Gradiva by Raymonde Carasco on Ubuweb

Gradiva Sketch I carascolarge (1978)

Ubuweb indexed Gradiva (26 min.) Raymonde Carasco’s film is finally available to the world at large.

Step by step, delusions escape us like a snake between two stones. The solemn, ritualized repetition of a maiden’s foot stepping on ancient stones has been described as a synecdoche, a trope by which the part represents the whole. The whole in this case is W. Jensen’s novel Gradiva, immortalized by Freud, Bréton and many later French intellectuals like Jean Rouch or Derrida. It is a story about a archeologist who is entranced by the of figure an ancient bas-relief depicting the walk of a young woman from Pompei. Shot with the assistance of Bruno Nuytten (known for his work with Duras), Carasco’s Gradiva is a poetic construction about the fetishization of desire, one that seems to go against Freud’s reading: the gracious movement of the maiden’s foot is seen to be the object itself, not a mere referent, of male desire. ..-Eye of Sound (Read more Ubuweb)

Raymonde Carasco carasco3
In Memoriam: Raymonde Carasco 1933-2009 – Master of the Ethnographic Poem (Nicole Brenez)

How can cinema reach the poetic truth of phenomena, how should the sensual description of appearances and particularities be converted into such a ‘magnetic song’?
We must thus go back to the very origin of Carasco’s quest. She did not set out for Mexico in the late 1970s in order to rape and pillage the imaginary of the Tarahumaras, but rather to follow the traces of Antonin Artaud, to empirically verify the encounter between a sacred text of modernity and its reality. With the result that her research does not comprise a classical type of investigation (to hide, discover, expose), but an alliance of the senses: to enjoy the privilege of being there, to accept that that she will never see everything, to acquiesce in the gradual revelation of only a few traces, to grasp some movements, some signs that testify to the beauty of friendship, before pretending to understand anything – to share not the secret but the cult of the secret, the cult of mystery and trance.

Image by Carasco carasco2

Tutuguri – Tarahumaras 79 2SpectTutu-1
Raymonde Carasco and Régis Hebraud

Tutuguri – Tarahumaras 79 ciguri
Ciguri 99 – Le dernier Chaman
Raymonde Carasco, France, 1999, 16mm, VO fr / OV fr, 65′

The words of the last of the Tarahumara shamans alternate with Artaud’s texts about Ciguri, the higher plane of consciousness they access through peyote rituals.