Ante el tiempo

Ante el tiempo (In the Face of Time)

In the video with the above title, Aveta uses a classic, universal met- aphor that refers back to a linear, even physical concept of time, to an era when it was measured by grains of sand falling from one recipient into another. It had a physical dimension, derived from matter in movement, and it referred to direct human experience in visual, tactile and auditory terms. Today, time is different; its nature seems to be impossible to grasp by way of mechanical instruments, it is extremely elusive and has become a virtual experience disas- sociated from the “effects” that it used to provoke in beings and things. The body no longer registers it and it confounds the mind. The fact that Aveta recurs to flowing grains of sand is his way of manifesting his stance in the face of time. There is no specific or regular device, however, for passing from one moment to the next; there is no glass vial that gives up its contents to another, and there is no mechanism that makes them turn as their contents are emp- tied (as would happen to the “hourglasses” we are familiar with). In Aveta’s image, time flows randomly, by chance or by destiny, from a higher storey to a lower one; the amount of sand is not always the same and it does not pour through just one but various openings. Here, the human need to maintain a regulated notion of time is lost, as it is lost when physical references disappear, when bodily func- tions have been abused by torture or confinement, when there is no night and no day, when the intolerable appears.