Website on global south and decolonial issues.

The Current Situation (2015)

I. 

The Current Situation, the title of this video, appeared just as other sentences usually appear, on a black notebook, written longhand. I wrote it down because I was confronted with such a present reality that it was impossible to escape. While the last palm tree in front of my window was being cut, I had as background noise the demonstrations against austerity in front of the Portuguese Parliament. The sound of the two events merged into one, becoming a distant but close roar. The sound of the voices and the electric saw that was cutting the palm tree met in unison. I can’t take that sound out of my head. Maybe this will help. I try to keep political and social issues at bay, keep the distance, as a spectator, but right now, I can’t do it.       

 

And one day when, I happened to be walking down the street a mass of people made me lose control over my body. And there is a moment where everything is hung in suspense. The imposed order is suspended, abstract and concrete. I remember the words: “all of us, in our natural state, feel the need to harm each other (…) a state of mistrust and of war of everyone against everyone”.

 

During a demonstration everything converges in the representation of a movement that can be a sign with a slogan or a kiss between two strangers. The sound of voices like the roar of animals. The event. There we stand with the notion that we are all foreign, refugees of ourselves and of the community that tried to build us. We have no land, only the idea of having it all. The idea of capital. Of the accumulation of meaningless objects. Meaning only exists in the interaction of bodies. Distribution and relationship. The act of transaction and of eternal and permanent conflict. The distribution of shapes. Composition as explanation.   

©Susana Pomba©Susana Pomba

And I still hear a voice, in the background, saying the date, counting the days, the hours. The sound of the chunks of palm trees falling down. The sordid joy of the plant disappearing of a place where it should have never been.  

A brief smile that fades in a movement with no end or beginning.

 

There is no possible fiction. And there is nothing but that. A way to recount things that happen and why they happen.

Eliminate the system.

Stories with no date.

 

 

II.

The high noon sunlight, but at the same time it is as if we are closed in a warehouse.

We walk as if we were an object carried around from one place to the other with no free will. A ball in a gymnasium, gym bars encrusted on the wall, or an object inside a cardboard box on the shelf waiting to be shipped. The anxiety of the object waiting to be moved. Its meaning. We are the object. We are every object together in one figure. Sculpture. Feet made of stone.  

 

We find a barrier made of chairs and different objects, trying to prevent us from going in. The chairs are heavy as lead, as ways to annihilate resistance. We need to move the chairs so we can go on. It is a test to our resistance. Can we overcome this group of objects without getting hurt?

Does it make sense to move if it is not to get hurt?

A smile. All facial expressions compressed into a sole image. 

The affirmative effect of a system that only aims at creating a system with no logic. 

To copy nature.

The total loss of references.

The central nervous system.

Any act justified by an image.

The current situation. 

 

 

III.

Episode three of season one. The moment where every character becomes real.

 

Sit down. Put yourself at ease, or disappear while there’s still time. 

But if you stay we are going to pretend we can have the most perfect conversation.   

Every subject properly written down and placed in the right order, as a script that controls our lines, our lives.

Every conversation is written down, programmed, thought through.  

Every written conversation destroys every other conversation. 

 

The current situation tells us in what way we should create empathy with the images of the world. Or how the images of the world are themselves empathy, understanding. An abstract economical system that obsessively copies the natural chaos.

Distribution, or relationship. The act of transaction and of eternal and permanent conflict.

 

There is a place where two people exactly like me fight endlessly. Maybe those two similar people, or even identical, are a kind of robotic experimental sculpture, perfect copies of a system that includes wishes, desires, gestures. A distribution machine with no unnecessary information, useful and abstract, capable of reproducing each one of the objects. The relationship between impossible objects, and the action of trying to make sense of them. Objects are the point of contact.

 

The feeling of walking over rubble is like walking over your own dead body. 

Ways of repetition of a pattern.

Creation and imitation.

The current situation.

©Susana Pomba©Susana Pomba

 

IV.

The current situation is not about the current situation.

It’s about denying the foolish idea of a continuous present.

Denying vastness and the end of meaning.

There are facts that need no explanation. They are themselves the explanation.

And economy is composition.

And it tries to organize everything. Like people that have the obsession of organizing everything around them. 

There is a relationship between every object.

And that is economy.

©Susana Pomba©Susana Pomba

The current situation has to do with an inability to react.

The hands move in one direction while on the other side, the rest of the body.

 

An object to write, while the hands are tired of all the requests.

A symbolic gesture transformed in economy. It is economy. Everything is.

A pattern. Recognition. A dialogue or an endless conversation with yourself.   

 

Landscape enhanced.

Landscape and hands.

Invisible fences.

Distribution and satisfaction centres.

Phantom numbers that live so close to us that they breathe our own air.

And we are made of stone.

And every news article that perpetuates the present is not more than the need for understanding.

But understand what? The justice of the images that control the world?

 

A smile. All facial expressions compressed into a sole empty image. 

The affirmative effect of a system that only aims at creating a system with no logic. 

To copy nature.

The total loss of references.

The central nervous system.

Any act justified by an image.

The current situation. 

 

 

 

 

 

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