Twenty-four Hours project
In a changing world the Portuguese dictatorship stood out in its grim and eerie immobility. Backward, cowed into submission, a European country was ruled by senile generals and admirals, by a swarm of spies, and by a band of faceless bureaucrats all under the rod of a terrible old man. The social landscape seemed unalterable. Religion and official ideology were presented as immutable factors with obedience the highest virtue. Private property being the supreme value, a man was as good as his goods. Political power having been granted from above to Doctor Salazar, one had to humble oneself before the priest, bow to the policeman, and keep a respectful silence for fear of the PIDE agent. (Michael Harsgor, The Washington Papers: Portugal in Revolution)
2010 - ongoing
The catalyst for this multi-channel video installation was a found audio recording documenting the hourly events of the April 25, 1974 Carnation Revolution in Portugal. The cassette recording contains the voices of two reporters narrating the events of that day. When I first heard this recording I was taken by its degraded sound quality and its linear structure. I wanted to break up that structure, juxtaposing it with visual images, and overlap it in order to explore different configurations of time and memory as well as moments of revolutionary change.
My goal with Twenty-four Hours is to explore, in abstract form, ways in which we experience time, memory and moments of profound change. This project is not an attempt to depict the Portuguese revolution historically. However I did get interested in researching the history and the project includes links to some of that research.
Source material includes 8mm film from family archives, black and white hand developed super 8 film, original and found video, original and found sound. This is an ongoing project which is still building and changing. It can be viewed at twentyfourhours.isabelmar.com