Cariño Brutal • Liv Vinluan

Jul 3 to Jul 25, 2015 • Video Room

Cariño Brutal is a long synchronic picture. It is about the struggle to justify and illuminate the darkest and most brutal means.

Our eyes trail the picture from left to right, and right to left, and we walk around it stopping every once in a while, as if we were a locomotive stopping at stations, taking in new passengers, very much like how we take in new characters along the length of this piece. Its narrative unfolds as we go, and every island and its occupant each have a story to tell. What about that woman, on a free fall unto the earth? In mere seconds her half-naked plummet will be concluded in the jowls of a pair of crocodiles. Out of the frying pan, and into the fire she went.

And what of that stagnant pool and the bathing lovers? Let’s not forget the friar and his façade of corpulent incredulity, the brown habit on his back is betrayed by his telescopic curiosity. He peers through his telescope as if peering at celestial bodies, Whatever he discovered from his poolside voyeurism, we will never know…

As the land beneath them rolls, we pass through the densest of canopies and emerge to a clearing. Water eventually laps upon the banks, and all that turquoise stretches until it all finally culminates—rather anti-climactically—to a diminutive trickling waterfall. Above it, bulbous and swollen is she. She who, carrying life in her belly, floats like a buoy in a shallow stagnant pool. We catch her moments before the blue water envelops her and claims her whole.

In the middle of this spectacle the Archangel is waging his own battle, swathed in the angriest of crimsons and reds, vanquishing a rubicund Lucifer. More than a battle of good and evil, their story reminds me that even the mightiest of angels love, and also all at once, become brutal.