the initiate (you) & the mystics (them)

2013 // Experimental documentary // 16’04”

Concept & Script: Kuai Shen & Gonzalo H. Rodriguez
Photography: Kuai Shen & Gonzalo H. Rodriguez
Voice-over: Richard Geoffrey Hartill
Music: Auriel Martin Reich
Editing: Gonzalo H. Rodriguez
Supported by: Arts Foundation of North Rhine-Westphalia & the City of Cologne Cultural Affairs Office
This film is part of the installation “The Initiate (You) & The Mystics (Them)

The Initiate (You) & The Mystics (Them)

Script by Kuai Shen & Gonzalo H Rodriguez

Let’s start with this picture.

Look carefully at (Them). (You) can say this is simply effective labour. (They) know this is more than that. Let’s formulate it differently. The species (You) observe here are actively looking for a symbiotic contact with other species. This might be only possible within the recognition of one with another as a similar individual who can be integrated into the same group. Even more, at the core of such recognition lies the instinctive belief of the possession of animal socialization: territoriality, family and security.

To be precise, they are not literally believing in animality as a physical presence but about the idea that the animal is somehow…existent. At the end, it appears to be all about categorizations… a label, a mask. Atta cephalotes, Ectatomma ruidum, Gigantiops destructor: Superorganisms. The only difference between (You) and (Them) is the number. Things that have once been in contact remain united: association by proximity; just as association by resemblance corresponds quite precisely to the attractio similium of magic: like produces like. They identify with the whole, not the individual, but the holistic totem.

(You) and (Them). The Initiate and The Mystics. A superorganism giving a hint of transcendence… metamorphosis. The animal reveals itself as the real thing, taking (You) -the initiate- to the impossible position of being another. The mystics (Them) make possible the disappearance of (You) as a unity. The mystics do not trust the animal and the animal despises the mystics… an incantation fixed at its culminating point. The initiate is in the middle unable to stop the struggle between the two forces.

(You) can feel exactly how they feel… the modulations, the intensity… how (They) work or rest… the kind of sounds (They) turn into music… the intimate words (They) say to each other. And if (You) are silent enough (You) might be able to hear their inner thoughts. Like this one. Or this one. (You) may ask yourself when (You) lost that connection, when the invisible distance between (You) and (Them) started. Why are (You) not able to look through their eyes anymore as if they were your own?

(You) succumb to the same governing principles: the subjective association of emotions, the objective association of facts, the supposedly fortuitous connections of ideas… the causal connections of phenomena. (You) are trying to understand (Them) but you have a different pace.

The fabric of reality is yours. But for (Them), time and space are not fundamental.

The animal hides in (You). (You) can invoke their gestures, be possessed by (Them)… but do not try to understand. Let yourself go. Just move over several directions, bringing on a perpetual past. Because if (You) are all present, (They) are what is not there anymore:

The invisibility of the unrepresentable.