Nieves Correa A Ghost’s Story,2021. Photomontage. @ 2021 Nieves Correa
For a growing number of authors from many different disciplines, history is not a thing of the past but of the present.
As Miguel A. Hernández-Navarro wrote in his book Materializar el Pasado, the past has not “passed”, it does not belong to a closed and distant time but is instead an active time in a tangible sense—an open and present time that makes the history something that has more to do with action than with knowledge.
Beginning with this concept of open time, I am developing a series of works that travel from the particular to the general, taking as a starting point my personal history and the places linked to that history.
Combining the concept of open time as a general theme and Action Art as a technical principle of work I carry out this project in the public space. I think that they have the potential to create new ways of understanding the history through the art as well as a big potential to heal historical and social wounds.
I am also especially interested in the concept of “intervention in public space” far from the monument and public art.
These interventions are incorporeal and impalpable, and, in a way, they are part of a timeless and spaceless place, a YouTube channel, a virtual place where ghosts can live.
Nieves Correa A Ghost’s Story, 2021. Photomontage. @ 2021 Nieves Correa
A Ghost’s Story is configured through eleven interventions in the public space made up of small audiovisual works of approximately 3 minutes of duration each one.
These are not documentary audiovisuals, but videos created about my family and my own experiences and memories as well as research in different documentary collections about the history of the street where my family lived for over a hundred years.
This work has been created using records of private performances and audiovisual materials about that particular street and is shown on the same street creating another layer of time and space in the same place.
These audiovisuals are hosted on an anonymous YouTube channel without any reference to the author of the works. For each one of them, several QR codes have been generated that are printed on stickers together with the title of the project, these are distributed throughout the area of influence of the audiovisual, Martín de los Heros street in Madrid.
I am exploring the possibilities of the QR codes as and interface for the audience because they have become a very common element in our society and in some way, they already generate the reflex act of scanning them
The videos are fed with images and sounds of the present: my own performances walking and remembering along the street. Family and personal photos from the twenties till the eighties. Sound recordings of the past, mainly old radio recordings from the sixties. Images of the past from historical libraries and press with special emphasis of the period of our civil war.
Anyone who comes across these QR codes and scans them comes across a single Ghost’s Story. A story that transits between a virtual present and the past in an active time but also in a phantasmagorical time and space that is little by little fading from memory.
To activate this project, it is necessary the volition of the audience. The project is “sleeping” hidden in the street and is activated when somebody scan one of the QR codes. In a way is the sight of the other that create the necessary tension to bring back to the present the ghosts of the past.
Image 03: Nieves Correa A Ghosts Story, 2021. Photomontage. @ 2021 Nieves Correa
The project is located along the eleven blocks of houses that conform Martín de los Heros street in Madrid (Spain), and is fixed in different spaces as streetlights, walls, poles, etc…
I chose that street because I lived there all my childhood and adolescence, and my family lived and worked there for over a hundred years until my mother died in 2019 and we sold the family house.
The street was also a battlefield during our Civil War (1936-1939), and my grandfather died there in one of the air raids in 1937. So, the street is full of both my own “ghosts” and full of collective “ghosts”.
Nieves Correa A Ghosts Story, 2021. Digital Photography. @ 2021 Nieves Correa
The virtual location is an anonymous YouTube channel where the eleven audiovisual works that conform the project are hosted
My work always draws on my own performances or begins with a performative process, which includes my body, space, and time. In most of my pieces, I use photography, relating it to my own body, which I feel and show as fragmented, conversing with things and materials I have used and altered in my live works. I have done many different performances and exhibitions all over the world.