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Traffic

2015
HD video | Color | Sound | 5’19

Pursuing a visual search regarding a reference that is common to other works, this audiovisual essay highlights the affinity between nature and labor. We are now able to see the ancestral tension between the organic and the artificial poetically dwell in the static shot, where the choreography of the birds, the rational metric of the constructors and the lapping of the water in the background coexist.

In this monochrome industrial landscape, swallows build nests at the exact height of 73.5 meters but, unlike other locations of the world, the rising of the water on the dam's wall still seems far-off.

Between the hierarchical (dis)order of humanity and the spontaneous chaos of nature, one can sense, in Traffic, the fragility that is intrinsic to life in its daily confrontation with the turmoil that originates from other globally powerful traffics. In this sense, the framework of the plan, whilst a visual synthesis, works as an excellent metaphor of what Nietzsche identified in The Birth of Tragedy, as the founding dichotomy of tragedy and Graeco-Christian culture, the dialectic between the Apollonian and the Dionysian. Thus, we can better understand the long-standing history of the fight between the poetic Vitalism associated with Dionysus, and the positivist rationalism of Apollo. A metaphysical showdown between the creative freedom of the human spirit and the infinite coercion exerted by the Societies of Control.

Just as the swallows are the messengers of the coming of spring, the Dionysus god celebrates the renewal of the full intensity of life. A life under constant construction, nesting under the haven of Apollonian retreats, between the concrete and the roofs of the world.

Text: Rui Matoso