Accessibility / Report Error

Concertations of a Body in Montage: to deal with research and materiality after Cao Guimarães

ABSTRACT

1 1 Este texto foi desenvolvido no âmbito do projeto de pesquisa “(Des)montagens de um corpo: cartografando modos de existência em comunidades de educação somática”, contemplado pelo Programa Jovem Cientista do Nosso Estado, da FAPERJ (Proc.: E-26/200.294/2023). Based on a conversation with the short film Concerto para Clorofila, by Cao Guimarães, the article explores the possibilities of a research dedicated to the processes of assembling of a body, interested in multiplying stories attentive to the plurality of modes of existence that participate in the corporal materiality. In the company of Cao, but also with artists and anthropologists, the text discusses procedures to construct a corporally situated investigation attempted to the necessarily communal status of the corporeal unit.

Keywords:
Cao Guimarães; Corporally Situated Research; Body-in-Common; Corporal Assembling; Modes of Existence

RESUMO

1 1 Este texto foi desenvolvido no âmbito do projeto de pesquisa “(Des)montagens de um corpo: cartografando modos de existência em comunidades de educação somática”, contemplado pelo Programa Jovem Cientista do Nosso Estado, da FAPERJ (Proc.: E-26/200.294/2023). A partir de uma conversa com o curta-metragem Concerto para Clorofila, de Cao Guimarães, o artigo explora as possibilidades da pesquisa dedicada aos processos de montagem de um corpo, interessada em multiplicar estórias atentas à pluralidade de modos de existência que participam da materialidade corporal. Com Cao, mas também na companhia de artistas e antropólogas, o texto discute procedimentos favoráveis à construção de uma investigação corporalmente situada, pela qual se mantenha a atenção ao estatuto necessariamente comunal da unidade corpórea.

Palavras-chave:
Cao Guimarães; Pesquisa Corporalmente Situada; Corpo-em-Comum; Montagem Corporal; Modos de Existência

RESUMÉ

L’article est basé sur une conversation avec le court métrage Concerto para clorofila de Cao Guimarães, à partir duquel il explore les possibilités de recherche dédiées aux processus d'assemblage d'un corps, intéressés à multiplier les histoires attentives à la pluralité des modes d'existence qui participent à la matérialité corporelle. Avec Cao, mais aussi en compagnie d'artistes et d'anthropologues, le texte aborde des procédures favorables à la construction d'une recherche corporellement située, à travers de laquelle se développe l'attention sur le statut nécessairement communautaire de l'unité corporelle.

Mots-clés:
Cao Guimarães; Recherche Corporellement Située; Corps-en-Commun; Assemblage du Corps; Modes d’Existence

First, we have to remember that there are always stories2 2 Este texto se escreve entre histórias e estórias. Opto pela utilização diferencial de ambos para demarcar uma distinção que a generalização do termo história efetivamente apagou. Assim e para permanecer atento às definições do dicionário, quero tratar as histórias como narrativas assumidas como fatualidade ou elencadas em historiografias oficiais. Reservo o termo estória, por outro lado, às produções que assumem seu caráter fabulativo e carregam de modo afirmativo a abertura fundamental que a operação criativa assume em sua mescla com elementos tidos como fatuais. of cacophonic bodies to be told. Like the one in the chapter of a podcast, that recounts a certain seductive offensive3 3 “A jihadi on a charm offensive” (Um jihadista em uma ofesiva de sedução) é o título do primeiro capítulo de The Global Jigsaw, um podcast de política veiculado pela BBC. Disponível em: https://open.spotify.com/episode/24jE5RPPgeK8Gujyu5itqB. in international politics. It is about telling the strategies by which a certain leader of the Islamic Jihad, in search of the legitimacy he needs to be seen as a civil actor, tries to set up another body for himself, one that removes him from the image of a terrorist, an enemy sought after by important Western countries.

The leader seems to be repeating a globally repeated political gesture in his attempt to forget the image and threatening actions that led international military coalitions to offer rewards for his capture. At the head of a parallel government organization operating in a town in northwest Syria, he calls for social support for the population. In videos, he appears with a clean-shaven face, so different from the long beards recognizable on other Islamic State faces. He wears jackets and casual clothes. He modulates his voice, walks through shopping malls, eats in restaurants where he helps to make the food and sits with other customers. He talks to American reporters and is directly involved in reopening Christian churches.

Many existents are involved in the reassembly of this body, including clothes, razors, strategically placed cameras and places of visitation. But he is there, at all times, working to submit them to his will, inventing a pastiche that is unable to imitate what happens when modes of existence actively participate in the materialization of a body.

Perhaps believing too much in a bodily reinvention that can take place strictly by his own hands; the leader tries to ignore the historicity of his encounters, the bodies, the weapons and the frightened people, while they continue to cry out for their participation in the making of their existence. If this leader’s body continues to frighten and put the international community on alert, it is because it screams out modes of existence that continue to participate in its materiality, whether he wants it or not. However, existences like this also raise another kind of alarm: that we need to remain attentive to the dynamics by which a body is assembled, so that something of the worlds and politics that produce it can emerge.

Bodies in concert

In the arts, Cao Guimarães seems to have invented a very different way of telling stories about bodies, often minimal, microscopic. It has been said that some of his films don’t even have characters (Lins, 2012LINS, Consuelo. Tempo e Dispositivo nos Filmes de Cao Guimarães. 2012. Disponível em: https://www.caoguimaraes.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/tempo-e-dispositivos-nos-filmes-de-cao-guimaraes.pdf. Acesso em: 5 jun. 2023.
https://www.caoguimaraes.com/wordpress/w...
), but perhaps, in order to see some of them, it is essential to pay attention to bodies that can only be glimpsed in emergence, that can only be glimpsed in their paradoxical permanence, at once evanescent and necessary, tiny and gigantic4 4 É de Jose Gil um dos textos que melhor se aproximam dessa condição parado-xal que carrega qualquer corpo, mas que se torna especialmente visível em alguns casos. Gil (2001, p. 59) pensa tal condição a partir do espaço do corpo que, em suas palavras, “resulta de uma espécie de secreção ou reversão [...] do espaço interior do corpo em direção ao exterior”. Emergem daí uma textura e abrangência próprias, que não obedecem ao espaço euclidiano em sua capacidade de atuação. Gil fala do bailarino e da ocupação de todo o espaço do palco antes mesmo de estar lá. Por aqui, tomo a presença abrangente de um objetivamente invisível corpo-clorofila que emerge em Cao Guimarães, como se verá a seguir. . These bodies attest to the fact that their very possibility of existing depends on their condition of being supported by an ecology of other modes of existence, which constitute them to the same extent that they do not submit to them.

This is how Cao conducts his Concerto para Clorofila (Concerto..., 2004CONCERTO para clorofila. Direção: Cao Guimarães. Minas Gerais: Centro de Arte Contemporânea de Inhotim, 2004. 7 min.). Any concert sets up an opposition; more than a hundred years have passed since the Portuguese musician Ernesto Vieira translated this notion into musical terms as a “[...] very extensive and developed composition for one instrument, with orchestra, quartet or piano accompaniment” (Vieira, 1899VIEIRA, Ernesto. Diccionário Musical. Lisboa: 1899., p. 163).

In its development, the concert takes place through movements of links and distances between sonorities, which act in a dynamic of differences that brings out, in its singularity, the persistent individuality of a certain instrument. Vivaldi’s flute concerto in F major, for example: if the string instruments initially resonate with such force, it is to the extent that their bodies support the very appearance of the flute that asserts itself among them. There is a whole politics involved in this appearance to be taken into account5 5 Judith Butler (2018) foi em busca de analisá-la a partir de relações humanas envolvendo gênero. Neste texto, procuro colocar brevemente a questão dessas alianças por meio das quais um corpo existe em outros termos, por meio de certa operação da noção de montagem, como se verá. : it is in the midst of the composition of sounds in concertation that the possibility of the flute’s action emerges and, therefore, its very condition of existence. On its own, the sound of the flute would not act in that way, it would not find a certain drama quality; it would be another sound and therefore another flute. In Deleuzo-Guattarian terms, there would be other longitudes6 6 Deleuze e Guattari (1995) encaram a longitude como coordenadas cinéticas de um corpo, dadas pela rítmica que, por certo tempo, os circunscreve. Importa, aqui, compreender os modos pelos quais tais coordenadas se constituem, apurando-se o olhar sobre a multiplicidade de existentes que delas participam. .

To think of a concert only in terms of isolating the sounds that make it up is to give too much to the individual body of each instrument. It is also to keep it in an ontology that is too hilomorphic, incapable of realizing that the materiality of a body owes much more to the historicity that makes it possible than to the physicality by which we learn to delimit it (Barad, 2017BARAD, Karen. Performatividade Pós-Humanista: para entender como a matéria chega à matéria. Vazantes, v. 1, n. 1, 2017.). A body can only be delimited, therefore, in connection with other bodies and modes of existence; on the other hand, to abandon the power of creation and participation in worlds of that same body, as an individual, is to forget that it is a “densification of agency” (Barad, 2017BARAD, Karen. Performatividade Pós-Humanista: para entender como a matéria chega à matéria. Vazantes, v. 1, n. 1, 2017., p. 31) that is persistent enough to continue acting.

Perhaps it is, therefore, in the affective dynamics of “attachments and detachments” between this densification and the modes of existence, in what we can call, with Donna Haraway (2023HARAWAY, Donna. Ficar com o Problema: fazer parentes no Chthuluceno. São Paulo: n-1, 2023., p. 65), their “responshability”, that we need to rely on every time we want to affirm the unity of a body. The concertation7 7 Um esforço analítico fundamental parece ser, justamente, o de explorar as dinâmicas entre modos de existência na feitura de um corpo, entre as quais estão os movimentos dessa dinâmica de concertação que me interessam neste artigo. , this movement by which certain existences move away in a kind of ontological reverence for another, giving it support to continue, is just one of the possible dynamics in this making of corporeal individuality, but it is on this that we will focus.

Compared to a musical concert, the one promoted by Cao shows the multiplicity of modes of existence working in the ontological support that enables the emergence of a chlorophyll-body, invisible, which both evanesces and shows the forces and actions linked to its persistence. While we may have become accustomed to the maxim that “a body is a tumult of activities that develops” (Ingold, 2022INGOLD, Tim. Fazer: antropologia, arqueologia, arte e arquitetura. Rio de Janeiro: Vozes, 2022., p. 125), it is still from an organic logic that we usually submit such a multitude of movements, thinking in terms of the immense microscopic ecologies that populate, for example, the human body.

Cao Guimarães seems to do the opposite movement. It is from macroscopic reality that the filmmaker brings out his praise for the tiny and necessary chlorophyll existence, affirmed incessantly from the green that so often inhabits the images in the short film.

Concerto à Clorofila in fact seems to be an ode to the modes of existence that participate in the materiality of a body in its paradoxical appearance. Its little more than 7 minutes tell a possible story of a pigment made of body, from actors intertwined with it and who support the thickness of its capacity for action, the permanence of its existence, therefore.

Stories about the bodily materiality of chlorophyll have been told for many years. Its unity is often associated with a certain evolutionary historicity involving absorption capacities and luminous phenomena:

A pigment is any substance that absorbs visible light. [...] Chlorophyll, the pigment that gives leaves their green color, mainly absorbs light at violet and blue wavelengths as well as red; because it reflects green light, chlorophyll appears green. [...] An evidence that chlorophyll is the main pigment involved in photosynthesis is the similarity between the absorption spectrum and the action spectrum of photosynthesis (Raven; Evert; Eichhorn, 1996RAVEN, Peter; EVERT, Ray; EICHHORN, Susan. Biologia Vegetal. Rio de Janeiro: Guanabara Koogan, 1996., p. 94).

These ways of telling the story of chlorophyll’s persistence as an active unit - as a body - are particularly well known and circulate very frequently in scientific literature: they usually involve electrons, complex molecular structures, fluorescence in test tubes, light absorption and cyclical modeling. In these histories, the concertation of bodily unity takes place between modes of existence that are commonly intertwined in laboratory spaces; to approximate what happens in music, it is they who lower their voices so that we can hear the sonorities of the body-chlorophyll.

The story of the materiality of the body-chlorophyll invented by Cao Guimarães contemplates other intersections between modes of existence. The sun rises between clouds, the reflection of which can be seen, along with that of the trees, in the water of a river. Day light illuminates the water and the trees. Zooming in, the camera meets a large leaf, making us participate in its grooves; it sees the resonance of a rain drop in the river, which in the reflection of the light makes the vegetation twist. He sees other drops, which also fall into the pool, on other leaves. He sees a leaf falling in the wind, making the trees sway. He follows the leaf down to the ground, where he sees an airplane streaking across the sky; a sky that is also the sky of the sun and the clouds.

Like in those stories told by science, Cao’s short story deals with different meshes of existence - it would be impossible, by the way, to tell stories about a body if it were not for them. With Cao or in botany books, all the modes of existence that Étienne Souriau (2020)SOURIAU, Étienne. Diferentes Modos de Existência. São Paulo: n-1, 2020. was able to map: the ephemeral modes of existence, such as the drop of water in the duration of its encounter with the river or the fluorescence inside the tube, called phenomena. Those that, like the electrons and the trees, persist with relative indifference to chronological time, which he defined as things. The imaginaries, which, like the trees twisted in the water, have the permanence of the affections or phenomena that provoked them. Finally the virtual, which are no more than sketches that may not even be formed, like the unrealized part of the plane’s scratch in the sky, which allows us to invent the becoming of its trajectory.

However, the story of chlorophyll told by Cao is somewhat different from those told by botanical concertations. Aiming at the visible, it tells of the partnerships between other existents that support the active density of the body that gives its title to his work. Through the immensity of the existents with which it relates - the rivers, the sun, the clouds, the forests - it witness the action of a microscopic body-pigment, somehow countering the molecular emphasis of science histories.

If Cao can tell another story for the chlorophyll, it is precisely because there are an infinity of existences participating in this agential tangle that we call “a body”, which creates a responsibility for us to multiply the ways of telling it in a pluri-existential8 8 Visível, por exemplo, nas estórias multiespécie de Donna Haraway (2023) ou Anna Tsing (2019). O diálogo com essas autoras tem me levado à lida com tal pluralidade de existentes, ainda que as discussões a partir de Souriau me façam pensar muito mais em termos de modos de existência - ou seja, de capacidade de permanência de modos de ação - do que de espécies. Além disso, meu olhar atual está sobretudo voltado a esse emaranhamento envolvido na materialização da unidade corporal, enquanto o dessas autoras foca, de modo geral, composições bem mais abrangentes. attention. In any case, by relating to the ways in which a multiplicity of existents are crossed in the making of a body, Cao seems to make visible the aspect of assembling inherent in the emergence and permanence of any bodily materiality. A body is, above all, an agential thickness emerging from a politics that plays with the position and transgressive force of different actors - the modes of existence, here. It was precisely this positional play between heterogeneous elements, from which pathos derives, that Didi- Huberman (2021) recognized as the very process of montage.

In the story that materializes the body he is talking about, Cao captures fragments of the relationships that make up the chlorophyll unit. Although he cannot be the one who assembles the body he is talking about - that would be, once again, giving too many rights to human agency - it is visible how his production remains attentive to a certain set of things, phenomena, imaginaries and virtual, that participate in the unifying materialization of the body-pigment that interests his work. The film is, therefore, a montage that would not be established were it not for the filmmaker’s attention to a first montage, which makes this kind of paradoxically invisible but fully active main character possible.

Bodies in montage

In the cinema, by the way, it seems that good editors are particularly attentive to the edits that precede the one that is the center of their work. Often, these prior ontological montages, to be respected in the cinematographic work, give unity to the raw material, in other words, they participate in its corporeal materialization:

In the raw material there is a sum of energies; it is not just an inanimate image. There is the photography, there is the direction, there is the art direction, there is the acting, etc. So it is the sum of these energies that will reach my hand. And I am going to have to interact with all of that. It is a process of seeking an understanding that transforms you and creates an existence for the material (Bernstein et al., 2022BERNSTEIN, Julia et al. Na Ilha: conversas sobre montagem cinematográfica. São Paulo: Paraquedas, 2022., p. 37).

This raw material will then drive the assembly process (Bernstein et al., 2022BERNSTEIN, Julia et al. Na Ilha: conversas sobre montagem cinematográfica. São Paulo: Paraquedas, 2022.). It seems that what assemblers are telling us is that we need to be able to tell stories that are more respectful in concern of the ontological plurality that participates in them, starting with what goes on in their own craft: Joana Collier talks about discovering the “strength of each shot” (Bernstein et al., 2022BERNSTEIN, Julia et al. Na Ilha: conversas sobre montagem cinematográfica. São Paulo: Paraquedas, 2022., p. 167). Jordana Berg, in listening to it: “Sometimes it [the raw material] says things that were not intended to be said, and sometimes it says things contrary to what the initial film or the director wanted” (Bernstein et al., 2022BERNSTEIN, Julia et al. Na Ilha: conversas sobre montagem cinematográfica. São Paulo: Paraquedas, 2022., p. 183).

At all times, complex compositions of modes of existence are available for us to face and, attentive to them, tell stories capable of valuing them in their implication in the making of a body. I call corporeality this ecology of existents involved in the materialization of a bodily unit, in its different dynamics of action, in favor of views of the body that are more responsible towards the myriad of participants, human and non-human, of greater or lesser permanence, that make up this “imminent collectivity” (Manning, 2010MANNING, Erin. Always more than one: the collectivity of a life. Body & Society, v. 16, n. 1, 2010., p. 118) that we call a body, and this, by the way, goes beyond cinema. Dance, for example.

Encantado is a spectacle by Brazilian choreographer Lia Rodrigues, who seems to take on the responsibility of paying attention to the arrangements involved in assembling a body in a different way. While Cao seems to work by telling stories based on fragments of the relationships between modes of existence, Lia makes the spectacle she directs the very place where bodies are made. She ensures the presence of certain existents - dancers, colored blankets, luminous phenomena, indigenous and Afro-Brazilian cosmogonies - so that, from them, it is possible to see the body montage itself in operation.

A dancer’s body with a black, bare back is joined by a dark blue blanket that covers him from the pelvic girdle to his legs. A light-colored turban covers the enchanted man’s head and neck, while his once-human eyes close and his mouth twists. A third blanket builds elongated arms that protrude in rigorous movements accompanied by leaps that characterize that being’s movement. After a while, two other superimposed human bodies assemble another enchanted body, a giant, whose underside shows orange flowers, which move at the creature’s slow pace. Face, head and a partially bluish back now present a being that moves its arms delicately from side to side.

If Cao’s concert chooses to observe the corporeal existence of chlorophyll emerging among existents that did not depend on the human hand to surface, Lia chooses to manipulate objects produced by human action to see emerge from them, in surplus, other beings that can no longer be reduced to their artificial components. There is a double insufficiency of humanistic centrality in relation to the body in these stories: in them, the human is not able to keep any full rights over corporalities in his hands, nor is he able to keep the vitality that emerges from the bodies in their appearance under control.

Cao and Lia seem to be saying: there is nothing natural about thinking of a body from a previously individualizing and humanistic matrix. Any perspective based on the prior individuality of the body, producing certain dynamics from it - whether thought of in terms of perception, consciousness or movement - would therefore need to be aware of the ecology of existents that it chooses to set aside, otherwise it could cause the disappearance of modes of existence that witness the ontologically situated character of any bodily unit9 9 Pode-se pensar, por exemplo, na importância de certa atenção aos modos so-máticos pelos quais nos aproximamos da unidade corporal. A esse respeito, por sinal, vale considerar as aproximações ecossomáticas (Bardet; Clavel; Ginot, 2018), interessadas nos processos interacionais entre consciência, funcionamento biológico e ambiente, mas a partir da “diversidade de modos relacionais que constituem os próprios seres” que parecem fundar “tanto os pensamentospráticas somáticas quanto os pensamentos-práticas ecológicas” (p. 10). Deixo tal discussão, no entanto, para outro momento, compreendendo que ela está distante do debate de interesse deste texto. .

The attention to the ontological plurality that acts in the materialization of the body has fundamental political effects. In their capacity to establish the “truth or falsity” (Latour, 2020LATOUR, Bruno. Investigação sobre os Modos de Existência: uma antropologia dos modernos. Rio de Janeiro: Vozes, 2020., p. 81) in the midst of which a body is emergent, modes of existence actively produce this “shaping process” that we call reality (bodily, in this case), as well as its more or less “open and contested” character” (Mol, 2008MOL, Annemarie. Política Ontológica: algumas idéias e várias perguntas. In.: NUNES, João Arriscado; ROQUE, Ricardo (Org.). Objectos Impuros: experiências em estudos sobre a ciência. Porto: Afrontamento, 2008. P. 63-76., p. 63).

To look at the multiplicity of existents, and to multiply the stories, is to re-establish the place of bodily unity through a space of respons-hability between the existents that produce the mesh that sustains them, far beyond an individualism of unity that can end up isolating it within its own limits. To tell more stories, and stories that are ontologically more abundant, is to keep the limits of what we call a body in constant contestation: if we are indeed composed, it is in the midst of the multitude of existents that we can problematize any body - including the one we have learned to call human.

Nasstasja Martin is a French anthropologist who has been called upon to deal with the radical force of the immense ecology of existents in the making of the human body. On August 26, 2015, a bear crossed her path in the mountains of Siberia, attacking her and marking her with injuries to her brain, face, jaw and hips, as the French newspapers reported that day10 10 A matéria intitulada “Une française attaquée par un ours en Sibérie” (“Uma francesa atacada por um urso na Sibéria”) foi publicada no jornal Le Point no dia seguinte ao ocorrido. Disponível em: https://www.lepoint.fr/monde/unefrancaise-attaquee-par-un-ours-en-siberie-26-08-2015-1959478_24.php. Acesso em: 11 jun. 2023. . More than that, however: it threw her into an unexpected ontological mesh, before which what she understood as her body was completely disfigured:

On August 25, 2015, the event is not: a bear attacks a French anthropologist somewhere in the mountains of Kamtchátka. The event is: a bear and a woman meet and the boundaries between their worlds implode (Martin, 2021MARTIN, Nastassja. Escute as Feras. São Paulo: Editora 34, 2021., p. 97).

It is necessary to deal with such an implosion, which is none other than that of an irremediable encounter between ecologies of such diverse existents. The explanation in terms of an anthropologist’s body meeting a bear’s body is once again insufficient, and Nasstasja knows it. The challenge she recounts is precisely that of dealing with the destabilization in which her own bodily materiality is at stake - it is necessary, as she says, “[...] to be able to survive despite what has been lost in the body of the other; to be able to live with what has been deposited in it” (Martin, 2021MARTIN, Nastassja. Escute as Feras. São Paulo: Editora 34, 2021., p. 8).

These are myriad of existences are deposited in what used to be Nasstasja’s body, in an almost unbearable intervention of otherness: medical procedures, nurses, psychological models, imagined predators, oneiric beings, cosmogonies that now give her the status of living between two worlds. Faced with them, you can no longer see your own body as anything other than this kind of unstable and multiple point of convergence:

My body has become a territory where Western surgeons dialog with Siberian bears. Or rather, they try to establish a dialog. The relationships that are woven within this small country that has become my body are fragile, delicate. It is a volcanic country, everything can change at any moment. Our job, hers, mine, and that of this indefinable thing that the bear has deposited at the bottom of my body consists, from now on, in ‘maintaining communication’ (Martin, 2021MARTIN, Nastassja. Escute as Feras. São Paulo: Editora 34, 2021., p. 55).

Maintaining communication between existences - taking care of corporeality - defines the very permanence of a body as such. With David Lapoujade (2022)LAPOUJADE, David. A Alteração dos Mundos: versões de Philip K. Dick. São Paulo: n-1, 2022., we can think of this task as dealing with the capacity to produce other worlds that every relationship between existences carries. In fact, he says, “limits always need guardians” (Lapoujade, 2022LAPOUJADE, David. A Alteração dos Mundos: versões de Philip K. Dick. São Paulo: n-1, 2022., p. 75) in order to remain as such; it is then in their trembling that the possibilities of establishing other ways of living lie. There is an ethical attitude, therefore, in revealing, to oneself and to the world, the liminalities that never cease to summon a body to be another, and another, and another.

Assembling a corporally situated research: what to do in the midst of so many concerts?

Nastassja Martin seems willing to help us think about what remains when a body she researches finds itself hopelessly immersed in other ecologies of existence. An anthropologist who follows the Even ethnic group, Nastassja is faced with worlds that keep colliding with the one in which her body participates: she is asked by an Even friend to forgive the bear; she now needs to recognize that she is a “miêdka” (Martin, 2021MARTIN, Nastassja. Escute as Feras. São Paulo: Editora 34, 2021., p. 23), a hybrid life that cannot be touched by the people with whom she is so closely related.

There is no other choice: the encounter with the bear floods the bodyanthropologist with existences hitherto unseen in the world she inhabited, and from then on, the compositions cannot be avoided. Then, they must be followed despite everything. Nastassja keeps a “nocturnal” notebook (Martin, 2021MARTIN, Nastassja. Escute as Feras. São Paulo: Editora 34, 2021., p. 27), which, unlike the detailed transcriptions and descriptions in her field diary, it carries, as she says, an “[...] automatic, immediate, pulsating, wild writing, which has no other vocation than to reveal what is passing through me, a state of body and soul at a given moment” (Martin, 2021MARTIN, Nastassja. Escute as Feras. São Paulo: Editora 34, 2021., p. 27). It is to it that she turns to look the implosion of worlds in the face and follow their ruins.

Nastassja follows the new compositions in order to “[...] disarm the animosity of the fragments of worlds between themselves and in themselves, to take into account only their future alchemy” (Martin, 2021MARTIN, Nastassja. Escute as Feras. São Paulo: Editora 34, 2021., p. 54). This is not far from Lapoujade’s (2022, p. 18) invitation to “go down into the depths of reality” of one world, among many others, in order to then “guess that new deliriums are already at work there”. In this thought, there is no separation between delirium and the force of creation and secretion of worlds that resists the objectivity of a single world.

In this ontological call to open up to unknown compositions, Nasstasja is also not far from another anthropologist, Jeanne Favret-Saada (2005)FAVRET-SAADA, Jeanne. Ser afetado. Cadernos de Campo, São Paulo, v. 13, p. 155-161, 2005., who, in her studies of the practices of the French Bocage region, comes across the ontological plurality of sorcery in its forces of affectation Exposed to hundreds of sessions to undo the sorcery, Favret-Saada has to occupy a position in the ecology of existences she encounters, participating in its meshes and actions. Immersed in the ontological thickness of the experience that takes her as a researcher, she sees the insufficiencies of her research multiply - that of the science itself that she carried in her propositions, of the communication and understanding of what was going on, of the operations of knowledge that have been so fragile for so long. However, like Nasstasja, Jeanne does not give up following the complications of the other worlds that collide with hers.

Following the complications can be another way of saying telling stories. In her attention to the lives of young black Americans, Saidiya Hartman (2022HARTMAN, Saidiya. Vidas rebeldes, belos experimentos: histórias íntimas de meninas negras desordeiras, mulheres encrenqueiras e queers radicais. São Paulo: Editora Fósforo, 2022., p. 12) draws on the political importance of multiplying this exercise of “counter-narrative”, as she defines it:

[...] I strained the limits of records and documents, speculated about what might have been, imagined things whispered in dark rooms and amplified moments of confinement, escape and possibility, moments when the vision and the dreams of rebellion seemed possible (Hartman, 2022HARTMAN, Saidiya. Vidas rebeldes, belos experimentos: histórias íntimas de meninas negras desordeiras, mulheres encrenqueiras e queers radicais. São Paulo: Editora Fósforo, 2022., p. 13).

To tension. To speculate. To imagine. To enlarge. I believe that multiplying stories of the materialization of bodies in research is a way of approaching another rebellion: the one inherent in each body, given the ecology of existents that inhabits it and which, so often, is erased by gazes that stubbornly situate it, as an individual entity, in an overly generalizing framework of models, statistical series or organic systems.

There are perhaps other research ethics to explore, more situated ones, through which we can pose problems that are sufficiently thick in terms of attention to the ontological plurality that participates in the individuation of a body in its materiality, while being respectful of the multiplicity of existents that participate in its montage. Cao Guimarães’ cinema is full of this ontologically respectful position. As he himself says in one of his interviews, his films are interested in the “things that remain adrift”, in the “limbo of attention” (Conversas..., 2023CONVERSAS de cinema com Cao Guimarães. Locução: Fábio Rogério. Entrevistado: Cao Guimarães. [S.l.]: Conversas de Cinema, 8 maio 2023. Podcast. Disponível em: https://open.spotify.com/episode/1ghbjwQkkxajJKg7G9SdL4. Acesso em: 9 jun. 2023.
https://open.spotify.com/episode/1ghbjwQ...
, n.p.); it is to them that he dedicates the other temporality that emerges from the companies he generates in the images his cameras capture. Existences adrift, I prefer to specify here: foam from the waves of the sea, walkers, children’s toys.

In the stories of concertation of a chlorophilic body told by Cao, there are two somewhat exotic lines of existence; two paths that seem to go beyond the various compositions between waters, lights, vegetation and climatic phenomena that multiply in different points of view in the work. One of them denounces the passage of a being that is no longer there: a thread of web between leaves, an Arachnian trail so well told by Deligny (2018DELIGNY, Fernand. O Aracniano e Outros Textos. São Paulo: n-1, 2018., p. 19) as one that does not depend on projects or desires, but is a way of acting for the species that keeps tracing in its “attraction to the vague”, to the “wandering”. Solitary, minimal, it seems to remind us that we are dealing here with a multitude of existences that began composing worlds long before us, that owe nothing to our anthropocentric desires and that are left with the possibility of continuing to tell their stories.

The other path, even more eccentric, seems to announce something. In the midst of so many existences that support this chlorophylic story, the camera’s gaze rises from the ground to the sky, from the presumed humus of the falling leaf to the airplane that traces the sky in the midst of a still unfinished journey. With its carbon emissions and high technology, with the hundreds of passengers it carries or even with the baggage of a certain modernity that it symbolizes, the ship is perhaps inviting us to tell many more of these stories of a body-chlorophyll, perhaps not so hopeful, perhaps bothered by our presence, but still open. An invitation to continue complicating these stories in favor of the possibility of other worlds and other bodies.

Availability of research data:

the dataset supporting the results of this study is published in this article.

  • This original paper, translated by Thuila Farias Ferreira, is also published in Portuguese in this issue of the journal.

Notes

  • 1
    This text was developed as part of the research project “(Des)montagens de um corpo: cartografando modos de existência em comunidades de educação somática” [(Un)assembling a body: mapping modes of existence in somatic education communities], funded by the Programa Jovem Cientista do Nosso Estado, by FAPERJ (Proc.: E-26/200.294/2023).
  • 2
    This text is written between stories and histories. I choose to use both differ-ently in order to demarcate a distinction that the generalization of the term history has effectively erased. Thus, in order to remain attentive to dictionary definitions, I want to treat histories as narratives assumed as factual or listed in official historiographies. I reserve the term story, on the other hand, for productions that assume their fabulative character and affirmatively carry the fundamental openness that the creative operation assumes in its mixture with elements considered factual.
  • 3
    “A jihadi on a charm offensive” is the title of the first chapter of The Global Jigsaw, a political podcast broadcasted by BBC. Available at: https://open.spotify.com/episode/24jE5RPPgeK8Gujyu5itqB.
  • 4
    One of the texts that comes closest to a paradoxical condition that anybody carries is by Jose Gil, but which becomes especially visible in some cases. Gil (2001GIL, José. Movimento Total: o corpo e a dança. Lisboa: Relógio d’Água, 2001., p. 59) considers this condition based on the space of the body which, in his words, “results from a kind of secretion or reversal [...] of the interior space of the body towards the exterior”. From this emerges a texture and scope of its own, which does not obey Euclidean space in its ability to act. Gil talks about the dancer and his occupation of the entire stage space before he is even there. Around here, I take the all-encompassing presence of an objectively invisible body-chlorophyll that emerges in Cao Guimarães, as will be seen next.
  • 5
    Judith Butler (2018)BUTLER, Judith. Corpos em Aliança e a Política das Ruas. Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 2018. sought to analyze it from the point of view of human re-lations involving gender. In this text, I try to briefly raise the question of these alliances through which a body exists in other terms, through a certain operation of the notion of montage, as will be seen.
  • 6
    Deleuze and Guattari (1995)DELEUZE, Gilles; GUATTARI, Félix. Mil Platôs: capitalismo e esquizofrenia, vol. 1. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. 34, 1995. see longitude as the kinetic coordinates of a body, given by the rhythm that circumscribes it for a certain period. It is important here to understand the ways in which these coordinates are constituted, by looking at the multiplicity of existents that participate in them.
  • 7
    A fundamental analytical effort seems to be precisely that of exploring the dynamics between modes of existence in the making of a body, among which are the movements of this dynamic of concertation that interest me in this article.
  • 8
    Visible, for example, in the multispecies stories of Donna Haraway (2023)HARAWAY, Donna. Ficar com o Problema: fazer parentes no Chthuluceno. São Paulo: n-1, 2023. or Anna Tsing (2019)TSING, Anna. Viver nas Ruínas: paisagens multiespécies nos Antropoceno. Brasília: IEB Mil Folhas, 2019.. The dialogue with these authors has led me to deal with such a plurality of existents, even though discussions based on Souriau make me think much more in terms of modes of existence - that is, the capacity for permanence of modes of action - than of species. Furthermore, my current gaze is mainly focused on this entanglement involved in the materialization of the bodily unit, while the gaze of these authors focuses, in general, on much broader compositions.
  • 9
    One can think, for example, of the importance of paying a certain attention to the somatic ways in which we approach bodily unity. In this regard, by the way, it is worth considering the ecosomatic approaches (Bardet; Clavel; Ginot, 2018BARDET, Marie; CLAVEL, Joanne; GINOT, Isabelle. Écosomatiques: penser l’écologie depuis le geste. Montpellier: Deuxième Époque, 2018.) interested in the interactional processes between consciousness, biological functioning and the environment, but from the “diversity of relational modes that constitute beings themselves” that seem to underpin “both somatic thought-practices and ecological thoughtpractices” (p. 10). However, I will leave this discussion for another time, as it is far from the debate of interest in this text.
  • 10
    The article entitled “Une française attaquée par un ours en Sibérie” (“A French woman attacked by a bear in Siberia”) was published in the newspaper Le Point the day after the incident. Available at: https://www.lepoint.fr/monde/une-francaiseattaquee-par-un-ours-en-siberie-26-08-2015-1959478_24.php. Accessed on: June 11, 2023.

Referências

  • BARAD, Karen. Performatividade Pós-Humanista: para entender como a matéria chega à matéria. Vazantes, v. 1, n. 1, 2017.
  • BARDET, Marie; CLAVEL, Joanne; GINOT, Isabelle. Écosomatiques: penser l’écologie depuis le geste. Montpellier: Deuxième Époque, 2018.
  • BERNSTEIN, Julia et al. Na Ilha: conversas sobre montagem cinematográfica. São Paulo: Paraquedas, 2022.
  • BUTLER, Judith. Corpos em Aliança e a Política das Ruas Rio de Janeiro: Civilização Brasileira, 2018.
  • CONCERTO para clorofila. Direção: Cao Guimarães. Minas Gerais: Centro de Arte Contemporânea de Inhotim, 2004. 7 min.
  • CONVERSAS de cinema com Cao Guimarães. Locução: Fábio Rogério. Entrevistado: Cao Guimarães. [S.l.]: Conversas de Cinema, 8 maio 2023. Podcast Disponível em: https://open.spotify.com/episode/1ghbjwQkkxajJKg7G9SdL4 Acesso em: 9 jun. 2023.
    » https://open.spotify.com/episode/1ghbjwQkkxajJKg7G9SdL4
  • DELEUZE, Gilles; GUATTARI, Félix. Mil Platôs: capitalismo e esquizofrenia, vol. 1. Rio de Janeiro: Ed. 34, 1995.
  • DELIGNY, Fernand. O Aracniano e Outros Textos São Paulo: n-1, 2018.
  • DIDI-HUBERMAN, Georges. Povo em Lágrimas, Povo em Armas São Paulo: n-1, 2021.
  • FAVRET-SAADA, Jeanne. Ser afetado. Cadernos de Campo, São Paulo, v. 13, p. 155-161, 2005.
  • GIL, José. Movimento Total: o corpo e a dança. Lisboa: Relógio d’Água, 2001.
  • HARAWAY, Donna. Ficar com o Problema: fazer parentes no Chthuluceno. São Paulo: n-1, 2023.
  • HARTMAN, Saidiya. Vidas rebeldes, belos experimentos: histórias íntimas de meninas negras desordeiras, mulheres encrenqueiras e queers radicais. São Paulo: Editora Fósforo, 2022.
  • INGOLD, Tim. Fazer: antropologia, arqueologia, arte e arquitetura. Rio de Janeiro: Vozes, 2022.
  • LAPOUJADE, David. A Alteração dos Mundos: versões de Philip K. Dick. São Paulo: n-1, 2022.
  • LATOUR, Bruno. Investigação sobre os Modos de Existência: uma antropologia dos modernos. Rio de Janeiro: Vozes, 2020.
  • LINS, Consuelo. Tempo e Dispositivo nos Filmes de Cao Guimarães 2012. Disponível em: https://www.caoguimaraes.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/tempo-e-dispositivos-nos-filmes-de-cao-guimaraes.pdf Acesso em: 5 jun. 2023.
    » https://www.caoguimaraes.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/tempo-e-dispositivos-nos-filmes-de-cao-guimaraes.pdf
  • MANNING, Erin. Always more than one: the collectivity of a life. Body & Society, v. 16, n. 1, 2010.
  • MARTIN, Nastassja. Escute as Feras São Paulo: Editora 34, 2021.
  • MOL, Annemarie. Política Ontológica: algumas idéias e várias perguntas. In.: NUNES, João Arriscado; ROQUE, Ricardo (Org.). Objectos Impuros: experiências em estudos sobre a ciência. Porto: Afrontamento, 2008. P. 63-76.
  • RAVEN, Peter; EVERT, Ray; EICHHORN, Susan. Biologia Vegetal Rio de Janeiro: Guanabara Koogan, 1996.
  • SOURIAU, Étienne. Diferentes Modos de Existência São Paulo: n-1, 2020.
  • TSING, Anna. Viver nas Ruínas: paisagens multiespécies nos Antropoceno. Brasília: IEB Mil Folhas, 2019.
  • VIEIRA, Ernesto. Diccionário Musical Lisboa: 1899.

Edited by

Editor in charge: Fabiana de Amorim Marcello

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    08 Dec 2023
  • Date of issue
    2024

History

  • Received
    15 July 2023
  • Accepted
    03 Aug 2023
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul Av. Paulo Gama s/n prédio 12201, sala 700-2, Bairro Farroupilha, Código Postal: 90046-900, Telefone: 5133084142 - Porto Alegre - RS - Brazil
E-mail: rev.presenca@gmail.com