Sol de Campinas
Jessica Sarah Rinland
Archaeologists have been excavating a ring of mounds surrounding a central plaza within a territory currently known as the State of Acre, Brazil. They transition from field to laboratory, interpreting how the land was constructed, what patterns were employed in settlement land use, and the composition of the anthropogenic earth that remains.
We remember Those That, at a Distance, Resemble Another (Cinéma du réel 2020), where Jessica Sarah Rinland unhesitatingly rolled up her sleeves to work hands-on and retrace the production of an elephant tusk, moving from different laboratories to the archives of a London museum. This time, filmed entirely in the field, Sol de Campinas follows the excavation of a site bearing the same name in Brazil’s Acre region, where deforestation has brought to light fifteen mounds of a millennium-old settlement. As for her method, we already know it. Apart from an opening where the faces of young archaeologists become visible in the glow of a television screen, Rinland films almost exclusively their hands, the tools and the earth they are scraping, sieving, soaking, sampling and measuring, or the meat that they share. A slight but constant desynchronisation exacerbates the tactile dimension of the image, absorbs our gaze and forces us to listen. Centripetal and centrifugal, the art of Jessica Rinland lies in the singular exchanges between her work on the celluloid film and the natural and technical processes of conserving the living. It is from this analogy, where formal experimentation is nurtured by the forms of science – from the gestures and techniques of archaeology to Bruno Latour’s theoretical texts, from the 3D reconstitutions to the traces of constellations – that filmmaking draws great descriptive amplitude. In return, it offers the world of work a little of its empathy and irreverence, taking advantage of a joke about an order from on high to break the studious flow of the film with a love song to a pack of dogs.
Argentine-British artist filmmaker, Jessica Sarah Rinland’s work has been screened and exhibited internationally at Toronto Film Festival, New York Film Festival, BFI London Film Festival, Rotterdam, Oberhausen, Cinema du Réel, Somerset House (2016) and Bloomberg New Contemporaries (2011). She has won awards including Special Mention at Locarno Film Festival and Best Film at DocumentaMadrid for her first Feature Film (Those That, at a Distance, Resemble Another, 2019), Primer Premio at Bienale de Imagen en Movimiento (Black Pond, 2018).