Gabriel Abrantes, A Brief History of Princess X, 2016
Gabriel Abrantes explores cinematographic language in his films and videos - he writes, directs, produces and occasionally acts in them. The films confront historical, social and political themes through an investigation of post-colonial, gender and identity questions. His work layers improbable readings, twisting traditional narratives while flirting with absurdity, folklore, humour, and politics. Building on the appropriation of Hollywood genres, such as the melodrama, romantic comedies, the war film, adventure movies, etc., and stirring it with a familiar archive of symbolic references, popular culture and contemporary anxieties Abrantes challenges the way these visual narratives have shaped a common take on History while eroding the frontiers of this conceptual repertoire.
A Brief History of Princess X (2016) is a pseudo-doc about Constantin Brancusi’s most infamous sculpture, commissioned by Napoleon’s great-grandniece, Marie Bonaparte. A short, sweet, and appropriately inappropriate look at how eroticism and scandal played roles in the history of modern art, psychoanalysis, and the study of female sexuality.