Domenico Mangano and Marieke van Rooy are currently doing a residency at IBB (Instituto Buena Bista). They are working on the last film from their three part movie series about dilution. Dilution, meaning breaking the borders between a psychiatric clinic and the rest of the community. The project involves filming, letter writing, and a performance with clay flutes made by the students from IBB and the clients from ‘Klinika Capriles’ (a mental and health clinic).
During the interview we did not talk a lot about the project, because they have explained it several times already in detail. You can also find information about the project on the IBB website. The interview was more of a conversation about what lead up to them being here, and their experience on the island. Domenico explained how the trilogy was not planned out from the beginning. During the interview, he said; “When I made the first one my mindset [sic] was; Ok only one”. It was after Marieke found an archive about ‘Den Dolder’, while they were filming in ‘De Wissel, Friesland’, that they decided to go there. Then again, while in Den Dolder, a connection was found with Curaçao. Marieke explained how it was interesting for them to go to the Netherlands Antilles to see how they structure their psychiatric clinics, so you can get a good comparison with the Netherlands. During the interview, she said; “We were also curious to see how the Netherlands does things outside”.
From this we segued into discussing how they have been experiencing the island. Domenico told me how he likes Curaçao, because it reminds him of Palermo (where he grew up). He said; “It’s hot, people are very funny and they scream a lot like crazy, and beautiful beaches. The plants, the cactus they are the same, they are always the same so for me its like a specular”. He said that it is very tempting for him to shoot at other places around the island, but it is important for him to keep the focus on the clinic. Although he also said; “Maybe I will try, at night, to shoot ‘Isla’ (an oil refinery), because you can see it from the Klinika. I like to see it at night because it looks like a futuristic vision, with the lights. You don’t understand that it’s Curaçao, if you saw it from the Klinika. Curaçao is famous for nice beaches and other nice things but [not an oil refinery]”, but at this point he is not sure what will be in the final video. He said that it is sometimes difficult to make an art project with pictures. You have to make sure you do not become stereotypical or too cliché. For him his videos are like paintings, there are a lot of long scenes and the passing is a bit slower. This is because for him it is about observing, and with this last film they said it is proven to be a bit more difficult. They want to capture the real essence of the place, but they do not want to shoot similar scenes to the previous films. Although, unlike the previous projects there is more engagement with the clients from the clinic. Marieke noted that; “In this one, the last one, we are really making more connections. We are now trying, ourself, to establish a connection’.
Lastly something that really caught Marieke’s attention is the diversity on the island, the mixture of different cultures and languages. During our conversation she mentioned how she finds Curaçao very cosmopolitan, she said; “Much more than Amsterdam. It’s of course not true, because Amsterdam is of course much more cosmopolitan. Amsterdam has all subgroups, so everybody stays in their subgroup, and it is very difficult to make connections with the Moroccans, the Suriname’s, the [people from] Curaçao. Everybody has the possibility to stay in his own group, and in the end you do that. I always want to get out but it is not easy. Here because there are so few people, I meet everybody. I meet the Chinese from the shop, I meet the people from Colombia that sells me empanadas. In one day I switch from Dutch to Spanish”.
The opening for this project will be on the 21st of April starting at 17:30. They will not be showing the final film yet at this opening, but there will be an exhibition of the letters and drawings made by the students of IBB. There will also be a collaborative performance with Domenico and Marieke, the clients from the clinic, and the students from IBB.