Passages I (1974)
Video, magnetic tape, 12'04", B&W, sound, 1/2 inch open reel

Filmed by Jom Tob Azulay in Rio de Janeiro. Anna Bella Geiger moves along flights of stairs. In an interview with Hans Ulrich Obrist (2018), the artist states, “In Passages I, I chose three staircases here in Rio de Janeiro, the first of these was inside an art nouveau building that was going to be demolished. I climb those stairs three times ‘emulating’ a looping system. That is, I actually climb the same staircase three times repeatedly. The second staircase is one located in the Catete neighborhood, at Rua Santo Amaro, 35. This staircase (to this day) connects the residents of the houses up there and has existed for over a hundred years […]. I lived in one of those houses next to the staircase. It has more than 160 steps, which I climb in that video. The third one is in the building of the Benjamin Constant Institute, the headquarters of the institute/school for the blind, it is on Av. Pasteur, in Praia Vermelha. I chose it because of the absurdity of this being the building that harbors the blind. […] The sound recorded in this video, Passages I, captures the three environments. In the first of them, the sound of the footsteps was what interested me. Also because the three climbs actually do happen. On the steps of Santo Amaro street you hear a child shouting a few words as I pass by their house in the favela. On the Institute’s stairs you can hear the traffic on the street.”

MoMA (New York); Museo Nacional de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid); Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris); The Getty Collection (Los Angeles); Itaú Cultural (Rio de Janeiro) collection
8ª Jovem Arte Contemporânea (JAC) MAC USP (1974); Video Art, Institute of Contemporary Art of the University of Pennsylvania, Museum of Contemporary Art of Chicago, Wadsworth Atheneum (Hartford, 1975); 35º Jerusalem Film Festival (2018).

“In Passages, Anna Bella Geiger slowly goes up and down stairs in a steady rhythm, as in a rite of passage.” (PARENTE, André. Cinema de vanguarda, cinema experimental e cinema do dispositivo. In “Filmes de artista: Brazil”, 1965-80. Exhibition catalog at Oi Futuro, Rio de Janeiro, 2007. “The space-movement conflict that in some of the artist’s works (photographs and videos of the Passages, for example) will be evident is constitutive.” (NAVAS, Adolfo Montejo. Fotografia além da fotografia: notas de montagem. InAnna Bella Geiger — fotografia além da fotografia”, 1972–2008. Catalog of the exhibition in Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, 2008).

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