The Sides of a Turtle

Video, color, stereo sound, 11′ 17”, 2021.

The Sides of a Turtle relates to body and language according to a free interpretation of Herman Melville’s essay « Two Sides of a Tortoise ». Written during his trip to the Galapagos Islands, Melville describes his encounter with the giant tortoises, emphasizing the ruthless nature of the island and its creatures. Observing the figure of the tortoise, its imposing physique, and its relationship with time and speed, he also qualifies them from a certain moral condition, obstinacy. This video echoes these observations, putting on stage a yoga practitioner who incessantly executes “kurmasana” (Sanskrit), or “turtle posture”. At the same time, we hear an adaptation of Melville’s essay in a voice-over that overlaps, fades, and also detaches from the image. The human body in movement that in its obstinate practice aspires to become animal, landscape, and human again.