Private Project

Ernestina "To (h)err is human; to erase, divine"

"In a half-open twilight of an underworld filled with a blind and blinding faith, running water is wasted in the solitude of a train station and dilutes in the melody of a porch that opens to give way to the devotees. In the interiority of a perimeter surrounded by ancient histories, and under a turquoise dome of the coulour of time, they dance on their knees "the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and everlasting life", declining their faces covered by always stranger hands. A light hole radiates a subtle glow; the tentacles of a sordid death opens the passage to disappearance. The blade of a forgotten scissors irrupts the cut of the nuptials between reason and faith. A cracked rubber destroys the foundations of the founding mistakes, whose registration opens the door to a black sky that pronounces: "To (H) err is human; to erase, divine". The frenzy of the body unfolds and the redeeming boiling blood culminates in an oceanic eye, which is a daily battle against the monsters that inhabit the depths of the spirit. The black waters assauges the thirtst of that dead girl who's eternally looking for the glass; she becomes a nightmare and her feet reaches the end of the threshold. Tongues of fire behind the devotees announce the arrival of the unexpected, sighing in a drown of the unspeakable. Crucifixion is now a symbol of a new presence that is found only in the divine absence. In the intimacy of a room, the humidity of a tub shouts "my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault!", the unfaithful are purged from the circumspect purity, and theweak stigmas falls like a sheet of rice. Amen the body, each one dance their own apocalypse."


The short film “Ernestina” materializes the merge of two independent related projects: the composition work of artistic experimentation group “Hebras Danza” and the 2nd edition of Argentinean specialized magazine “Danzar Mundos. Opúsculo sobre arte, cuerpo y poéticas cotidianas” -which approaches the interrelation between dance and cinema-, both directed by Vanesa Menalli. Since 2008, “Hebras Danza” works in composition processes that gets away from the traditional stage space and weaves together with the atmosphere of the places, thoughts or memories that images evoke. That is how Ernestina appeared: a town with only 140 inhabitants, at 180 kms from the capital city of Buenos Aires. Ernestina had its glorious moment when the train used to reach it, when the boarding school and the theatre -with an acoustic worth of a lyric coliseum that even nested the soprano singer Lily Pons- were still running. But nowadays Ernestina stands out, mainly, because of its mysterious relic: the centenary neogothic church, visited by Prince of Wales, Edward VIII in 1925.Its moldings and friezes, the riveted forge, its silent and vacant stained glass windows, its unusual bronze ceiling, right next to the sidewalks made of cobblestone covered with moss, orange trees and bloomed privet; caused the enchantment that, like in “Alice in Wonderland”, led to the other side of this town: its secret poem. The experience of the trip, the hospitality of its inhabitants, the cross-disciplinary process of composition and the script that started to arise, came about poetry. What was occurring shaped an idea, retrospectively. The mistaken, the invisible, the incomprehensible, the unpredictable, the unknown and even the abandoned were sources of creation. That is how the narrative of the images, frames, shots and scenes -which concluded in the editing process-, came up. Music -composed and played in cold and lonely churches of Estonia- held the creative investiture, as well as the word of the Argentinean poet Roberto Juarroz in “Everyone has its own piece of time”, some passages of the Bible, old religious songbooks and “To Have Done With the Judgment of God” of Antonin Artaud. As a gift of fate, or chance, an essential piece in the composition of “Ernestina”: the discovery of and antique eraser that, dismissed from its function by the passing of time, undertook the commencement as a “Once upon a time...” with: To (h)err is human; to erase, divine”.

  • Vanesa Menalli
  • Vanesa Menalli
  • Vanesa Menalli, Laura Toledo, Débora Seoane y Micaela Paz
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Ernestina "(H)errar es humano, borrar es divino"
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Runtime:
    8 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    October 1, 2016
  • Production Budget:
    1,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Vanesa Menalli

Vanesa Paola Menalli (Buenos Aires, 1978). Artista dedicada al arte/danza desde una modalidad transdisciplinaria y experimental con la poesía, el collage, el video y la fotografía. Licenciada en Psicopedagogía (UNSAM, 2008). Dirige los proyectos de "Hebras Danza" (2008), "Danzar Mundos. Opúsculo sobre arte, cuerpo y poéticas cotidianas" (2011) y "Espacio Danzar Mundos. Transdisciplina y Experimentación artística" (2016). Investiga el lugar de la danza como acto de resistencia a través del proyecto "El mundo de Vetiver. Danza itinerante en espacios públicos" (2009). Realiza Brevedanza, fotografía y audiovisuales en pequeño formato. Trabaja en Psicopedagogía, "Clínica y Arte", en el Hospital Municipal Ostaciana B. de Lavignolle de Morón |

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

"No puedo escribir si mi cuerpo no arde. Necesito fuego, el magma espiritual que lo mantiene de pié, mientras dura su finita embestidura existencial. Estoy, latente. Las palabras están incineradas por una danza imposible para un yo que sabe, posible para un yo exiliado, vertiginosa y abismal para una razón de roca. No puedo escribir si mi cuerpo no danza. Soy lo que no sé, o no soy; sólo estoy aquí, abierta y frágil a la intemperie del poeta."