The Poetics of Fragility : A Transmedia Project

    Film         Artist Book       Website  



HD, 63 minutes, Nicolás Grandi & Lata Mani,  Spanish subtitles; Artist Book English/Spanish editions.

The Poetics of Fragility (63 minutes) explores the texture, vitality and aesthetics of fragility. It interweaves stories of bodily frailty with optical vignettes of nature’s delicacy to reclaim fragility as intrinsic to existence, not something to be bemoaned or overcome.  

Shot in the San Francisco Bay Area in September 2015, the film features internationally renowned scholar-activist Angela Davis, the acclaimed playwright and critic Cherrie MoragaNora Cortiñas, the inspiring founding member of Madres de Plaza de Mayo Linea Fundadora, actor-dancer Greg Manalo, feminist performance artists Thao P. Nguyen and Martha Rynberg, theater scholar Jisha Menon, healer Christopher Miles, creative writer Xochitl M. Perales and the young trombone talent, Jasim Perales.

The Poetics of Fragility is conceived as a “videocontemplation;” a form that Nicolás Grandi and Lata Mani have been developing to explore how the audiovisual medium with its sensuous possibilities can become a tool for social inquiry with a philosophical impulse. The visually arresting and formally plural film unfolds through stories that build on and amplify each other. Moments of emotional intensity alternate with speculative calm, dramatic narration with poetry and critical inquiry into prevailing understandings of fragility.  

Artist book: The artist book reimagines the script as a tactile experience in print duration within a broader canvas of process notes, critical essays and artistic responses. Drawing broadly on gestalt design principles it works with typography, digital collages and stills from the film to create an interactive visual, conceptual and sensory print experience. hosts the trailer, film, script, process notes, post-screening discussions and curated responses to the film, sonic, graphic, audiovisual, literary.

"The Poetics of Fragility does such incredible work in putting multiple times and senses into play. Its themes are also dispersed across a book and a website (with different points of entry), so that the different media offer different relationships and starting points. I described Lata and Nicolas as multi-sensory sculptors, if you take a look at the work, you'll understand why." Yasmin Gunaratnam, Reader Sociology, Goldsmiths, London

    "This film's textures, silences and angles get us closer to the experience of pain than any prose or textbook. It will resonate with anyone who's danced with chronic pain, but more than pain, chronic is the key word here...time...The Poetics of Fragility points you squarely to the scourge, the salve, and finally the ruse of time and jazz is the perfect response." Dr. B. J. Miller, hospice and palliative care specialist, University of California, San Francisco


    The Poetics of Fragility is part of a Group exhibition on Artist Books and Expanded Editions - books, objects and installations - 29th May - 28th June 2018 - FADU, UBA Ciudad Universitaria, Pavilion III, more here.

    Screenings of The Poetics of Fragility

    • Premiere at Impact Hub Oakland, October 2, 2016
    • University of California Berkeley, October 3, 2016
    • University of British Columbia, October 5, 2016
    • New York University, October 12, 2016
    • University of California San Diego, October 17, 2016
    • University of California Los Angeles, October 19, 2016
    • The New School, Commonweal, Bolinas, October 25, 2016
    • National Gallery of Modern Art, Bangalore, January 6, 2017
    • Azim Premji University, Bangalore, February 24, 2017
    • Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, March 9, 2017
    • Birkbeck College, University of London, May 17, 2017
    • University of Amsterdam, May 23, 2017
    • Goldsmiths, University of London, May 25, 2017
    • 15th Mumbai International Film Festival, International Competition, February 2018

    Thanks to all acts of generosity - donations of time, money, expertise, waived & reduced fees for music, professional services etc.! If you feel moved to contribute to the project please email us at maillatamani(at)gmail(dot)com