Monthly Archives: January, 2017

Carlos Motta at PAMM

My review of Carlos Motta’s show at PAMM (Miami) has just been posted online at the Miami Rail. You can read the full article here. And here is an excerpt: In Carlos Motta’s video Deseos/ تابغر  (co-written with Maya Mikdashi), a slow pan of the camera moves up the side of a moldy and abandoned hamam in Beirut. The film is narrated through fictional letters exchanged by Nour, in Beirut, and Martina, in Colombia, and is based on nineteenth-century archives. As Nour describes to Martina her passionate love for Aisha, and her fear of Aisha being taken away from her by patriarchal demands, the camera moves from the decaying wall to a kaleidoscopic series of skylights. While Nour’s story moves from passion to fear, the camera appears to work at cross-purposes, moving from decay to beauty. Motta’s skill in moments like these is placing our positions and values in turmoil. The mold on the wall (distinctly vaginal in shape) is not only decay here, but also representative of the space where we are left alone to grow and develop our own logic. The skylight not only depicts beauty, but also the way in which claims to beauty and harmony can deny what Edouard Glissant called “the right to opacity.”