Flowers blooming in our throats
16mm scanned to digital file, color, 4:3, stereo, IT/BE, 2020, 8’37"
Everyday occupations, some domestic tools, fruits, light, rope and many hands. Hands that dig in the earth, that cut, that cook, that touch, rip, wash, squeeze, erase, press, push. The sound of domestic spaces and its silence. Red flowers one summer. Flowers blooming in our throat is a cinematic poem in response to the worldwide pandemic of 2020. Commissioned and produced by in between art films for the project Mascarilla 19 – Codes of Domestic Violence.
Filmed in 16mm just after the lockdown caused by COVID-19, Flowers blooming in our throats is an intimate, poetic portrait of the fragile balances that govern everyday life in a domestic setting. The artist films a group of her friends in their own homes, performing various small actions in accordance with her instructions. Giolo chooses to walk a shifting line where gestures remain symbolically ambiguous, expressing a kind of violence that is not immediately recognizable. Hands try to support or escape, but also to grip or strike, in a subtle interweaving of sounds and references that adds to the viewer’s sense of tension and unease. A dialogue of gestures, made up of repeated visual sequences where time is marked by the spinning of a small toy top, as unstable and precarious as the balance of a relationship.The artist repeatedly uses a red filter on her lens, creating a conceptual device that relies on an element of abstraction to conceal and transfigure the image. The mechanical insertion of the filter over the lens thus becomes the simulation of a violent act, immediately changing the way we perceive and remember an action we have seen before.This coexistence of opposites can also be found in the title, which metaphorically suggests how the beauty of a natural phenomenon—and implicitly, love – can turn into a suffocating force. Leonardo Bigazzi
Directed, filmed and edited by Eva giolo
Commissioned/Produced by In Between Art Film
Co-produced by Elephy
Featuring Sirah Foighel Brutmann, Anais Chabeur,
Eva Claus, Eva Giolo, Pascale Gerbaux, Lola Heckers
Martha t’Hooft, Constance Neuenschwander
Yuichiro Onuma, Veronika Vimpelova
Executive producer Leonardo Bigazzi
Camera Eva claus, Eva giolo
Sound design Simonluca Laitempergher
Colourist Lennert de Taeye
Collection: In Between Art Film, IT.
M Leuven by the Vlaamse Gemeenschap, BE.
Awards: Flowers blooming in our throats had been nominated for The European film award and has been awarded the Top Prize at THIS IS SHORT 2021, received the National Award Special Mention at Lago Film Fest 2021, the jury special mention at First Crossings Festival, the Critics’s jury award at 25FPS Festival and Art Exploration Award at Beijing International Short Film Festival (BISFF).
“The work embodies the complexities and intensities of relationships among people, objects, the passing of time, the gestures, the daily awareness of light, sounds and of others, during lockdown. There is a focus on hands—they clench, tremble, grip, or tear in infinite expressions between tenderness and tension—an analogy for the ways we touch the world. The same gestures telegraph subtle messages and the film creates a breath-holding tension about the underlying threats posed for people locked down with those who pose a danger to them.” THIS IS SHORT
“Our prize goes to a film that gives expression to the micro-aggressions that go unseen in our society by combining the endless repetition of domestic chores with a choreographed dialogue of gestures and children’s games. A film of deafening silence and a creeping sense of unease.” 25FPS (Patrick Gamble, Michelle Koch, Ana Kovačić)
Observing the impact of epidemic quarantine on our lives from a different angle, the film casts away explanatory words and discourses, elegantly presenting the movements of hand gestures and the ingenious cohesion between voices, so as to execute a wordless criticism and reflection on the violence in the closed space. In the post-epidemic era when everything has become untouchable, the director chose film exposure with a sense of entity. The traces left by manual operation and the film particles carefully wrap up this image poem. BISFF2021 festival committee