Baltasar Thomas


I could have been a dancer
HD video, 8’56, 2016

In November 2014, I was commissioned by dance company Ultima Vez to make a teaser trailer for a show called ‘Tornar’. During this project, I became interested in finding a balance between spectatorship and participation. When you’re filming something or someone, there is always a sort of strange tension caused by the fact that your role is ambiguous. You are spectator/voyeur – yet, at the same time, your presence shapes the event taking place. The camera is part of the performance.


What I also learned was, the way you perceive the things unfolding before your eyes, can be transformed by these very things themselves. And this evolving perception can in turn affect how you handle the camera. Evidently, when you favour this way of ‘working by instinct’, it means taking a lot of risks, aesthetically. In 2015, I used images shot for the Tornar teaser to make a short autobiographical film called I could have been a dancer. In this film, I extended the idea of the ‘camera as performer’ to my approach in editing.


The function of editing is setting the rules of space and time for the world you are creating. By laying bare the processes of editing (selecting, categorizing and placing frames next to one another or on top of one another), form becomes content. Now you are making a film about the world you have created. Content is no longer centered around narrative – narrative becomes one of the many that might take place in this particular world. Now you are making a film about filmmaking.

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