking to Isabel, i got my hands on a copy of the piece, and my god is it sumptuous; Sparse, Minimal, Lush, so textured you can virtually Taste it, so powerful too, the interaction between the dual screen set-up is intense.(there are two versions a single screen version and a dual screen one) i did my best to recreate the installation with one projector but i had it blown up large rather than on a screen - this is one piece that should be seen large.

The piece as a whole altho only a shade over 20 min is epic, the setting is stunning in the desert and littoral of a tidal river, the sparse spoken word is powerful when it comes.



26 OCTOBER 07 - Festival Internacional Danzalborde, Valparaíso, Chile - WORLD PREMIERE

8 NOVEMBER 07 - Mostra Invideo, Milan, Italy - EUROPEAN PREMIERE

21 & 24 NOVEMBER 07 - Encounters Short Film Festival, Bristol, U.K - UK PREMIERE

1 DECEMBER 07 - Dance for camera, Cinecity Film Festival, Brighton, U.K

7 & 8 DECEMBER 07 - Mostra Invideo, San Gimignano, Italy

2 & 4 JANUARY 08 - New York Dance on camera Festival, New York City, U.S


for more information on Isabel: ...