Flowers Blooming in Our Throats
Filmed in 16mm just after the lockdown caused by COVID-19, a portrait of the fragile balances that govern everyday life in a domestic setting. Gestures remain symbolically ambiguous, expressing a kind of violence that is not immediately recognizable.
There may be a virtue to the health crisis and the ordeal of lockdown: it has allowed a renewed focus on the infra-ordinary, amidst the whiteness of a daily life reduced to its simplest expression. Hence, the seemingly banal gestures that are roundly inventoried by Eva Giolo’s film: opening a window or drawer, brushing long hair, cutting a fruit, rolling a rubber band up a wrist or spinning a top with enough momentum for it to maintain its precarious balance. And then, from one body to the other, for the other, against the other: hugging, embracing, caressing, massaging, playfully hitting. Here, we take a look at the pantomime made invisible by routine. And, first of all, we listen to it so as to feel it more acutely – Flowers Blooming in Our Throats has the haptic quality of films that are attentive to the music of things. And if we need to listen closely, this is because the gestures have something to say. For, while their ritualised enactment for the camera gives the impression of dealing with a miniature Pina Bausch piece, this is because the embrace is eager to reveal its underlying grip. All you need is a red filter slipped in front of the lens as a test of truth, a blood-coloured filter borrowed from Hitchcock’s Marnie in order to thwart the seeming gentleness of the gestures’ choreography. The value of such in-depth observation and listening is that it reveals the secret world of the raging impulses crouched under the reassuring physiognomy of daily life.
Eva Giolo (b.1991 Brussels) is an audiovisual artist mainly working with the moving image. Her work consists of cinematic poems that show a propensity to capture family stories – of her own or of another. Using documentary strategies, she paints film portraits and creates a window onto invisible, usually private, inner worlds. Her interest lies in capturing the everyday, the coming-into-being of language, filiation as transmission, learning and teaching as a labour of love.
Giolo obtained her MFA at the Royal Academy of Arts in Ghent and Kanazawa College of Art in Japan. She is a founding member of the production and distribution platform elephy.