Born Eindhoven (NL), 1985
As Things Go (film still), 2016
Terra Incognita (film still), 2018
In the film The restless dread of some(thing) evil by Silvia Martes, we enter a dystopian world in which all human beings have a body part removed based on a conviction that such amputations will enable them to extend their lifespan. Most undergo removal of the tongue, so that they will no longer waste energy by speaking. At a facility that specialises in these operations appears for the first time a woman who wants to get rid of her heart. Holding the time-honoured view of the heart as the seat of emotions, she hopes to achieve a state of rational imperturbability. The philosophical mind-body problem is hereby exposed through a discussion of monism and Cartesian dualism. The lack of expression of the other actors, in combination with the clinical pastel decor, forms a pointed contrast with the largely unspoken restlessness of the protagonist. The films of Martes, who is a complete film crew unto herself, do not usually originate from a set script. Through literary research, autobiographical stories, and interactions with actresses and locations, a narrative gradually unfolds. This capricious way of working deliberately remains visible in the completed films. Through photographs, voice-overs, and rapid cuts, we are reminded that a story always contains references to other stories, most of which remain unarticulated and untold.