Morel's Yellow Pages

Filipa César

2012 | 00:11:05 | Germany / Israel | German | Color | Stereo | 16:9 | 16mm film

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: History, Literature, Memory, Politics

Morel's Yellow Pages focuses on secretive and destructive actions and image making. The title references The Invention of Morel (1940), Adolfo Bioy Casares’s science fiction novel, which informs the work. The artist brings together her research into the use of Baltra Island as an air base for the US army during World War II, and aerial surveillance photographs of the islands, using film footage, documents, and factual information collected during her trip to the Galápagos. Morel's Yellow Pages interweaves fact and fiction, covert and imagined activities. The extract from the novel below accompanies the film and is meant to act as a takeaway at each screening.

You all know how we discovered this island.
Three factors recommended it to me:
1) the tides,
2) the reefs,
3) the light.
The regularity of the lunar tides
and the frequency of the meteorological tides
assure an almost constant supply of motive power.
The reefs are a vast system to wall out trespassers.
The light is clear but not dazzling
and makes it possible to preserve the images
with little or no waste.
I confess that after I discovered
the outstanding virtues,
I did not hesitate for an instant to invest my fortune
in the purchase of the island
and in the construction of the museum,
the church, the pool.
I rented the cargo ship,
which you all call the “yacht”,
so our voyage would be more comfortable.
The word museum,
which I use to designate this house,
is a survival of the time
when I was working on plans for my invention,
without knowing how it would eventually turn out.
At that time I thought
I would build large albums or museums,
both public and private,
filled with these images.
Now the time has come to make my announcement:
This island, and its buildings,
is our private paradise.
I have taken some precautions
— physical and moral ones — for its defense.
I believe they will protect it adequately.
Even if we left tomorrow,
we would be here eternally,
repeating consecutively the moments of this week,
powerless to escape from the consciousness
we had in each one of them
— the thoughts and feelings
that the machine captured.
We will be able to live a life
that is always new,
because in each moment of the projection
we shall have no memories
other than those we had
in the corresponding moment
of the eternal record,
and because the future,
left behind many times,
will maintain its attributes forever.

— Excerpt from La Invención de Morel, Adolfo Bioy Casares, 1940

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