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Review: Triny Prada: Food for Thought – Matière à penser (2009)

Directed by: | 48 minutes |

The DVD ‘Triny Prada: Food for Thought’ is made up of three segments, each of which consists of a number of short films that highlight a specific subject. The segments are called “Material for Consumption”, “Meditation Material” and “Kindling Material”. The first and the last consist of four films, the middle one of five. The length of these sketches varies between two and eight and a half minutes.

Triny Prada lives in Paris, where she also trained at the National Conservatory of the Arts and has exhibited in various European cities, such as Toulouse and Berlin, as well as in Tunisia and her native Columbia. After a car accident, she started out as a painter and became captivated by the idea that there is only a fine line between life and death. From that perspective she made her ‘L’Enfant FIL… osophe’ in 2003 (where the word “fil” stands for the thread of life, which can be cut just like that). Her experiences with video gave her more freedom and more opportunities to put her vision in the spotlight. Her videos, of which a total of 13 have been collected on ‘Triny Prada: Food for Thought’, share poverty, hunger and animal rights.

Prada makes her own recordings or allows herself to be filmed during her public performances, mixes images together or over each other and also creates the herself, by mixing different sounds together, which complement the images. As a result, some of the videos are quite tiring for the senses, especially for the eyes to watch. This is especially true of the incomprehensible ‘Un goût d’amande verte’, which should be accompanied by a warning that this segment could provoke headaches. “Material for Consumption” is the collective name for films about, among other things, a toutman who sells snake oil and other miracle remedies, called ‘El Curandero’ and a man who breaks up discarded sanitary ware, ‘ Ready-Made’. In the fragment ‘iFood_pop’ Prada elaborates on overconsumption. This has its origin in an incident during her childhood. She had just moved when many of her school friends died after a poisonous substance got into the baker’s flour. The themes of over-consumption and food chains are also addressed in the ‘Sculptures poulétiques’ and ‘nature morte’ segments of “Meditation Material”. Something she clearly has questions about.

In ‘Sculptures poulétique’ she cuts a half chicken from the poulterer or supermarket into pieces and rearranges the limbs and the breast to make it a work of art and in ‘Nature morte’ a whole dead chicken is shown in close-ups. after which a number of questions scroll across the picture about hormones and genetically modified products. Even if you disagree with Prada’s vision of alleged political and social wrongs, her work has an intriguing quality, although not all films are equally interesting. In any case, she has a clear vision and she pushes her artistic boundaries with great enthusiasm and commitment. Her short films are innovative and refreshing and provide food for thought.

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