In 133, Eugenia Balcells and Eugeni Bonet take apart an album of sound effects. In encyclopaedic fashion, they match together fragments of found celluloid (fiction, advertising, Argentine cinema, documentaries, etc.) with the sounds in the same order that they appear on the record. In this way, the spectator creates different narratives from the fragments based on their proximity and matches (or inaccuracies), advancing Lev Kuleshov’s investigations.
133 is an apparently uncritical, regulated, fun and fascinating reassembly of the use of the audiovisual to classify life through its sounds. A work that is by necessity created at random, in which the audiovisual topics are used to show how montage is a trick that can be manipulated ideologically.
The revelations of modern poetry incorporated into the audiovisual structure show that when two objects are considered together some relationship is always established by contagion in a new unity of pre-existing elements. In this way, we can observe the DIY technique as a disassembly attitude and practice, bringing together and relating fragmented content like words in a sentence. In experimenting with this work method, Balcells and Boney have managed to construct a pseudo encyclopaedia of moving images from the criterion of the order of sound effects on a record. The sounds of planes, animals, ships, home interiors, factories, cars, fairs and shows, gunshots, rockets, parades, human sounds, trains, bells, the weather, through to trumpets, drums and organs, to close with machinery (typewriters, sewing machines, motors), etc., have been matched with fragments of found celluloid. But instead of following their self-imposed rule to the letter, they make breaks between the signified in relation to the signifiers, playing with the coincidences and dissonnances between audio and images. One of the first artistic practices from Spain of appropriationism, disassembly and film recycling.
Observed in the present, 133 implies a great effort of audiovisual archaeology. It could be treated as a document of the everyday, as a portrait of society and ideology, or as an element for anthropological studies of the visual; one might even, at first sight, intuit the distinctions of class and power of the moment. This encyclopaedic catalogue, aside from its validity as a work of art that plays with the audiovisual tautology, surprises us with its knowing winks which, as the relations develop in a precise way, at certain times logic is skipped, hooking the spectator.
(Carlos T. Mori)
45’ | found footage 16 mm | Color | Stereo | Screening format: 16 mm
In collaboration with Eugenia Balcells
A phonographic album of sound effects (133 Authentic Sound Effects, Elektra Records) provides the basis and the structure of the film: the order and thematic groupings of the sounds are respected as found in the album. The images were obtained from film waste from different backgrounds: commercial films of different genres, amateur movies, home movies, advertising, industrial, tourism, etc.