INTERVIEW with DIEGO BARRERA – His Witch House Video for Mater Suspiria Vision

by JC Gonzo

[Editor’s Note: The interview was translated by Alejandro Soltero.]

Witch House act Mater Suspiria Vision, known for their psychedelic short films from Cosmotropia de Xam, ventured out and asked Diego Barrera to create the imagery to coincide with their track Seduction of the Armageddon Witches, released as a limited 7″ with Barrera’s photography for the cover. Breaking away from the kaleidoscopic haze of Cosmotropia de Xam, Barrera crafts masterfully sharp, iconic imagery in luxurious hi-fi detail.

Absent from Barrera’s take on the genre are the ghostly, artifact-laden, muddied images centered around aesthetic nostalgia. Barrera does not rely on these technical mechanics to create an elusive environment, mysterious narrative, and sinister ambiance. His literal interpretation of metaphor and symbology has attracted critics, who’ve often drawn comparisons to Alejandro Jodorowsky and Matthew Barney.

Barrera’s bold references to Catholic iconography adds a unique, cultural perspective while remaining universal. He transforms organic objects into symbols and devices for ritual, altering their recognizable state into new concepts. His vision is both trendy and timeless, and with only one video online, many are starved for more. Last week his video hit 50,000 views on Vimeo and has garnered attention from magazines worldwide. I discovered him this summer through filmmaker Julieta Triangular, who we featured back in June. The two often work together.

MATER SUSPIRIA VISION – Seduction of the Armageddon Witches

Director, Writer, Art Direction: Diego Barrera
Cinematography and editing: Wenceslao Scyzoryk
Featuring: Marina Azañón, Fabian Ariel

Are themes of ritual magick and the occult going to be the forefront of work to come? Can you tell us about your next project?

DB: Mas que rituales mágicos, para mí son procesos mentales, caminos, maneras de entender lo que me rodea y sobretodo maneras de entender los sentimientos y mi propio cuerpo, llevar a algo visual estas sensaciones. Supongo que no es algo que elija sino que debo observar en que temas o estéticas me encuentro más cómodo trabajando, entonces definitivamente esto va a ser algo que se observe siempre en mi cine.

En cuanto a siguientes proyectos, planeo comenzar a hacer algo que siempre me ha llamado la atención pero no había tenido la posibilidad de experimentar: rodajes bajo el agua, para inicios del próximo año me interesa hacer pequeñas piezas de videoarte, en donde contare distintas historias de amor, mezcladas con Tableau vivant debajo del agua.

[More than “magic rituals” for my understanding they are mental processes, paths and different ways of what is in my surroundings and mainly different alternatives to understand my own feelings and even my own body, and then transform them into a visual. I suppose it’s not my choice after all, but I have to observe and realize in which thematic and/or aesthetics I’m more comfortable with, then this is a ‘something’ that will always be reflected on my films.

And in regard to future projects, I plan to do something I have always been fascinated with but have never had the chance to try: filming underwater.
As soon as the following year begins, I want to film short fragments of artistic footage, where I will tell various love stories, mixed with ‘Tableau Vivant” under water.]

Your art direction sets, and props are precise and involved environments mixing nature and the domestic. Have you considered taking them beyond the 2D image and into sculpture and art installation?

DB: Sí, me interesa mucho el mundo de las instalaciones y aun más el de la escultura, he realizado algunos trabajos para conciertos en donde los escenarios se convierten en instalaciones que le otorgan una atmosfera mucho más completa, por otra parte en mi siguiente proyecto espero poder involucrarme más con la escultura.

[Yes, in fact I’m really interested in exploring the field of installation, and even more excited about trying sculpture. I’ve done some work at concerts where stages transform into installations, which help them acquire a bolder and more complete atmosphere, hence my desire to be more involved with sculpture in my next project.]

 

Where do your interests originate from?

DB: Mis intereses por el cine siempre han ido de la mano de la pintura, desde los impresionistas o la hermandad prerrafaelista, y a ello sumándole mi fuerte atracción por los temas que trata la literatura romántica, las tragedias y esta manera de ver la vida y la muerte. Me interesa mucho poder mezclar lenguajes, el videoarte con un cine más “lineal” por así decirlo, mas estructurado, jugar con ambos.

[I have always personally linked my interest in film (as an art) to Impressionism, the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, and a strong attraction to romantic literature, tragedy as an art and its point of view on life & death. I’m also really interested when it comes to blending languages together, video-art with the more ‘linear’ approach of film, with more structure, mainly to mess around with both.]

 

How did you come to work with Mater Suspiria Vision?

DB: Simplemente entramos en contacto luego de ver que la estética y las historias que cuento encajaban bastante bien con la línea que sigue Mater Suspiria Vision, fue todo muy fluido, nos entendimos bien para hacer que mi mundo y su mundo encajaran de la mejor manera posible.

[The contact between us started after they saw that the aesthetics and the stories matched what Mater Suspira Vision does. Everything was very fluent, we got along pretty well from the beginning, making both of our visions match in the best manner.]

 

 

We’ve featured Julieta Triangular on the website before, which is how I caught wind of your work. How was Julieta Triangular, your “celestial twin,” involved in the project?

DB: En este proyecto Julieta fue mi ayudante de dirección, en general es así de la manera que trabajamos, como ayudantes en los proyectos del otro, aparte de eso el proceso de creación es muy personal pero sí que contamos mutuamente para hacer críticas o cambios, recomendaciones en el resultado, cada vez mas entendemos el mundo propio de cada uno, observamos cono va enfocándose en ciertos temas o estéticas y de esta manera podemos ayudar al otro a saber encaminarlo correctamente.

[In this project Julieta was my Assistant Director, this is the way we work generally, like assistants in each other’s project. The creation process is very personal, but we do help each other when it comes to changes, critique, or recommendations in the final result. Each day that we work together we improve on mutually understanding our visions; we closely observe how certain topics or aesthetics are approached, and taking that as a basis we can easily help each other and make sure not to deviate from our original path.]

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The following images are from Barrera’s upcoming short film Sintesis de Amor Orgánico (Organic Love Synthesis):

 

 

 

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