FICXLAB, the Gijón International Film Festival section devoted to experimental film & video returns next November 20-28 with a programme that combines both the work of audiovisual artists and filmmakers. Organized by LABoral, with the collaboration of Lumière Magazine this edition includes screenings of seminal works by R.Bruce Elder and Robert Nelson, as well as programmes dedicated to the work of Nathaniel Dorsky, Helga Fanderl, João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva or José Val del Omar, among others.
November 21, 17:00 & 22:15
British artist Emily Richardson has produced over the last decade various film works that highlight the importance of human action in the construction of any environment. Her look, thanks to a very objective and restrained style, that barely has any camera movements, and that shows transit areas, even banal ones, covering a wide range of venues ranging from empty streets of east London to forests, North Sea oil ridges, postwar towers, empty cinemas and military installations from the Cold War.
The programme presents 16mm films from early last decade, works with a small distribution in which the artist works with different musicians to build an environment marked by visual and audio experience. Alongside them, a second programme explores architecture throught portraits of a series of spaces with a charasteristic design.
Richardson's retrospective is completed with the installation called Beach house. Opening: November 20, 13:00h.
November 21, 19:30h
Paloma Polo is a Spanish researcher and visual artist based in Amsterdam and Manila. She has participated in several exhibitions such as La Biennale di Venezia curated by Massimiliano Gioni in 2013.
Unrest focuses on the microcosm of life and people of the Casiguran region, province of Aurora, to signal a macrocosmic problem of our time: land grabbing by SEZs, military bases, corporations, mining industries, agribusiness, leisure and entertainment industries, financial speculation, etc., with the consequent displacement and impoverishment of millions of women and men worldwide. A tiny fraction of displaced people is drawn to the shores of Europe, with the sole purpose of subjecting them to abuse and exploitation in the labor markets of the "secured" states.
In addition, there will be a round table in which the issues shown in the film and the work of Paloma Polo will be discussed. Paricipants in the table will include the artist herself and curator Juan de Nieves.
José Val del Omar
November 26, 19:45h, LABoral Centro de Arte y Creación Industrial
José Val del Omar (1904-1982), one of the most original and least known filmmakers (or 'cinemistas' as he preferred to be called) of Spain. He considered, in a pioneering way, film as a total art in which he worked from the more avant-garde experimentation, both in the production of works and the invention of film & video appliances and equipment.
Alongside the exhibition held at LABoral, there will be the screening of his "Elemental Triptych of Spain" in an unconventional projection, consistent with its transgressive spirit.
The Triptych, formed by Acariño Galaico (1961/1981–82/1995, finished posthumously), Fuego en Castilla (1958-60) and Aguaespejo Granadino (1953–55), will be screened not in chronological order, but in the order planned originally by its author.
November 27 , 19:45h
Graduated in 2013 at the School of Art and Media Caen, Thibault Jehanne (France, 1989) works primarily with film, video, installation and sound art. His concern as an artist revolves around the fugitive images, as evidenced by his work with devices such as webcams, mobile phones or imageless movies.
Winner of the FiCXLAB 2014 award with Eclipse, he joins us again this year to show his works D226, Eclipse, Nuit Americaine, Bourbon St and Eskifjörður at the same time he is working during his residency at LABoral, on a new audiovisual piece.
Lumière Magazine programmes
R. Bruce Elder
November 22, 16:30h
Lamentations: A monument to the dead world Part 2: The Sublime Calculation
November 24, 19:45h
A gathering of crystals
The monumental work of Bruce Elder seems to have been built with the aim to encompass the immensity of the whole World. His gigantic and incomprehensible cinematic cathedral, The Book of All the Dead (over twenty films with superlative lengths for the most part), a series inspired by Dante's Divine Comedy on the death of History and images, is both a treaty on decaying matter and an attempt to put some order in Chaos, to see clearly through the complexity of the contemporary world. One could speak of quixotic naivete, but perhaps Elder's work is closer to that nineteenth-century ambition, so little contemporary, of creating one theory to explain our reality.
A decomposing body, Lamentations walks quickly and heavily (without boths concepts entering into conflict) to total abstraction, from a bewildering dissonant soundtrack created for the occasion by musician Bill Gilliam in compositions that seem to threaten the images, diluting them even more. A minute and obsessive process of dismantling certain preconceptions about History and Art. The end of the world of images is also the beginning of its redemption. Elder seems to say that images (and sound), once released, can become, through montage, a definitive cinematic form and, finally, through it, to show the real beauty of visible objects.
November 22, 22:15h
To Robert Nelson, the motivation (be it artistic or vital) should come from joy. Joy in every act, from revelry. And, most crucially, from the fracture that only a sense of humor achieves. Like all his work, Suite California Stops & Passes (1976-1978) is the result of a slight concern: the need to recreate a medium (environment) so that intellectual representation of space isn't the priority, but that produces, with the film act, a State: At the crossroads, geopolitical condition and emotional state. To show the intersection of the layers that make up a space, from intimacy to History. With this search of proliferation and not of thesis, we get closer to the longing the filmmaker himself felt, as a viewer, to participate in a unique experience, new and sensorial, but never theoretical.
However, the journey that is the film itself runs through (discursive, not intellectual) speculation of a bipartisan proposal. On the negative, from Tijuana to Hollywood via Death Valley: criticism and parody of a counterproductive love of cinema, the irony of industry and the suffocation of Los Angeles. On the positive, from San Francisco to Sierra Nevada and back: home movies, panoramics of the city and excursions to the forest, Edenic counterpoints to the desert. And that, after all, the topographical path that is Suite California hits both as an intense reminder of the importance of place, as cardinal of identity, is not that of an oppressive determination, but that of autonomy, confidende or envisage of stimuli, landscape, that which feeds and pollutes. The commitment, in which we can only exist, be either our cartographic field that of film or land.
Nathaniel Dorsky & Helga Fanderl
November 23, 19:45h
A history of photosynthesis. Nathaniel Dorsky's Prelude and Intimations,
Since he made Hours for Jerome, the cinema of Nathaniel Dorsky seems to br ordered in seasonal sequences that describe feelings of depression and joy. Dark, gloomy and oppressive movies give way to other bright and decidedly cheerful. The filmmaker does not seem to want to alter the rhythms of nature, following the flow of time and images with the camera shooting through objects in search of their essence, their spirit. Films where shots are open and we see citizens and objects of the daily life of San Francisco in all its dimensions against others where there are hardly any lights and colors, geometric shapes that melt rhythmically through polyvalent montage, associations with both inspiration and divine mathematics.
Every film by Dorsky is a mystery, an intimate secret about himself, about his mark on the world, about his feelings at the time of shooting and editing those images. To navigate the complete filmography of Dorsky until today means facing an exercise of depuration, where the style itself and the inheritances of his cinephilia (from American classics to the masters of European cinema, through his fellow avant-garde filmmakers) are increasingly integrated more naturally in the images, so much that they don't seem a creation, but a transcendental experience made by someone whose sense of life and of cinema have become inseparable, in his own words.
Silver salts and cathalyzers of time. The Super8 films of Helga Fanderl
The film of Helga Fanderl are composed on the surface. The same surface on which the silver salts that make the conglomerate of the image. As the bark of trees, that is where the cracks of history appear, that in the case of the filmmaker are as small notches, poems of a life that testify to an untethered now, after which the complexity of a monumental work lies. His films in Super 8, silent and edited in-camera, stand as an ode to a present (filmic) reality, almost documentary, but also acting as witnesses of the past.
Modest in form but not in their approach, these films are positioned in our minds as the beacon of an earlier time. On the one hand, they are a discreet and energetic rebellion against video, that comes up and makes you feel not only the images but also and above all its materiality. On the other hand, they range from the intimate to the general, they are a balm for the eyes and heart. Each session, curated by Fanderl herself, act as a catalyst of times. Thus, expectant, we are witnessing the continuous resurrection of the present of the images.
November 23, 21:30h
The bare minimum in so far as frugal and the quality of the extract. In the work of Jonathan Schwartz there is a discrete formulation that aims to the essential and which, however, is not intended to be symbolic. A possible power due, firstly, to the ease and spontaneity (learned, surely, of his mentors Saul Levine and Mark Lapore), but also to the insistent recreation in the quality of miniature. Microscopic vision, that is, amplification of the substance that so resists, by its consistency, to be functional, but also solid simplicity that opens the space of grace where the raw material is exposed. Without structure but keeping a balance, oblique forces that tighten each discrete unit: the weight of a reiteration of skiing falls while in the projector the celluloid ascends; a hike or a swim in the river, a shadow play and a contrast with whiteness: the outbreak of a peony or the aperture of the diaphragm; illustrations, photographs, pictures, animation frame by frame. Sliding, sometimes juxtaposed, sometimes superimposed, from grain to eyelid-or to the texture of specific vegetation and fauna, the family enclave, the succession of winters, Vermont.
Because the most precious virtue in Schwartz's films is his stubbornness to not violent the conclusive. As with his musical analogy (the golden length of sound played to 33 rpm, prolongation of the echo) his films reverberate as songs, poems or elegies, where the final nuance to the confusion are the soundtracks, whose sporadic synchronization -not of direct sound but of a ludic exterior- complete these trifles as slippery and warm as a sunset in a house, or the naturalness of parenting. Of making movies.
November 24, 22:15h
Screening of The Thoughts That Once We Had (2015), film in which Thom Andersen takes inspiration from Gilles Deleuze's book The Image-Movement and from American classic musical comedies.
As Andersen himself says on his own work: “The Thoughts That Once We Had tells more than I know, although I learned a number of material facts about cinema and my relation to cinema while making it: few film-makers are capable of making what Deleuze calls an “affection-image,” an image that imprints the face as a pure affect; the melody of the gaze is also rare; the more grounded the camera, the better (what Joris Ivens taught); a shot from The Eleventh Year by Dziga Vertov anticipates Wavelength; reading aloud is the most cinematic of all actions; my interest in cinema is more carnal than I realized; what interests the camera is not a given, but something the camera discovers anew for every shot.”.
Gusmão & Paiva
November 25, 22.15 horas
Retrospective of Portuguese artists João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva where their "philosophical-poetic fictions" will be displayed through 26 films screened in 16mm where we see a hybrid and kaleidoscopic world, where science, philosophy and religion meet together.
João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva have been collaborating since 2001 to make what they call "philosophical-poetic fictions" that have led them to museums and art centers worldwide, up to the Venice Biennale. Most of their works take the form of sculpture, installation and short film with amateur actors and effects which ignore "high technologies". Their pieces show a continued interest in the paranormal, the unexplainable, illusion and complexity in the production of images.
Zanzibar Group partial retrospective
The filmmakers and artists group Zanzibar pioneered the claim that the personal, in the first instance, is political. The Zanzibar group is created in France in 1968, although their coordinates do not go through party or union militancy, but by hedonism and experimentation close to the New York underground of the Factory. Among its members are authors like Serge Bard, Philippe Garrel, Francis Conrad and Jackie Raynal. Their films make a significant contribution to the film heritage of May '68, being less ideologically strict than, for example, the work of Jean-Luc Godard. Heirs of Rimbaud's dandy spirit, from who they took the name of Zanzibar, psychedelia, sex, drugs and marginal political positions even within the margins, define this group of young friends and girlfriends articulated around a film-club on rue de l'Echaude in Paris, and only possible thanks to money from and affinity with their patron, Sylvina Boissonnas.
November 26, 17:00h
Sesión 1: Serge Bard, Détruisez-Vous
November 26, 22:15h
- Frédéric Pardo, Home Movie autour du Lit de la Vierge de Philippe Garrel
- Francis Conrad, Heads and Tales
November 27, 17:00h
Sesión 3: Jackie Raynal, Deux Fois
November 27, 22:15h,
Sesión 4: Serge Bard, Fun and Games for Everyone