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Cabello/Carceller

CABELLO / CARCELLER
Is a collaborative duo comprising Helena Cabello (Paris, 1963) and Ana Carceller (Madrid, 1964). Working together since the early 1990s their work dissects the dislocation of the contemporary subject and questions the politics of representation, especially those defining and coding gender identities. Their trilogy of films Casting: James Dean (Rebelde sin causa) (2004), Ejercicios de poder (2005) and After Apocalypse Now: Martin Sheen (The Soldier) (2007) was the beginning of a profound examination of contradictory aspects of masculinity which helps to deconstruct models of beauty and behaviour exported by Hollywood.

cabello_carceller_unbesoUn beso 1996
B/W video with sound
4’ 05”
This video caused a sensation in the Spanish art scene, where it was very rare to find images that openly represented lesbian desire. Cabello/Carceller use a minimalist composition in black-and-white that brings us back to the pioneering video art of the sixties and seventies. The work consists in close-up footage of a long kiss between two women, a scene that is disrupted by an argument heard off screen. Following the feminist film tradition, the artists bring into play strategies of distancing that facilitate breaking down the habitual mechanisms of the viewer’s identification with the narrative: the contrast between the image and the audio has a strange effect that frustrates the scopic pleasure that the contemplation of the kiss could otherwise give.

cabellocarcellerCasting: James Dean (Rebelde sin causa) 2004
Video-installation, colour video with sound (32’ 50”), text on wall and pallets.
Variable dimensions
Courtesy Galería Elba Benítez
With the trilogy made up of the films Casting: James Dean (Rebelde sin causa) (2004), Ejercicios de poder (2005) and After Apocalypse- Now: Martin Sheen (The Soldier) (2007), the team Cabello/Carceller starts a research that examines the most contradictory aspects of masculinity and helps deconstruct the models of beauty and behaviour exported by Hollywood. In Casting James Dean (Rebelde sin causa), we can see a role casting where sixteen women play James Dean’s part in the film that gives the work its title. At first sight, the viewer perceives something contradictory in the film, an element that doesn’t add up: there are female actors reading a script written for a male character that, besides, exalts the heroic and stereotyped image of manliness that is characteristic of 1950s movies. In this way, the video leads us to reflect on the influence exerted by cinema in the construction of normative models for male behaviour.

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