Online Screening VI: La Ciénaga by Lucrecia Martel, selected and presented by Nadja Abt
November 17–18, 2020
The artist and author Nadja Abt presents Lucrecia Martel’s La Ciénaga – The Swamp from 2001, which is the prelude to Martel’s cinematic Salta trilogy (followed by La niña santa – The Holy Girl in 2004 and La mujer sin cabeza – The Woman without Head in 2008). Two related Argentinean middle-class families spend the summer in the province of Salta, on the borders of Bolivia, Chile, and Paraguay. In the seemingly unbearable heat we observe phlegmatic, permanently drunk adults and their children in relation to their indigenous household workers. The images vary between subliminal, partly incestuous eroticism and physical and verbal aggression. They describe a racist class society that is still very much in place far beyond Argentina, even 19 years after the film was made.