RUOTING LI – MOTOKAZU KAWAMURA – ROBERTO RUÍZ- KOTOMI NISHIWAKI – DANIELA SANTAMARIA AXANOVA
In collaboration with ESCAC, Director VICTORIA IOUDINA, Original story MARCO SAGRADO SMETANA, Script VICTORIA IOUDINA, ADRIÀ VILUMARA I CANALS, Producer KAIRO URBAN, Directors of Photography JÚLIA FERROIG, XAVI SOUTO, Production Design CLARA BOSCH PI, Original BSO and Sound Design VÍCTOR MARTÍNEZ GALEOTE, Editing ALBERT SUÁREZ DE FIGUEROA I RUANA, Design of Art Installation and Costume Design MARIA PEIX SITGES, Storyboard and Graphics ALINA STONT
THE PIECE (STATEMENT)
HITOMI (in Japanese – pupil) is an art installation that represents an ancient cinema, named “Cinema Essence” and is inspired by the first traditional theaters in Catalonia. Within the reality of the piece, the theater is a historically distant space for us, as it has fallen into oblivion consisting of architectural remains that could only be remembered at the museum or art gallery.
Hitomi is an immersive experience that offers a re-connection with cinema, a space that, as a result of social and technological progress, even cinema lovers are abandoning. The digital era has provided modern society with video on demand, a tool that gives a wide variety of audiovisual content to choose from, thanks to which it is possible to enjoy the audiovisual industry in everyone’s homes or anywhere else where there is a viewer with a digital device. Today’s cinema has become a synonym of absolute accessibility of space or the environment. Nowadays, it is not necessary to watch a movie only in a theater. Currently, the convenience and variety of the digital catalog is within reach for everybody and, at the same time, the physical experience of the theaters. Hitomi defends the social responsibility of sustaining all kinds of formats and cinematographic space.
Hitomi’s goal is to give the opportunity to experience through the installation what is like to be the last viewer, just like Hitomi’s character it is within the plot of the audiovisual piece, the last interaction of the last spectator with the last existing cinema, in other words, the exhibition space can establish the same dialogue between the representation of an abandoned cinema and the audience visiting the piece.
Hitomi has run away from home to take refuge in the last existing but abandoned cinema of the city, as her mother is about to lose her eyesight and wishes for her to go to a cinema before it becomes obsolete. In the meantime, her father is looking desperately for her through the streets of Barcelona.
Within the cinema, Hitomi will conduct a personal introspection through the screen, revisiting her most intimate memories, represented as dreams. These images coming from the protagonist’s subconscious will be projected onto the screen by a strange man, who is part of the theatre and using his last ounces of energy to do so, possibly for the last time.
LAB 36 Art Gallery BarcelonaESCAC
Loop Festival BarcelonaCity Screen
‘’Barcelona Pensa’’ Philosophy FestivalDiscussion with Judith Colell and Alan Kanjo
Why is an installation used to project an audiovisual piece? Why has Hitomi not been distributed classically through film festivals? The answer to the question is simple, the installation is part of the piece and part of its symbolism. Hitomi deals in general terms with the risk of extinction of the cinema (theatre).
Therefore, the place where the project should exist would be around an installation that would represent a purely ancient cinema, that would not be seen as a multi-theatre one, and that furthermore, it would be abandoned. There is a constant speech within the audiovisual piece, but it is also very important to give prominence to the installation so that it has voice and must be tangible.
TO KEEP ALIVE CINEMA IN MY OWN WAY...
“What if there was only one movie theatre left on the planet? Would it be a romantically nostalgic memory or a ruin falling into oblivion?”
Cinema evolves. We’re in the digital age where platforms give us a choice of a variety of audiovisual content, which we can enjoy in our own houses or anywhere else where there is a digital device. Today’s cinema has therefore become a synonym for virtually accessibility without any regard for the space or the environment around it, and therefore is no longer needed to be seen only in a cinema.
As a film graduate specialized in production, I am very much in favour of such innovations, be it the transfer of cinemas to streaming platforms, or even new technologies, for example, virtual reality.
In my opinion, there is no single way to experience film because we have within our reach the convenience and variety of digital catalogues and at the same time the physical experience of theatres. By this I mean that cinema offers us many ways in which to enjoy it, and we should have a responsibility to support all kinds of film distribution so as to encourage the possibility of reaching as many viewers as possible.
Having said that, as we finished Hitomi, I had the pleasure of meeting a man who for thirty-five years was in charge of projecting several films in the first cinema in Catalonia, the Cinema Sala Mozart, until its closure. The man had explained to me excitedly that in Barcelona there were as many cinemas as there were days of the year, and in the villages of Maresme (where I live), there were an average of three cinemas per village, but unfortunately, they no longer exist. Hiswords reminded me why I started the project Hitomi.
Cinema evolves, but we must not forget that it has more than a hundred years of history, and that history has happened in theatres and thanks to the support of the people who went to them to experience it.
This project for me was a protest and at the same time a personal motivation to remember why I wanted to study cinema and why I live for it.
To keep it alive in my own way.
Visit Hitomi in Lab 36
Carrer de Trafalgar, 36
08010 Barcelona, Spain
11:00 – 14:00
16:00 – 19:30