CAI: So we speak of Belén.

LUIS: sí bueno tú acabas de decir, Belén is the truth, the innocence truth without dress, with nothing to hide.

CAI: nothing to hide.

LUIS: sin máscaras.

LOLA: y además, tiene algo que creo que es muy importante, esa determinación, ese compromiso muy veraz de presentarse como ella es, y cuando encuentra obstáculo, no se enfrenta, o sea, digamos que en el trabajo de Belén no hay concesión ninguna, ni media concesión hacia lo que piensen los demás, hacia la mirada de los demás no hay ningún coqueteo narcisista, sí, hay concesiones, en el sentido de dar rodeos para conseguir llegar hacia lo que ella quiere decir, que siempre está comprometido con la verdad, con su verdad, y a mi me parece que eso es la parte más potente, y cuando Belén que tiene esa atracción, por ejemplo muy fuerte con la violencia, siempre es violencia con su cuerpo, violencia sufrida, mortificada en su cuerpo, cuerpo que luego es reparado, pero no es violencia contra los demás, porque luego Belén, es verdaderamente compasiva con los demás, no humana…

LUIS: no con un barniz cultural.

LOLA:  eso es, no es desde una convicción humanista, que le importa nada el humanismo porque el humanismo no le toca.

LOLA: es compasiva de verdad con el sufrimiento de los demás, entonces entiende el sufrimiento pasado por su cuerpo. Como en esa imagen primera de Belén que hizo, que la podríamos poner,  ese primer collage que llamamos su primera película, porque ella dice haz la película y  lo mueve, donde ella está ya tumbada, rota, y con los salvadores, curadores detrás, ¿no?, entonces esa…. bueno, como los ciclos de la naturaleza, esa dualidad de cuerpo mortificado cuerpo reparado, y una y otra vez, como el día y la noche, la sequía y la lluvia, dual.

LUIS: sí primavera otoño, sí, claro, yo creo… una puntualización, si hablamos despacio, if we speak slowly in Spanish you can understand, ¿no? maybe there are words very similar to English, ¿no?

LOLA: you can translate something.

LUIS: well, there are many things, but in a sense, Lola says that Belén presents herself without no mask, with no discourse, with no dress, so completely, desnuda, naked, nude, with all the contradictions that people use to hide, for example the attraction that we can see in Belén for violence, but the important point is that this violence doesn’t go in direction to the other but to herself.

LOLA: sacrificio.

LUIS: sacrifice, yes, her own sacrifice, yes, is not the same the violence without sacrifice than the violence with sacrifice, it’s not the same violence.

CAI: no, there’s a point, it feels, always a point of resolution, to work to the resolution, an energy resolution through the action of the fight.

LUIS: and also its not about power, its about, for me, achieving something that goes deeper in life, its like a question between accepting the truth of life through the sacrifice ¿no?

LOLA: yes it’s a …. where the mysticism and the sexual is together, and there is no shame for that… sacrifice, the inner truth.

LUIS: the inner truth, that is something very important.

LOLA: the compassion for the others a lot of compassion for the others, true compassion.

LUIS: yes not a cultural compassion

CAI: not a learnt compassion.

LUIS: claro, exacto.

CAI: I see. Something about Belén’s presence when I first met her, I was impacted by Belén in a profound way, and when I returned to London she stayed, she stayed with me in my dreams, not in a way that was violent or aggressive, it was just that she was present because of the impact of how direct she was, she is, with her energy and her work and spending time with her over the last months, seeing how there’s a process of an engagement with an energy, which is also a cathartic energy.

LUIS: catártica.

CAI: but within this cathartic energy, it’s like the sea, it has these moments where it comes still and then it peaks up and down, but I only saw that by being with her for this time to realize actually within this cathartic energy, within this expression of her there are so many new answers, and small details. It travels, it moves, it has a composition, a shape that’s come over the time, that’s only come by being truly as much as I can inside the energy of Belén and being impacted by the energy. And now, I noticed with her I can see, I can see more, I can feel more… the journey, her journey of this resolution, this catharsis, this stillness, like when the storm goes in the lake, the ripples move and then the stillness, underneath something begins moving again, and I enjoy with Belén this energy, the shifting of energy.

LUIS: joé Cai, qué bonito!!

LOLA: sí, qué bonito.

CAI: anything about the urgency, ¿no?, Belén’s urgency, can you speak to anything of that, is that something that you have known in Belén for over the years?

LUIS: well, the urgency, I forgot to tell you about, this is about the urgency, yes, the urgency, the insistence of Belén to gain the point that she wants to gain, and also that she doesn’t mind about the others, so she goes directly where she wants to arrive, to reach.

LOLA: maybe no, when she found obstacles, she’s pacífica.

LUIS: yes, but tries to avoid.

LOLA: yes, like the river, like water.

CAI: she goes around the obstacle.

LUIS: claro.

LOLA: she’s determined but with patience, she knows how to wait, for years for example.  

LUIS: yes, she doesn’t want to satisfy anyone, she doesn’t mind it.

CAI: no, no, and this is what I found so powerful about being with Belén is that I was in the presence of someone who was really clear about what she was doing, what she wanted, and how to witness, I felt like the force and the vitality of Belén is something that has impacted me a great deal 

LOLA: yes, yes, because the relationship with us, with you is a negotiation for your plan, it’s a negotiation, not really empathy, she has empathy in the compassion, but the normal relationship for her is a negotiation.

LUIS: no establece vínculos (links) sentimentales de relación, por ejemplo como Alberto. Alberto sí establece esos vínculos de relación buscando ser aprobado por los demás… in Belén nothing happens in this way, nothing at all.

CAI: when I started to work with Belén I thought, ah! I wondered about the relational aspects because it’s not… but then somehow within the time, there is, but it’s not what I might call, from my perspective of the relational, with the society, the ways in which we might define, the sentiment, the empathy, but there’s still a relation, but from Belén’s perspective it’s… different.

LUIS: sí, a lo mejor, el primer obstáculo para definir esa relación diferente entre Belén y nosotros, no está basada en cánones morales humanistas, burgueses, me equivoco ahí?

LOLA: I think the cultural value in Belén is that it’s superficial, it’s not inside her, she can be good, but this is not her truth.

CAI: and is not necessary for her.

LOLA: for the negotiation with the world.

LUIS: en resumen when I say moral humanista, moral burguesa, what I try to say is hipocresía, hypocrisy, this is the point, en Belén no hay un intercambio, un business, una relación hipócrita.

CAI: no false way of relating.

LUIS: claro, no es hipócrita, she likes what she likes and it doesn’t matter if you are in, if you are out, she’s gonna go through to reach the point.

CAI: because what emerged, this relationship with the image, the archetype of Donald Trump, how this appeared through the process, I don’t know, I don’t have an interpretation, I don’t want to have any interpretation, but Belén’s been really clear about, and I find that so wonderful. She knew and she knows exactly Trump, the relationship, the costume, the hair, the specificness of this, I don’t know. In a way through the process I don’t need to know, and that’s what’s also so wonderful. I can wonder about many things, but it’s nice not to have to, it’s a relief.

LOLA: well, in relation with the other works la voz, the voice from Donald Trump is like the voice de los malos, the evil. (“ Jajaja, os voy a destruir…”).

LUIS: (“we are gonna destroy the world”) Yes, the laughing with this echo is like a …

LOLA: es el nuevo malo, the new evil, the big evil of the world.

CAI: and it’s very current Belén’s choice.

LUIS: yes, it’s like a nightmare, ¿no? una pesadilla, the sounds, the echo.

CAI: in one way it’s like a distortion, but then again is very real.

LUIS: claro, I like very much the way she mixes, as I told you days before, the music, the child music, so innocence sounds with the piano, with this little music machine, and then all this screaming, of evilness…

CAI: and how they sit beautifully together, how they merge together.

LUIS: what was very impressive to see… was this objetive experimentation of artistic creation as knowledge… un intento de creación objetiva.

CAI: over the time seeing Belén there is a composition and a knowledge of a composition, and the desire of a composition, and where it’s going.

LUIS: yes, she makes the action, she shouts, she laughs and then suddenly the face puff!!, changes, disappears, the face of this act, of the performance and suddenly pam! she puts the microphone into the piano to repeat the sounds, to listen to it… so hay algo de búsqueda, she is looking for something.

LOLA: maybe not looking for, maybe encuentra, finding in an interior rhythm, because she has this rhythm, for example the voice of the Tetilla is impresionante.*

LUIS: sí, sí, sí…. Have you seen this sculpture? … two meters tall.

CAI: ah yes.

LOLA: and her voice when she is singing, Belén singing “nananana” is like a…, como una canción zen.

LUIS: like a lullaby.

CAI: ah, lullaby, interesting.

LUIS: bueno yo he dicho como una nana, tú dices como una canción zen.

LOLA: sí, es que tiene una cosa como si fuera…

LUIS: Lola says a zen song.

LOLA: sí, muy pacífica…

LUIS: muy pacífica, against this …yes, this image of brutality, of violence.

LOLA: because the energy black and white is only in a natural rhythm…

CAI: black and white, dark and light, night and day, theres something about Belén when working… the dictaphone, always records what she is doing and then she  listens back, always to record in front of the speaker, so there’s something about this looping, round around, into herself, out, into herself and out, like the tape.

LUIS: sí, sí, pasar y repasar we say. Pass through and then once again, once again with no finish.

LOLA: this is the life, the life another time, another time, in her process is like this, like nature, always in movement.

LUIS: sí, un ciclo, in some way she, I think, she doesn’t want to get an artistic piece but to play or to perform an action that never ends. So, every time she is invited to see one of her films, ¿no? cada vez que ella es invitada a ver una de sus películas, she starts rubbing her hands, she is very happy.

LOLA: the last time her film was presented in La Casa Encendida, Belén and me with the public, and the film ends, and Belén says to the public “I like very much this film, is good, is good”.

CAI: her own work, wow, as another…. amazing!

LUIS: sí, sí… 

LOLA: es genial.

LUIS: something more about Belén?

CAI: oh, there’s always, but I think we stop now.

*(La Tetilla es el personaje protagonista de una de las películas de Belén Sánchez)

main screen

camera, lighting, & edit: John Collingswood

sound: Belén Sánchez

costume & makeup: María Sol Álvarez & Lola Barrera


second screen

camera: Cai Tomos

edit: John Collingswood


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