French-Cuban sister duo Ibeyi scale the desert with Jorja Smith, in Lucrecia Taormina's captivating promo for Lavender and Red Roses. We see the artists trek through the midst of a sandy landscape, following the line of a rope to a well in the middle of the desert. They pour a jug full of lavender and red rose petals into the well - where, at the bottom a mysterious masked man digs further downwards. Arguably this abstract narrative explores themes of femininity and divine energy, suggesting it is time to 'cut the cord', and stop relying on women to pull up men who are not actively helping themselves or looking for ways to improve their own situation. But the beauty of the visual, the magic of Taormina' concept, lies in the various ways in which to read the unfolding action.Taormina weaves this ambiguous and metaphorical tale in her characteristic hyperreal style - not in a real desert, we suspect, but a very convincing studio and VFX-created approximation of one. A certain episode of Squid Game may also springs to mind while watching this too.Once distracted by the petals, the man stops digging, and grabs the rope. Initially, the women pull with all their strength, to help him to climb up, but... then the rope is cut.
Rob Ulitski - 2 months ago