Natalie (2004) Video/Music 3.20 min

(1 min SD preview)

Music has the ability to evoke emotions in the listener, as if the melodies were fingers stroking invisible strings inside the body, generating emotional vibrations that reverberate inside it.  Music can take one away to an imaginary place where emotions can be enjoyed in a safe form, where one can take pleasure in being melancholic and sad because one can control and contain the scale of it, as opposed to the real trauma of emotions from the outer world. Films are another form of an imaginary space where one can indulge in fantasy and live vicariously through the protagonist of the story. The psychologist Hugo Münsterberg (1863-1916) was one of the first to write about film at the emergence of the new technological phenomenon. In the very first book written on film theory, The photoplay: A psychological study (1916) Münsterberg wrote: “we come nearer to the understanding of its [film’s] true positions in the esthetic world, if we think at the same time of … the art of the musical tones. They have overcome the outer world and social world entirely, they unfold our inner life, our mental play, with its feelings and emotions, its memories and fancies, in a material which seems exempt from the laws of the world of substance and material, tones which are fluttering and fleeting like our mental states.”1 The immateriality of video and music is well suited to “materialize” internal experiences. I use the visual language from my dreams; I stylize my perceptions and experiences, employing the language of video and music to appeal to the viewer’s senses. I create an inner or mental space where a character is inserted, portraying a state of mind through performance of gestures or movement. I rarely use dialog or written language as I find that it narrows down the possible reading of my work. My work is suggestive and I deliberately leave open ends that can be interpreted by the viewer, so he can apply his own imagination to the work as my aim is always towards evoking an emotional experience within the viewer.

1 Münsterberg. The photoplay: A psychological study, p. 168-9
from: Cohen. “Music as a source of emotion in film”, p. 252

stills from Natalie

© Dodda Maggı