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The Tears

Video Installation


[of sadness – of euphoria – of joy – of pain – of pleasure – of rejection – of nostalgia – of impotence – of ecstasy – of onion – from pepper spray – from menthol – crocodile tears – which suffocate – which relieve…]

When actors and actresses cry, what is behind their tears?

Maybe memories, emotions, affections, feelings, representations…

How can tears be presented before others when they summon that which is hidden, when they project that which is uncontrollable?

Tears iconographically have been suspected of excess, and the history of art often justifies their perception – style, faith, propaganda… – So, what do the tears mobilize? Taboos?

The present project will be an immersive video installation in which ten actors and actresses -in the invoking ecstasy of tears- will reveal the subjective reason of their tears in a present and intangible dimension. While the dramaturgy translates their emotional intensities into words or gestures, the audience will be able to navigate through the emotional tearing of the actors and access an experience of closeness and empathy.


Concept, Script, General Direction: Matías Umpierrez

Installation design: AJ Weissbard

Management & International Distribution: Iva Horvat & Elise Garriga | Art Republic:

About the installation

The installation is made of ten video portraits, close ups, of ten actors and actresses crying. These video portraits are installed in an empty flooded gallery.

Each video portrait is shown on a 50-inch flatscreen monitor, which hangs from a single vertical bar from a mirrored panel on the ceiling, slowly rotating around its support. Occasionally a drop of water will fall from the screen, landing on the floor below, which is covered with shallow water. There is no additional illumination in the space apart from the screens and light which emanates from the bottom of each monitor, highlighting the droplets and the floor of the gallery, and creating reflections of the water on the walls and visitors.

Audience members put on rubber boots to enter the gallery, and, with the aid of a ‘museum-guide’ type headset, roam the gallery freely from one portrait to the next. Each visitor can choose his or her own path through the installation, experiencing the stories that are submerged behind those tears. These stories are personal and belong to the emotional world of each performer: memories, moments of their history, or simply acting techniques to embody emotion.

The total duration of the experience is planned to be 50 minutes, although guests can spend more or less time as they wish.

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