Liquid worlds and aquatic life
The short films (2010–11)
in The cinema of Lucrecia Martel
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This chapter explores the three shorts Martel has made since completing La mujer sin cabeza: Nueva Argirópolis (2010), Pescados (2010) and Muta (2011). Despite the diverse contexts within which these films arose, and their differing subject matter, their preoccupation with watery and liquid worlds can be read as part of a shared concern with fluid ontologies and becomings. Such damp and liquid worlds create different perceptual conditions, or allow for the creation of a different kind of perception. This chapter contends that these shorts are concerned with the creation of fluidity, of a liquidity of perception in which the certainties of social worlds and human ontologies dissolve. Their watery locales and aesthetics provide a setting for the undoing of fixities – of the human, of identity, of the image – and allow instead for becomings: becomings-animal, becomings-other, producing thought through the reconfiguration of would–be fixed images or ideas.

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