top of page
We are a family owned and operated business.
I can't forget that I forgot

Cristina Elias

video, 16 min, HD, 2020

inspired by Clarice Lispector's text "The woman who killed the fish"

camera: César Meneghetti editing: Cristina Elias music: Leigh Thomas

Held with the support of the FUNARTE Respirarte Visual Arts 2020 award

In this video, I try to give voice in different languages - performance, dance, image, spoken and written text - to the short story "The woman who killed the fish" by Clarice Lispector. Clarice's text works as a trigger for the composition of the movement which, at the same time, inspires the rewriting of that same text. The sound landscape of the video is composed of music (Leigh Thomas) and speech (my voice). This flow speech mixes recited passages from Clarice's short story and text passages that emerged in the process of improvisation of the movement. Therefore, I rewrite the text, not only in other languages such as dance and performance, but in its own original code (the text itself) which, in the encounter with another individual reality and time space, strays from its center and becomes something other.

In The Woman Who Killed the Fish, a (supposedly) children's story from 1968, Clarice brings out the inner world of a woman who, forgetting to feed the fish entrusted to her, ends up killing them “unintentionally”. A complex world presents itself to readers, who are actively summoned to judge the "crime" then committed by this woman. "Do you forgive me?" With this question Clarice ends the book, leaving many questions open: the "woman" who "forgot" and who, unintentionally, "killed"; judgment and sentence through the eyes of the "other"; guilt, self-punishment and self-condemnation; on the other hand, a search for acceptance and forgiveness of itself in error, in imperfection, in human error. In a broader view, in addition to the individual and the psychological, forgetting the other, the collective is at stake; the lack of care (even involuntary) that causes the suffering of fragile people who, in Clarice's words, "just want to live". Suffering that arises from indifference, social invisibility, the fact that “they have no voice to complain”, just like the fish. The "woman" had the food but "forgot" to provide it. The lack of intention to kill does not erase the death of the fish.

bottom of page