"I want people to know a bit of the working process of these beautiful human beings I spent time with. These souls exist to be appreciated and their hard work deserves to be shared."
Andre Matos Cardoso was inspired to explore the creative minds behind 'Armazém 13”, a cultural project aiming to develop a safe and creative space dedicated to circus and performing arts in Lisbon, Portugal. Filming took 2 years and the project was completed after almost 5 years. Cardoso will premiere “Suspended Warehouse" at Paradise Music Festival 2015 and we caught up with him to find out more about the project.
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Paradise: Can you tell us about Suspended Warehouse?
Andre Matos Cardoso: The action takes place inside “Armazém 13”, a cultural project aiming to develop circus performing arts and to establish a creation space in Lisbon; this documentary follows the routine of this place and the artists who inhabit it.
'Take care of what you wished for' is one of the mottos of this project, and this place was something that all the artists who found it had been dreaming of before it became real. The fact that they have a precarious lease makes this warehouse a temporary place, a body that serves as a vehicle, but will not last forever.
P: How long did it take for the people you spoke to become comfortable with you?
AMC: It was a natural fast-paced progressive relationship developing from creative people working together. I was immediately welcomed after releasing a short video of the first night I went to the warehouse: After this first video I asked them if I could start filming more often.
Initially, it was only about creating footage based on their monthly cabaret shows. At the time, I was working in an advertising film production company and I needed a passion project with content not related with promoting brands or companies.
The story of “Armazém 13” is about a group of freelance aerial circus performers joining forces to be able to have a space to rehearse and perform while they create with no external impositions, nor to sell any product or idea other than what they believe. In this project I found a similar passion for creating regardless of external support. Our affinities were based on our elective choices and the whole process was very fluid.
P: Did you ever feel uncomfortable with the footage you captured, especially in moments of fragility or vulnerability?
AMC: I made the choice not to explore frailties as an option, regardless of how I felt. Basic relationship dramas happen in every workplace and they are uncomfortable. Instead, I was interested in why [the artists] would they work so hard for a few ephemeral seconds during a show when the public and the performers are in perfect sync. This moment everyone in the room can feel it but it’s very hard to describe and even harder to capture. In my view, it’s about hard work, repetition and a lot of love for what they do.
I chose to illustrate this profound process that happens around the creative process without 'small' distractions that are easy to explore but lack relevant process related content. I wanted to include content that was related with the creative process only. Personal stuff was allowed in as long as it would happen inside the warehouse and relevant to the creative process.
P: What would you most like people to take from the film?
AMC: During this whole process, I learned that I’m not the only one fighting against the odds to materialize dreams. Watching this documentary gives me strength to carry on creating regardless of the setbacks that are common in every creator’s path and ultimately makes us stronger. I would like for people to be inspired by this experience the same way I was.
P: Despite the differences between Lisbon and Melbourne, what parts of the film do you think will resonate and be relatable to an Australian audience?
All artists have to deal with rejection more often than in other technical areas. And it’s very hard not to take it personally because if what an artist is creating it’s true then it’s what they are; therefore not only their work is being rejected, what they are is being rejected. This is true here in Australia and anywhere else on this planet.
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Suspended Warehouse tells the story of a place created by artists as a place for artists to develop their creative work. Here, each individual is able to develop his or her own personal creation but, at any moment, their dream may be taken away.
View the trailer below -