Emak Bakia!


Emak Bakia! ………Leave me alone!

This old Baroque language expresses the contrasting and coexisting human nature of both tendencies of autonomy and belonging as a social animal. In the Sydney Film Festival film, The search for Emak Bakia, the Spanish documentary film director, Oskar Alegría went to the journey for searching for ‘Emak Bakia’, which is inspired by Man Ray’s short film, called cinépoéme, Emak Bakia!. The both of them appears to share the same fascination of this expression.

Ray found Emak Bakia first in a epitaph in France and Alegría noticed that this epitaph of a clown did not have a death date: “(The memory of) clown never die.”

Failed to search a house called Emak Bakia in Ray’s film, Alegría Instead found the vintage shop with that name. The owner of the shop said that Emak Bakia! is one of his favourite films and the name was choosing him not chosen by him.

There was the postcard written with “Are you behaving yourself?”, when Alegría was researching archives of  postcards with images of buildings. As he couldn’t find the record of any receiver in that era, he compared the difficulty to shooting the pig’s nightmare.

The closest trace of scenes of Ray’s film was the house with unique columns. Alegría was informed that a Romanian princess visited the place with the same reason one month ago and the house is belong to her grandfather.

The OST was composed by the contemporary musician, who visited the house with another creative cause and collected the sound of the building.

It is interesting to find out that the person who is searching disappearing languages like Baroque language here, still makes a mistake in foreign languages: Korean is mistaken as Taiwanese in the letter, which was found at Ray’s grave.

We get lost. On the way of searching the meaning of our lives, we find something new and unexpected.

What I admire is Man Ray’s challenging and experimental approach to create arts like his film Emak Bakia!. With the same reason, I am inspired by Lee Miller who developed Solarisation technique together as Ray’s life and work partner and who was less recognised for her contribution to creative communities as a female artist.

From the series ‘La Noche’, Left: Negatives Solarisation (Sabattier effect) , Right: Print Solarisation


From the image ‘Self, Celestial’, Left: Print Solarisation, Right: Negatives Solarisation (Sabattier effect)