Mathilde Lavenne (FR)
video, 2018, 13:36

In the 19th century, a French community crossed the Atlantic to settle in Jicaltepec along the Nautla River, in the Veracruz region of Mexico. These French families, who were mostly just farmers, were able to build large agricultural operations over generations despite the hostile tropical environment and climate. Since the Spanish conquest, Mexico has embodied a western mythological reverie: Amazons guiding the Conquerors in their quest for a new land, but also, the idealization of a new world filled with lush vegetation, the development of medicine through the use of new plants, and the evangelical ambition of a better world. If part of the European fantasy made sense as of the first contact with the New World, it also destroyed a great deal of “primal” knowledge by merging with the pre-Columbian peoples.

Taking the form of a 3D archaeological expedition, TROPICS draws an orbit around these territories from which arise scattered voices expressing their secret stories and their relations with the ghosts of past time. Confronting a conception of the world with advanced technology ironically creates a visual matter akin to constellations of information—reminiscent of our connection to the cosmos, but also of a certain mathematical essence common to each and every thing. At the pace of a pulsating sound resonating within a space without end or gravity, the film attempts to stop time and men, and reveals the ghost of a lost paradise.

Mathilde Lavenne (FR), born in 1982, in France. In 2011, she began focusing her artistic approach on emerging technologies and digital tools by writing short films and creating interactive installations. In 2014, she received the SCAM’s Pierre Schaeffer Prize and the Contemporary Talents Prize from the François Schneider Foundation in 2015. She graduated from the Fresnoy, National Studio of Contemporary Arts, with honors. Her short film Focus on Infinity, shot in Norway, was selected in many festivals such as Tampere Film Festival in Finland, Shnit International Short Film Festival in Switzerland or International Short Film Week in Regensburg. Her work was shown in France at the Palais de Tokyo, in Italy at the Villa Medicis, at Madatac in Spain and at Casa del Lago in Mexico City.

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