Weight of Time
(USA, 1997, video, 20:00)
Cohen recorded these images in ‘El Chino’, an impoverished suburb in Barcelona inhabited mostly by migrant workers from southern Spain. The wreckers’ ball smashes holes in the buildings and the nerghbourhood takes on the appearance of a set of badly decayed teeth. Cohen makes use of the hideous green, yellow and purple street-lighting to illuminate the disintegration. The nightlife consists of a handful of old men in a cafe. One of them talks about the poverty and crime in the neighbourhood, but also tells of its beauty. At daybreak, children root about in a dim alley cluttered with garbage and debris.