Pako Quijada - Xv

3:00, 2013, Experimental
Is possession real or rather a hidden means of catharsis? The protagonist in this video seems to be haunted by an outer force that in the end possesses him. But is it the devil that takes over the body, or is it a state of paranoia that blinds the senses? The cacophony, the hyperactive editing and flashing images pull the observer into the mind of the character in the film, blinded by a sensory overload. Anxiety and doubt break free.
DirectorPako QuijadaProducerPako Quijada

CountryUnited KingdomEdition2013 ScreeningsChaos Control exhibition - June 2013 (London, UK)
International Fer Film Festival - October 2013 (Ferizaj, Republic of Kosovo)

< overview


Who is Pako Quijada?
I am a multidisciplinary visual artist that works mainly in the fields of photography and video.

What is XV about?
XV works with the iconography of the devil. At first, it was meant to have more obvious religious connotations but the project evolved into a more abstract concept. The idea behind it was to give not only a sense of anxiety and claustrophobia through the images but also through the sound. I was really interested in creating a certain mood rather than sending a specific message.

How did you start with film? And do you have an educational background in art or film?
I studied Film-making in San Sebastian (Spain). I had previously worked with photography for a long time and I started making films a few months after starting my studies.

Could you explain how you work, what themes or concepts you use and what is important to you?
Usually when I have an idea, I try to define in which medium I want to express it. The themes I’ve worked with are varied but there is always an allegorical approach to it. I like working with different iconographies and play with cinematic aesthetics. Since I’ve been trained to do mostly narrative film-making and work with audiovisual languages, this can come very handy when approaching a more experimental or artistic project. For me it is important to transmit a certain feeling or mood to the audience although each project asks for a different type of attention.

How long do you usually work on one project?
It depends. Sometimes the idea comes through and I can develop the project very quickly because everything is in my head. Other times the project requires a lot of research, rehearsal and production time. So far my longest project is a 4-channel video installation that I started in the summer of 2012 and I have no idea when I will finish it.

Do you carefully plan the production process or do you work more intuitive?
This also depends on the project. If there is a narrative and work with actors, the planning is crucial to make a good film. When the approach is more experimental, I like to follow my intuition and shape the project as I go.

How does the title relate to the work, and how do you find a fitting title?
The title is probably the first connection the audience has with your work (especially if you are an unknown artist). I think it’s very important to find a title that suits the project, doesn’t give away too much information but still brings some attention. In the case of XV, since it plays with the iconography of the devil, I named it after the tarot card that represents this character.

Where do you get your ideas or inspiration from?
I wouldn’t say there is a specific place where I get inspiration from. Unfortunately it’s something I can’t control so anything can make a "click" in my mind and develop into a project.

How important is sound in film, and if you use sounds, do you create your own or use existing?
It is extremely important. The sound can take your film from being good to being excellent, but it can also turn a good film into a bad one. In the past, I’ve worked mostly with music from artists I like but when you try to make your work more visible in festivals or exhibitions, there is a problem with copyright. With XV, it’s the first time I did the sound from scratch. It was done only with my voice and playing around with distortions and filters.

How does content relate to the form of your work?
Most of time the time I get the image before the concept but, even if the project is something very visual, I like to give it a meaning.

What possibilities of the web are yet to be explored?
I think the web hasn’t exploded its full potential yet. Especially when it comes to art and cinema, that requires physical presence to be enjoyed, the internet gives the possibility of enjoying culture in a more intimate and non-restrictive way.

Did the web changed your view on art, or your career?
I think it has changed everyone. We are exposed to many works, from many different artists all over the world and it has a quality of urgency that you can’t find elsewhere. For independent artists it’s a massive step forward because they can control everything about their creative process and how their work is presented to the world.

Where would you place your work; cinema or art. And what is the difference between those according to you?
It would depend on the project. In cinema you have to respect certain storytelling structures whereas in art you can do something completely abstract and it can be considered as art. But I also think it is a very thin line and specially these days, if you are a renowned artist with gallery representation, they will accept it as art regardless of the cinematic or artistic qualities it may have.

How influential is the reaction to your film by the audience?
It is something that I both like and fear because my work is ultimately an expression of my inner self and it’s always personal but I don’t think it changes my way of working or the topics I like to work with.

What is your next project about?
I am currently considering different ideas but I will most likely be working on another dance film (this would be my fourth) and a video installation dealing with gender issues, patriarchy and post-structuralist ideas.


< overview