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Le Grand Voyage

Installation with ceramic train, metallic structure and projection

Variable dimensions


In Le Grand Voyage (The Long Voyage, and then, The Cattle Truck, 1963), Jorge Semprún narrates the journey he made, piled up with more than a hundred prisoners in a freight car, from Compiègne to the Buchenwald concentration camp, one of the largest camps from Nazi Germany.

In this novel, as in all the others, Semprún uses a very Proustian literary method that consists in deconstructing the narrative and colliding distant events in space and time according to the logic of random memory.

This highly complex procedure is based on the narrator's successive and subtle metamorphoses at the same time as a collage game of different levels of narration that we could gather together schematically according to three categories, namely: the time of writing, the time of memories and the time of involuntary memory.

This idea of ​​collage, superposition, fragmentation, deconstruction, disintegration, characteristic of the artistic avant-gardes of the beginning of last century, is the essence of modern literature and, of course, of cinema. Insofar as cinema mixes text and image, it is perhaps the medium that has reached the greatest complexity in terms of the overlapping of scattered elements and therefore the multiplication of combinations and meanings.

With the work "Le Grand Voyage" (in process), like others previously, I assume and vindicate this legacy. Like the literary device of Semprún or Proust, I wanted to superimpose at least three different configurations: the historical reference to the Holocaust, the anchoring of the work in the present time with current issues such as the conditions of animal transportation and the traffic of human beings, and a more unconscious voice halfway between childhood and fantasy.

Here is the story:

Once upon a time there was a small toy train transporting hundreds of eggs to the supermarket. Due to the poor transport conditions, the eggs began to hatch and the wagons filled with chicks. The perfidious driver then remembered how he had gotten a good deal long ago by sending hundreds of children to the Island of Games (Pinocchio) and changed his plans. And it is with that inexorable logic that the unsuspecting chicks crossed a strange portal that said "Work sets you free".

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