Memoria Vista: Film and Video by Javiera Ovalle and Malena Szlam
Javiera Ovalle and Malena Szlam are Chilean artists living and working in Montreal. In their respective bodies of work, each uses film and video to revisit intimately lived moments and past interactions with public spaces. Exploring moving images’ power to convey memory, both document and distort landscapes that traverse continents.
Embedded in their work is an attempt to connect with urban spaces that span a non-linear spectrum between the familiar and the unfamiliar. Whether they are recording in Santiago or Valparaíso in an area in which they moved for years, or in newer environments abroad in Canada or Europe, both artists visualize enigmatic aspects of their interactions with landscapes. While Ovalle deals with the separations and mergers in which language shapes social behavior, Szlam approaches the presence and absence of pictures in our rapidly mutating visual culture. A persistent sense of constructing and deconstructing memory and the images that form around it is counterbalanced by the candid need to connect – to articulate (visually) the inarticulable when moving through different cultures, spaces, families and frames.