THE NOVELS OF ELSGÜER
IF I SAW YOU, I DON'T REMEMBER
Stemming from the experience of displacement as Colombian immigrants in Canada, Santiago and Laura question the notions of visibility and presence, and how different individuals - visible or not- may alter or create new spaces. This installation presents an immersive environment of digital projections with the intention of placing the audience within a stage of changing forms that oscillate between the real and the digital. With this piece we encourage the audience to question how an excluded body can still influence the environment they are in. This work bends the threshold between body and space by presenting various iterations of a being that is never actually seen in its entirety, manifesting as the space itself. Its movements and presence are translated into large video projections, sounds, live camera interfaces, light compositions and 3D animations based on data analysis and visualisation techniques. This creates an immersive environment where the body is concealed and partly revealed as the audience explores the space.
The title of this episode, If I saw you, I don’t remember, alludes to the idea of actively omitting memories or subjects that we have encountered. This aims to put into question which bodies and actions are vindicated within our society and which are overlooked and ignored. Within this installation, the title is included in Mohawk, French, English and Spanish, which represent the predominant layered identities of the region where the work is being presented. Through this, Santiago and Laura wish to bring equal visibility to experiences of exclusion these communities may share. The goal of the overall project The Novels of Elsgüer, is to merge digital technologies with corporeal mediums in order to create surrealist immersive environments in which the audience questions their own perception and position within a space.
The Novels of Elsgüer is a series of transdisciplinary installations co-created by Colombian-Canadian artists Santiago Tavera and Laura Acosta. This body of work examines the notions of representation and belonging through the creation of interactive and immersive digital environments, nonlinear storytelling, experimental soundscapes, textile sculptures and performance. Each collaborative installation of this body of work has been referred to as an “episode”. Every “episode” has been an entirely different exploration of material and corporeal mediums, technological setups, and inquiries about experiences of dislocation.
MAI - Montréal, arts interculturels
February 8 - March 7, 2020
Concept and Design
Technical Director, Video/CGI Collaborator & Editor
Sound Collaborator, Editor and Producer
Videographer & Technical assistant
Installation and Studio assistant
Santiago Tavera + Laura Acosta
Hilda Nicholas | Mohawk Language Custodian Association
Photos x Paul Litherland