17 December 2021. Surrey, UK.
Leila Helena Grillo
& Nina Knezević
LIMINARIA (translated from the Latin language for 'liminal spaces') is an experimental, observational documentary filmed in the outskirts of towns in Surrey, England—the forgotten places, the spaces in between, the passages and roads seen merely as places to pass through overlooked. By embarking on long walks across these towns and villages, drawing from banality, and painting it as something enthralling, we are discovering beauty in what is not commonly seen to be beautiful or interesting. A non-intrusive approach to perceiving the landscape around us, within the areas that lie beyond what is visible or known.
Original Soundtrack by
& Leila Helena
Birds After Rain: A video installation
April 2019. Florence, Italy
When we die, once our heart stops beating and the life has gone from our eyes, there is a single moment in which our brain has not yet crossed that dark threshold and it goes through one’s entire life worth of memories one last time. Visions and emotions that no longer exist, cloaked in melancholia, some sparkling with joy and sun and others somber, only figments and creations in my mind. I have been obsessed with this idea for a very long time, a long lived infatuation for our last few moments of existence and the afterward. My way of dealing with and understanding my memories and emotions is through this installation. I was introduced to the concept of death very early in my life and my memories are all I have. Some are more delicate, left behind, faded and fragmented, and others lucid and vibrant with images and sensations, many of them bleeding into one another. As time has gone by, more memories of unrequited love, loss, and anxiety have clouded my world. My father passed away suddenly when I was six years old, I fell in love with a man who would never love me back, I slipped into deep emotional episodes and experiences, and now I offer my vulnerability of the dimensions of these extremely personal memories through this work. Memories are storms of my past senses and feelings, swirls of nostalgia and longing. The act of remembering feels as if I am floating through strange and altered passages of time, remnants of what once was, moments through a vast space suspended in time. Illusions of euphoria and reflections in tender words, a longing for things that were never there or are never coming again, crowd these storms. And yet, there is still a beautiful and painful harmony to the replaying of all these once tangible experiences and sentiments.
December 7, 2019
I go down often to the rivers that rest in the center of many cities that I have called home. I find myself gazing for hours at the changing waters, altering the pebbles beneath, and echoing gurgles and bubbles through the air. Sometimes the waves are gentle and soft that I may feel sensually with, and sometimes they are fast and lively, aggressively knocking at the rocks and reeds. I have grown with these rivers and their constant changing tides. There is a river that lies within me, one that is formed from beauty, wonder, and pain. I go to this river inside me and take peace in the presence of its sounds and reflections, and, in turn, with the presence of myself and the stillness and chaos of my mind.
October 5, 2019
The result of months of crazed insomnia and mania. Lying awake at night with my mind racing, images and phrases fluttering through the inner space like flocks of birds. Going through the extreme highs and lows of emotions leaving me utterly mentally exhausted. Dealing with the turbulence of ones mind has led me to this project. Forming upon all the textures, sounds, and swirls of sentiments and dreams to a night fully devoted to creative renderings of it all. Drawing on the perpetual chaotic harmony of memories, emotions, and infatuations.
The Hidden Occupations Of Solitude
Los Angeles is an enormous city, one that is home to a plethora of incredibly diverse people, activities, events, and a range of stimuli. It is a city that is constantly moving and changing, widespread with the extreme differences between wealth and poverty as well as artificial and natural fabrication. I have lived in Los Angeles all my life and have usually felt out of place, it has been difficult for me to maintain an emotional connection with the city. Transportation is very difficult given the enormous size of the area, making it a burdensome task to go out and explore. The natural lush greenery is giving way to intensifying construction and urban development and the air is bombarded with smog and residents. With this constant change, I seem to be losing myself along the way and my attachment to this metropolis has been dwindling by a frail thread. I saw this as an opportunity to express this concept of displacement while immersing myself in my surroundings alongside the perception of time. Throughout one whole day, morning to night, from my morning coffee to long past dinner, I voyaged through the parts of Los Angeles that I am most familiar with, accompanied by a headless, armless, legless mannequin I found outside on the sidewalk labeled ‘FREE’ a few months ago. Instead of putting myself in front of the camera, I viewed this mannequin of a female body to be a representation of me, and even though this mannequin has no face or limbs or any obvious ways of evoking emotion, I felt a strange connection to this effigy being placed alone amidst beauty and chaos. There were many things I observed along my ‘voyage’ that I hadn’t noticed or experienced before. When walking around the streets with a large mannequin at my side, the places in which I felt the most comfortable and viewed as the most sane were in the areas of the city with the most neglected of people. When strolling in the neighborhoods with the residents in more comfortable living situations, pedestrians would stare at me with this mannequin and camera in my arms and walk across to the other side of the street. I drifted off many paths with my mannequin, becoming one with all the sounds and smells and objects of our surroundings, feeling as if this mannequin were a friend and we were wandering through the hidden occupations of solitude.
Reflection In Tender Words
an audio-visual project
January 2019. Florence, Italy