Echoes from a Liquid Memory, by Carincur
After the single entitled Reminiscência, released by ZABRA, a multidisciplinary label focused on experimental electronic music, Carincur presented in the creative venue Desvio (Lisbon) Echoes from a Liquid Memory, a performance based on audiovisual experimentation. Inês Cardoso defines herself as an inter-multi-trans-antidisciplinary artist. Her artistic work includes performance, installation, video and music, exploring tools such as capture, modulation and choreography. She explores the space-body-mind triad in a plastic way, resorting to the gaze and awareness of human behaviour.
The room begins by being filled with cold and metallic sounds, creating a dramatic atmosphere. Ethereal voices appear, stretching out in loops amid the void, communicating with sounds full of effects, including delay and reverb. Throughout the performance, we see projected on video the image captured by the camera inside the aquarium – placed in the centre of the table, with the instruments and the computer around it. The image is projected onto the artist’s back, making her shadow a participatory element in the action. The sound becomes denser and denser, while the looping rhythm establishes the overall paces. The music composed exudes intimacy. It is made of samples from her recording archive (made between 2018 and 2020) and sounds of voices, strings, water, motors and other materials. Inês seeks “to participate in the practice and research of reality/fiction, exploring her biography, body and the impact of the poetic self on society, culture, political and economic life today”.
Suddenly, Carincur begins to fill the aquarium with water. The camera inside films this movement, projecting far-fetched and decontextualized images. The projection of these images is treated in a plastic way, stimulating the visual sense. By carefully observing what is projected, we fully abstract ourselves from the way those images are created: it no longer matters if it is the result of water falling into the aquarium. What matters is to relate the reality created through the projection with the sounds that inhabit this place. We can look at the reflection of water as a metaphor of the poetic self, because the self-body-Carincur is constantly being mirrored by water. To give plasticity and dynamism to the live projection, the artist plays with her hands in the water and plunges her face into the aquarium. In the moments when she is underwater, her voice is amplified by the contact microphones placed at the bottom. The close-up of her face becomes the projected image. However, it is more than a wide shot. It is a macro shot of certain areas of her face: nose, lips, nose ridge, chin. These details are a matter for the public’s imagination. By enlarging her face, the performer may be inviting the audience to her intimacy, to listen attentively, stimulating not only hearing, but also vision, to dive into the universe of her uniqueness.
The train of thought for this idea comes from her album Sorry If I Make Love With Sound (release by ZABRA), where she mentions “a deeply fragile narrative, which is punctually affirmed by her voice, by collages of material from others, giving us minimal clues to access the performer’s intimacy”. It seems to me that Echoes from a Liquid Memory‘s imaginary is quite inspired by this album, as both are in a sphere of restlessness. There is a desire to explore the restlessness, to explore the abyss, to touch the bottom. Extending the idea of inviting us to her intimacy, Carincur opens the possibility of embracing. The artist invites someone in the front row to hug her, with electric circuits producing sound when touching the body. Suddenly, that acquires a new quality: sound. It is undoubtedly a transgressive gesture given the current circumstances. It’s a challenge, a provocation that the artist makes to the spectator. This gesture joins the performance’s sound design, making the atmosphere created increasingly complex. In this universe, sounds, images and gestures coexist, allowing these same sounds and images to be born not only of themselves, but also of gesture and movement.