“How is the story of a life built? How can the way we tell ourselves determine our destiny? On what basis do we tolerate or accept these accounts as credible?” The artist and filmmaker Àlex Reynolds (Bilbao, 1978) set out to investigate these issues based on the interrogations to which refugees seeking asylum are subjected, French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons. But instead of showing the faces and the answers of the interviewees, he leaves us alone with the questions (When did your father die? Are your brothers and sisters in danger?), so that we experience their discomfort and the violence of the institutional bureaucracy.
second person, third person (2023) is one of the central pieces of Because I have tears! , a monographic exhibition that CaixaForum dedicates to the Basque creator residing in Brussels, winner in 2020 of the 2020 Production call of the la Caixa Foundation with this project. In the tape we do not see or hear any asylum seeker but we can contemplate the context in which they move through a journey through the streets of Paris, from the place where they make the request, to the court where they will appeal in case that they have been denied. “Imagine them on streets that they don’t have the right to travel on,” Reynolds says.
The artist, who was closely linked to the Barcelona scene, but had not exhibited in the city for five years, has had the complicity as a curator of Sabel Gavaldón, the current head of MACBA Programs. Reynolds, who has made cinema without a camera and audio recordings that become images before the eyes of the listener, brings his idea of expanded cinema to the very architecture of the show (the walls literally vibrate thanks to tuning forks that capture the tone of voice of a friend of hers, Justine) and in most of her works she alters the codes making the primacy of the visual give way to perception through other senses such as touch (she models the hands of her roommate Theo regardless of the sense of sight).
The relationship between the eye and the ear, about how we listen while we look, encourages another of the central films of the exhibitionthe hand that sings (2021), in which the voice and body of the choreographer and musician Alma Söderberg, in which the camera ceases to be a portrait machine that imposes a vision and acts in unison with the bodies and the landscape.