Framed by Curtains

1999, 11:19 min, color, sound

Santos bases his self-described "video letter from Hong Kong" on the ambiguity of the word "frame." He refers to the picture or camera frame, as well as to the variable frame rate of digitally manipulated video, and, finally, to the act of framing as a process by which one names, describes, and in some sense colonizes, the object of perception. Images of transit — commuters, buses, boats, subways — stop and start, run backward, and flutter across the screen, yielding brief glimpses of a face or a gesture, as if they are being scanned for meaning. Indeed, by directly addressing the viewer through flashes of text ("Have you ever been framed?"), Santos suggests the colonial history that haunts everyday life in modern Hong Kong.

Created and Directed by Éder Santos. Music: Paulo Santos, Josefina Cerqueira. Piano Music: Frederic Conan. Sound Mix: Alexandre Martins. Sound track recorded at REC Studio. Assistants: Pedro Vilela, Andre Amparo. Graphics: Pedro Vilela.