DIVE INTO MANKIND
From East to West Ria Pacquée observes and films people in and on the water: in and on seas, oceans, rivers and lakes. From a distance she zooms in on actions and rituals performed in and around the water. The recordings range from explicitly religious activities – such as bathing in the Ganges or a baptismal ceremony – to bathing purely for relaxation and pleasure. For others water means work: they scour the river for lumps of gold, rinse their newly-dyed fabrics or hope for a successful catch. We see men, women and children taking a bath in the river, washing and figuratively purifying themselves. We see them play, splash and have fun. Pacquée’s subjects float, dive, swim, thrash about and snorkel; they appear and disappear above and below the surface. ’Dive into Mankind’ explores man’s kinship with an important primeval force. What links the subjects Ria Pacquée observes is their abandonment: each in his own way, everyone experiences an intimate moment with the water. Thanks to the observing, detached camera work, ’Dive into Mankind’ manages to underline the closeness of that tie. Supported by a soundtrack of water noises, the zooming in on this fundamental experience - this real kinship with nature we are sometimes in danger of forgetting - makes for a pleasant viewing experience whose effect is contemplative and at times humorous.