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La Leccion Inglesa 2000

La Leccion Inglesa was made during an Autumn visit to Berdun, a hill top village in the Aragon region of Northern Spain. The piece is a journey through the streets of small, near deserted villages which run along the valleys leading to the Pyrenees mountains. The camera rests on the smallest of domestic details, from rusting letter boxes to collapsing wooden doors. Decay and the hand of nature is seen everywhere.

These weathered, familiar objects prompt a mesmeric incantation by local village children. Their ritualised naming (recorded during an English lesson at school) forms the basis of a brooding soundtrack. Spoken words are time stretched over a slow heartbeat like pulse, teasing out the lyricism of the speech. As the piece develops, ordinary objects take on a dark and unfamiliar power. The fragmented glimpses of children's faces seem to speak to us from a distant place we can never visit. Their language becomes that of cyphers and the landscapes of dreams.

Screened at the World Wide Video Festival, Amsterdam, Norwich Art Centre and in Berdun.

Available as part of the Video Art 1998-2003 compilation.