Aleksander Prus Caneira.
Quantum Physics and
the Portals of the Unconscious
digital short-movie HD – Italy – September 2011
Opening | Friday 10.2.- 7 pm
10.2 - 9.3.2012 | mon - fri | 4 - 8 pm | 4th floor
Aleksander Prus Caneira. Quantum Physics and the Portals of the Unconscious
The film is a mock-documentary dedicated to the scientist Aleksander Prus Caneira, born in Barcelona in 1928 and disappeared under mysterious circumstances from Turin, in 1992.
A physicist specialised in quantum and cosmic theories, anthropologist and essayist, founder and editor of the science journal Source, Aleksander Prus Caneira – a rather tormented genius figure – studied between Zurich and Princeton and contributed to the researches of his famous professors, namely Wolfgang Pauli, Eugene Wigner and John Archibald Wheeler. He was friend and collaborator of the physicist Hugh Everett III, of the junghian psychologist Marie-Louise Von Franz, and he held a long mail correspondence with the writer Jorge Luis Borges.
He taught at Princeton, as well as Zurich and Turin, where – between 1965 and 1976 he was active as a researcher in the teams of the Cosmic Physics Centre and CNR. His theories on the doors of the unconscious and on suspended portals – largely despised by the international scientific community – caused him to gradually distance himself from academia, until his final resignation from teaching in 1976. Since the death of his father in 1953, Caneira had been widening the scope of his studies on the invisible, trying not only to find answers to questions typical of quantum and cosmic physics, but also to find a nexus between space-time and dreams, archetypes, and the passage from life to death, through anthropology and field researches. By originally applying to such phenomena a series of concepts, such as Jung – Pauli’s synchronicity, Everett III’s theory of parallel worlds, and Wheeler’s geometrodynamics, in 1987, under the pseudonym Alek Arencia, he published the successful essay Life in the other word.
The film proposes a meta-reality, from which the viewer will exit unknowingly tricked, not knowing – unless he/she decides to dive deeper into the case and verify the sources, that the film itself is dedicated to someone who never actually existed, whose story is yet firmly anchored in last century’s history of science and culture. The short-movie criticizes not only the logic behind the production of history, inserting a character who could have actually existed and been “forgotten”, but it aims also at discussing the validity of sources, our way of relating our cultural History, and what could be truly considered auctoritas.
(text by Elisa Tosoni)
"My works question my own identity, and that of the generation of my parents and mine, through the stories of other people’s lives. My artistic practice is a research, collection and analysis of archive, photos, newsreel, film archives and other historically related imaginary that constitute part of our collective memory. These documents are taken out of their historical context and used in my work to tell a new story. Into my work exists the assumption that it is the way a story is been told rather than the story itself, questioning the value of a document. Then, an extensive collection of first hand information encompassing interviews and photographs open up the human dimension, my aim consists to create a genuine emotions overlooks facts, talking about the borders of collective imaginary."