35th Bienal de São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec 2023
Free Admission
35th Bienal de
São Paulo
6 Set to 10 Dec
Track 14

Niño de Elche

We come to Auto sacramental invisible: A sound performance based on Val del Omar. This work by Niño de Elche is an immersive light and sound installation. As the title suggests, it is an auto sacramental, in other words, an allegorical theatrical work from the Middle Ages, based on moral and theological issues. And who was Val del Omar? He was a Spanish filmmaker who had an integrative concept of cinema, where the subject could move beyond the confines of the screen.

The invisible Auto sacramental is a space surrounded by a decorative black curtain with gray ornaments. The floor is made of wood, like the old theater stages. The room is rectangular with rounded corners and there is only one entrance for the public. In one corner there are two rows of four armchairs each, as if they were a small audience in front of the empty space.

Above this empty space, suspended almost 4 meters off the ground, is an installation formed from a structure of interconnected metal bars. From this structure hang 15 round white lamps of different heights. A loudspeaker is attached to the bottom of each bulb. These speakers loop 17 different sound tracks. With each sound track, the lighting composition in the room changes.

According to José Antonio Sánchez, in the text written for the Bienal catalog, “the theatrical collectivity disappears from the stage, but manifests itself in the multitude of voices that make up the palimpsest of the script and in the multitude of eyes and hands that have intervened over the years to make this installation possible. The theatrical is also realized in the invitation to the spectator to participate in this other, non-spectacular choreography: the one composed with the movements in active listening to a spaced-out sound, always fleeting, like the lamps and images that contribute to invisibility.”