by Malena SZLAM
2021 / 16mm / color / silent / 1S / 8' 00

A circumlocutory study of Mount Merapi, Indonesia. Shifting back and forth around the volcano, MERAPI is marked by the silent presence of its rumble and lava. Almost always at the centre, the volcano often slips away behind the clouds, a ghost. The work is silently structured around the rippling impression of the volcano on its surrounds: smoke through trees, the breaking of rain against its slopes and the rich fertility of its soils. A work as sensitive to the shift in light through swirls of 16mm grain and atmosphere as it is to what it is like to live within the horizon of the volcano, located near the densely populated Yogyakarta.

“Beyond the alchemy of vision, sociopolitical and economic layers are inherent. The mount is part of the syncretic beliefs of the Javanese people, but the volcanic rocks also form the basis of the local economy, particularly in the cement production and construction. Szlam’s film hints at the latter in presenting the concreteness of MERAPI’s rocks, observing them with a cool, nearly scientific detachment as if to decode their mineral content. Here we’ve finally reached the substrata where spirituality is anchored in earthy experience, and destruction and rebuilding, the rituals of death and renewal, find their concrete manifestation.” — Ela Bittencourt


distribution format Digital file on server (FHD)
screen 1,37 - Standard (single screen)
speed 24 fps
sound silent
rental fee 75,00 €