Silvia Martes

Born Eindhoven (NL), 1985

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.
As Things Go (film still), 2016 As Things Go (film still), 2016 Terra Incognita (film still), 2018 Terra Incognita (film still), 2018