Ice Crean - Phaidon Press 2007 p. 232-235 (06/12/2007)
"Marcellvs L." - Author: Lisette Lagnado
Marcellvs L’s method is 'to dilate time'. The expression refers directly to the philosophical universe of Henri Bergson, whose important reflections on duration and intuition have frequently served as a basis for approaching the cinematic moving image. Like Cao Guimarães (see page 128-131), Marcellvs L’s videos usually feature a solitary person who walks: on the road, in water or going nowhere on a gym treadmill. In his works Marcellvs L imposes a slowness to the scene. This focus on duration is a response against what Guy Deboard termed the 'society of the spectacle'.
Conscious of our alienation in a society where we are regularly bombarded by imagery, Marcellvs L. offers a rare antidote. He produces work that expands our senses towards new perceptions through emphasizing the body. His works maintain an undecipherable enunciation that requires patience, waiting and an awareness of clues. Absract still images appear at first to be isolated from any reality, but the effort of remaining involved is vigorously rewarded. Very different from the Beckettian absurd form of Marcellvs strategy consists in delaying the delivery of pleasure and comprehension. When his works reach their conclusion, they invoke the Kantian sense of the sublime.
Marcellvs L is interested in the act of preparing a delay - 'time that doesn't go by', in the psychoanalytical sense. He constructs a place of reverie and escape. With the diaphragm of his camera either nearly closed,
or wide open - suggesting claustrophobia or agoraphobia - he allows only a detail of the detail to be seen. This minimal information fills the screen and becomes maximal, although it also maximises our perplexity. Having lost any reference to an overall totality that might revert to representation, our gaze is overcome by a sort of haunting. The viewer’s mind is projected towards infinity and fails to find any point to hold on to. The only fixed thing, the camera records the world as it spins. This radical vertigo plunges us into an abyss. It is a controlled descent, nevertheless. The smoke-like sensation momentarily blinds us. Little by little, very gradually, each of Marcellvs L’s films reveals clarity. The appearnace of this clarity emerges in such scenes as an encounter with a horse in the street in front of a health club. It appears to be faked by the artist, yet these are real encounters.
With this sort of shift in reading the work to a reduced narrative, Guimarães, no longer serves as model for Marcellvs L. While Guimarães dominates the narrative voice, Marcellvs L seeks to structure the slow passage from unconsciousness to reality like the resistance against awakening in order not to lose a dream. Both artists live in the mountainous region of Belo Horizonte, and each brings to the city the freshness of a new form of moving imagery.