Ricardo Nicolayevsky: Portraits in Movement

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The Center for Digital Culture pays tribute to Ricardo Nicolayevsky, an artist whose work marks a milestone in audiovisual experimentation and the intersection of cinema and the performing arts.  Drawing from different genres and practices, from cabaret, to musical composition, performance art, and improvisation, Nicolayevsky’s work reveals the promiscuous possibilities of the moving image, creating delirious cinematic atmospheres and experiences that seek to subvert conventional modes of viewing and making cinema.

This three-part retrospective celebrates his diligently un-disciplinary practice.

Expanded Cinema Event, November 27th, 20h
PERÍMETRO: Ricardo Nicolayevsky
Films by Ricardo Nicolayevsky, projected with live musical accompaniment, cabaret-inspired improvisation, and real-time voice dubbing.  The piece represents a nod to avant-garde cabaret traditions, and invites the audience to participate in the colletive creation of a sonic and visual atmosphere.

- The private life of a former artist
- Oh Julie
Music by Ricardo Nicolayevsky and Carlos Vivanco
Special Guests: Elena Pardo and Manuel Trujillo

Foco: Ricardo Nicolayevsky, December 5th, 19h.
Screening and conversation with the artist. This program features the collective portraits Nicolayevsky has made in the last three decades: pieces that evoke documentary and painting, and capture the spirit of the portrayed, as well as the sensibility of a generation.

- Scratches On My Brain (1982)
- Mexican Cinema For Dummies (2001-2002)
- Katia, Lula y Claudio (1982-1985)
- NYC '83 (1983)
- A Letter from Katia (1984)
- More Scratches on My Brain (1982)
- Cadáveres Exquisitos (1985 version)
- 2 Exercises (1985)
- Short Pieces From Old Notebooks (1985-2003)
- Ula, Charlie & Friends (1982-1985)
- Bauhaus (circa. 1982)
- Film Fungus (1986)

Installation: Lost Portraits (1982-1985), December 16th, 2015-January 7th, 2016
Collection of 55 experimental portraits shot in Super 8 and 16mm, transferred to Video.
Brief portraits of artists and friends of the filmmaker, half document, half experimental essay, where visual elements converge with carefully crafted soundtracks.  With this premise, Nicolayevsky generates pertinent atmospheres to capture his subjects, unveil their personalities and essence.  This installation, composed of twenty individual monitors distributed as sculptures in space, creates different architectures of memory, intimacy, and complicity. Total Running Time: 106min

About Ricardo Nicolayevsky
Born in Mexico City.  When he turned 20, he moved to New York City, where he studied Cinema Studies at NYU.  After obtaining his BFA from NYU, he pursued a career in music.  He premiered his own compositions for piano twice (1987, 1988) at the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall (NYC).  Since the beginning of the 80s, he has composed music for short films, theater plays and radio, and has also been involved in cabaret and performance.  His film and video work includes a vast series of portraits in movement, generally of artists from different generations and cities.  He has also created the soundtracks to the portraits.  His collection entitled “Lost Portraits” from the 80s toured the festival circuit and was awarded numerous prizes.  His work has been included in individual and collective shows in various galleries, museums, festivals, and universities in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Peru, Germany, Holland, Sweden, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.  In 2003 he became a fellow of the Media Arts Program (Rockefeller Foundation and Ford Foundation).  In 2004, he was invited to perform at BAM Café Live (Brooklyn Academy of Music) with his group of improvised music “Cabaret Gutenberg.”  In 2006, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) honored his film and video work with a solo event entitled “A Night with Ricardo Nicolayevsky.”  He currently lives and works in Mexico City.


Centro de Cultura Digital - Mexico D.F., Mexico


Wednesday, December 16, 2015 (All day) to Thursday, January 7, 2016 (All day)



Wednesday, December 16, 2015 (All day) to Thursday, January 7, 2016 (All day)
  • Paseo de Reforma s/n
    Colonia Juárez
    06600   Mexico D.F.
    Phone: (+52) 55 1000 2637
    19° 25' 22.2564" N, 99° 10' 30.378" W