Mabel Palacín

(Barcelona, 1965)

6 segundos, 2005

Video - Photographs & publication.
Various dimensions and different mediums

6” is a film made to be a book. Its title refers to the duration of tha famous film Zapruder, Abraham Zapruder’s 8 mm. movie, shot in Dallas on November 22, 1963, when President J. F. Kennedy was shot in the head. The film was used as a clock to establish chronology of events between the first and the third shot. There is another aspect that Mabel Palacín is interested in: Zapruder’s film opens the period of time in which amateur images and professional images cohabit the same space, opening a new perspective, which can be related to the point of view in its widest sense. Images, shot by the press and the TV crews but also by anonymous citizens attending the event, were used as photographic evidence and allowed to reconstruct a full panorama of the place some minutes before, and up to 19 minutes after, the tragic event. To this end, all images were deemed equal, regardless of their professional or amateur origin. And yet, the incorporation of myriad points of view did nothing other than pile up questions about the fact, turned obscure and unsolvable by the images. In 6“ the images are forced to adopt the logic of a book. Each page is taken by a photogram. A book, like a 6'' film. 144 photograms are required to shoot a six seconds film, according to the cinematic standard of 24 photograms per second. In 6“ 144 different people coincide in a single action: throwing a stone. The photograms combine, one per page, joining different times and people in a single, indivisible action; the sum of the collective effort makes it possible. Each photogram depicts a different person carrying out the action, and thus, all are one. The important thing is to determine a single motion: the people change, but the continuity of the action is maintained. Therefore, the action is carried out by over one hundred people through a single movement, a small gesture that reaches the epic proportions of a collective gesture. The artist was interested in the tension between the still photogram and movement, the ability to break the narrative and the image’s ability to resist the narrative by offering several alternative paths.

Installation view of "6 segundos", 2005. Color photographs 120 x 210 cm and publication. Various dimensions. Mabel Palacín. Le Choix du spectateur, ESBAMA. Montpellier, 2014.Photo: Luc Jennepin

6", 2008. Color photography. 120 x 210

6", 2005. Publication of the project.

6", 2005. Publication of the project.