El bosque encarnado, 2015, 07'25'', HD. Best viewed with headphones (created for the purpose of exhibition). 

A film by David Cass and Gonzaga Gómez-Cortázar Romero


Literally translated, Encarnado (flesh-red) suggests incarnation, impregnation, or indeed the personification of a place, an object. El bosque: the forest (the Sierra Maria-Los Vélez Natural Park), its sometimes-hazardous Aleppo Pines, covering most hillsides for miles around. Mostly planted by man, they’re thought to absorb precious subterranean water.

Struck by lightning, this patch of forest burned into a surreal vision, extinguished and exaggerated further by vivid artificially red fire-retardant. Man-made substances, poured over ‘natural’. Cass and Gómez-Cortázar are artists who scrutinize, who document traces. Much of their work is about recognition, about disappearance, about familiarity and indeed the loss of familiarity: this patch of forested hillside they both know well, rendered unrecognisable, alien. The film is one of contrasts, both aesthetically and conceptually: of a sinister painterly beauty, of tragedy, and indeed a homage to heroic action (in the case of the fire-fighters).


Art Speaks Out!, IkonoTV, ArtCOP21 festival, 5th December 2015