El Diablo en la Piel (Devil in the Flesh)

Ximena Cuevas

1998 | 00:05:07 | Mexico | None | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | Video

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Latino/Chicano

"The palms of Lana Turner's hands were full of scars; the technique she used in order to achieve melodrama was to tighten her fists, digging her fingernails into them until she began to cry. Day after day, soap opera actresses smear Vick's Vaporub into their eyes in order to cry. The effect of these false tears are the tears of the public. In Devil in the Flesh we see the camera's tricks, and even so the action seems dramatic. This piece once again exemplifies my fascination with the artificial: the fabricated emotions; the Christian looking for pain in order to live out Passion; the discomfort of the everyday melodrama; the emptiness that defeats everything. So, as in all my work, I am obsessed with lying's various disguises. It doesn't interest me to watch that which is not hidden. Formally, my camera documents—looking directly without shame. The possibility of the narrative levels intrigues me in the montage. My camera work is cinema verite, and my montage work cinema mentira. My intent is an emotionally borderless language.

In Devil in the Flesh, I look at myself in the mirror, but through the desolate hole of a mask, the circle is broken by the sharp biting angle of a telephone that keeps ringing. I take up the spoon again. There is no form of escape from everyday boredom. Every grammatical punctuation constitutes a search for a break in reality or an intensified state."

—Ximena Cuevas, 1999

This title is also available on Ximena Cuevas: Dormimundo Vol. 1 (Sleepworld Vol. 1), Ximena Cuevas: El Mundo del Silencio (The Silent World), and Half-Lies: The Videoworks of Ximena Cuevas.

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Exhibitions + Festivals

School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Conversations at the Edge, Chicago, IL, 2013

Light Industry, Touch Touch Touch Touch Feel, 2009

Mediacity (Canada), 2000

Images Festival of Independant Film and Video (Canada), 2003