Tecmerin. Journal of Audiovisual Essays

Issue 10 – 2022 (2)

From One Shore to the Other

Valentín Vía Vázquez (Universidad Rovira i Virgili)

How to cite this article:  Vía Vázquez, V. (2022). From one shore to the other. Tecmerin. Journal of Audiovisual Essays, 10, 2022(2). ISSN: 2659-4269

A shore is a changing landscape, altered according to the tides, and does not allow establishing a location precisely. According to Diego Parente (2003, the shore refers to a mobile border. It delimits a state and configuration of a territory. On the shore, there cannot be a space of subsumption and contemporary extractivist politics (Nuñez Rodríguez, 2020), like it happens with the sea. At the bottom, its raw materials still lie, being the sources of the present and the future. It is also in the sea, in the ocean, where microorganisms emerge; likewise, images come up. Beyond the Freudian term “oceanic feeling” that Erika Balsom has also developed in An Oceanic Feeling: Cinema and the Sea (2018), this audiovisual essay intends to situate a set of formal, iconographic, and contextual references about the landscape filmed from the shore. All this brings together a cross-border dialogue far from the terra ferma, analyzing a set of works by different Ibero-American filmmakers. In the borders, just on the portion of the mobile border in the studied films, ephemeral moments reveal how the sea and the land generate an intersection. Nevertheless, as Romain Rolland exposes in an introductory text included in Erika Balsom’s book (2018), a set of relationships between filmmakers concerning the outside world is configured in these works. This duality of land and water, of the physical perception of oneself and its projection with everything external, highlights the filmmakers’ interconnectedness and their relationship with the film apparatus to deal with everything that surrounds us.

Beyond the cartographic atlas each filmmaker occupies and resides in, the shore acts as an iconographic element that conveys the image of each film. Any hint of new life vanishes in that anthropic and meaningfulhorizon; in that water, the topographic sense and geographical attraction transcend and turn into “emotion” (Bruno, 2018, p. 173). However, with its confluence with the water, a shore like this generates a sensorial and contemplative journey. However, these shores cannot function separately as water (of the sea) and land. There is a mutual need to unite and form a contact set, an image that, in its referent, captures a tautology. The filmed shore is still a constant reproduction of a contract between two states: that which is solid with that which is liquid. Nonetheless, the camera makes it possible to capture instants of a movement of both the bodies and the waters that drag along and leave traces on the shore.

This set of shores expands towards a three-dimensional characterization of the social space by which the water surfaces separate and unite height and depth, according to Henri Lefevbre (2013). On the banks, two flat, superficial spaces unite. In these works, there is no distorted vision of the water in its different layers of depth, as experienced by Barbara Hammer in Pond and waterfall (1982). However, there is a touch that comes from the abstract and fluid immensity of the water, the sea. This audiovisual essay takes as a starting point a series of works produced in recent years, highlighting the (trans)nationality of the filmmakers and their trajectory to configure a constellation of shores.

This audiovisual essay explores the formal experimentation and the need to touch images through the construction of a horizon in its most plastic sense by Valentina Alvarado Matos and also the ocean liners touched by the hands of Ana Vaz; the shellfish women who cultivate and dig in the film by Diana Toucedo and the pictorial studies of the Paraguay River by Paz Encina, also taking into account the dissection of the organisms that inhabit Iberia (Argentina) by the hand of Sarah Jessica Rinland and, returning to the coasts of Galicia and its sound and visual abstractions, the works of Carla Andrade and the rumor of the waves in a Finisterre cape explored by Xisela Franco. Starting a journey to the Canary Islands, in the distance, the shores of the cinema of Helena Girón and Samuel Delgado appear and, if we cross the Atlantic, we would find the shores, filmed in their decontamination process in Vieques (Puerto Rico) that Beatriz Santiago Muñoz shoots through a contrasting black and white. Then it approaches Claudio Willer’s poetic images, where the sea and the coast play a crucial symbolic role in the work of Priscyla Bettim and Renato Coelho. In an attempt to imagine different shores simultaneously, we came across the work of Andrea Franco, and the cinema of Los Ingrávidos, which juxtaposes the natural cycle where water, earth, and vegetation intervene. Then the video essay travels from the poetics of Laura Moreno Bueno surrounding the coasts of the Basque Country to the anthropic landscape of Irati Gorostidi and Arantza Santesteban and also the diaries and random landscapes of Julieta Averbuj as well as the two-phase journey through the realm of the senses in the work of Ada Tavern. All of these films are bathed by the same water, whether on the banks of a river or at its mouth, on cliffs and sharp rocks, or the horizon, or in its formal abstraction, the images touch, bathe and mix like the fluid of water, touching the viewer’s eyes, the land, the shore.


  • Balsom, E. (2018). An Oceanic feeling: Cinema and the Sea. Nueva Zelanda: Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre.
  • Bruno, G. (2018). Atlas of Emotion: Journeys in Art, Architecture, and Film. NewvYork: Verso.
  • Espinosa Rubio, L. (2014). Una antropología filosófica del paisaje. Enrahonar. Quaderns de Filosofia, 53, pp. 29.42.
  • Lefevbre, H. (2013). La producción del espacio. Madrid: Capitán Swing.
  • Nuñez Rodríguez, V. (2020). El capital rumbo al mar. Una nueva era minera: minería marina. Ciudad de México: Editorial Itaca.
  • Parente, D. (2003). Orillas de la Filosofía. Un ensayo sobre/desde las fronteras de lo filosófico. A parte rei. Revista de filosofía, 29, pp. 1-6.

Other videoessays in this issue

Tecmerin. Journal of Audiovisual Essays
ISSN: 2659-4269
© Tecmerin Research Group
Universidad Carlos III de Madrid