La figa, l’espina, l’escut
The Fig, the Spine, the Shield
Full HD video, sound, 10 min, 2020
Actors: Ali el Aziz, Rosa Renom
Sound editing: Daniel Moreno Roldán
Language: Catalan with English subtitles
A man and a woman kill time as they look out from Montjuïc hill in Barcelona towards the container port and the Mediterranean. They share a prickly pear, the fruit of the Opuntia cacti that cover the hillside. The man sings a mournful Arabic song. Through a poetic collage of texts read in voiceover, the film explores the imaginary of these cacti and their view of a node of global trade. Native to Mexico and playing a major role in the mythology and agricultural economy of the Aztec civilisation, Opuntia have a beneficial capacity for adaptation, yet have also spread to become noxious weeds in many parts of the world. In the film’s text, the multiple names and ecologies of the plant reveal a morphology of human resources and critical natural histories: from exotics and plagues, to parasites, colonisers, consumers and invaders.
Latitudes (Max Andrews and Mariana Cánepa Luna)
Exhibition view: Ara mateix tot està per fer i tot és possible, group show curated by Rosa Lleó and Chus Martínez, Arts Santa Mònica, Barcelona, 2020. Photo by Jordi Play.