PANORAMA DOMESTICO, ACCION! 1996-2006. Serie Mise en Scene X. Ten years after En circulo, Serie Mise en Scene I, 1996, [Inner circle] in which I used my own family, I have now decided to return to the idea, to work again with them. It was a difficult but conscious decision to go back to this concept and adapt it to the current social situation. To a certain extent, it is about commemorating or celebrating the tenth anniversary of that now remote action. It is also worth bearing in mind that En círculo was my first mise en scène and that it was the starting point for a complicated and costly line of work, which is now recognizable in its own right.
As in all the projects in which I have worked, this series also straddles reality and fiction. Reality, insofar as what the beholder sees are images of a real family, and fiction, in as much as the posing and staging is not hidden from the spectator.
Both the final photos and video feature members of my mother's and father's extended families. These new pieces could be viewed as documentary images, portraits capturing and immortalizing a family posing in front of the camera. Naturally, these images also provide visual proof of members of the family ten years later. The composition of the first image the family composition is as close as possible to the photo from one decade ago: the same arrangement, the same poses, stage, etc. Nonetheless, the passing of time inevitably means there are differences with respect to the original: children now grown into teenagers, teenagers matured to adulthood, older persons no longer with us, newborn members, changes of partner, etc.
The result of this new mise en scène is a series of triptychs, in which the family members are grouped according to their ways of thinking and behaviour. The central element of the triptych portrays the whole family; and the parts to the left and right show the family divided into two groups, corresponding to the opposing ways of thinking on each of the chosen issues. Unlike the first project, on this occasion the members of the family are divided into groups, in each of the three concepts: the socio-economic situation of the members, their political leanings and their religious views. Using the responses in the individual interviews, made in advance, groups were formed that would then make up the photographic images on the left and the right of the triptychs.
Panorama doméstico [Domestic panorama] addresses the current "tension" and "social divide" affecting Spain at the moment. It is common to hear people say that our society is divided in two, some say since the last elections, others say it goes further. Divided into the right and the left; on one hand, believers, mainly Catholics, and on the other hand agnostics; and as always happens, a middle or upper middle class and then those with less economic resources.
In short, the idea is to analyse the various forms of thinking in Spanish society at present, taking my own family as a sample. To reflect on the ongoing social confrontation dividing Spain for centuries. Confrontations born from differences in ways of thinking and the constant political, and therefore social, changes that we Spaniards have had to adapt to. Confrontations, which despite increasingly radical stances, do not seem to be heading -at least not for now- towards another armed conflicted.
Without forsaking the theatrical component that has underpinned my projects, these photographs and video wish to question the rules of behaviour that define the field of the public and the private. While En círculo, Serie Mise en Scène I, 1996, questioned the reality of coexistence within a group (the family), bringing the latent violence to the surface, Panorama Doméstico, Serie Mise en Scène X, 2006 questions the economic, political and religious pillars of the group, publicly demonstrating different aspects of their private views.
Individual interviews made in advance with the members of the family:
1. How would you describe the current socio-economic situation in Spain in general?
How would you describe your personal socio-economic situation?
2. How would you describe the current political situation in Spain?
What would you, personally, do to resolve it? And what would be your politics of choice?
3. What do you think of the situation of the Catholic religion in Spain at the moment?
What do think should be done about it? And where do you stand with regards to religion?
4. What do you think Spain will be like in ten years time? How would you like it to be?
Panorama Domestico, Accion! 1996-2006.
Artist: Mira Bernabeu
Production year: 2006
- No full video is available