Art documentaries for this summer

 

 

‘The salt of the earth’, Win Wenders

 

 

 

We will start with two documentaries about photography. On the one hand, ‘The salt of the earth’, by Win Wenders, filmmaker, playwright, actor, photographer and director of other documentaries such as the one about Pina Bausch. `The salt of the earth’, 2004, approaches Sebastião Salgado´s life and work, and his humanistic photography to reflect the poverty, violence or environmental problems. On the other hand, we will mention ‘Finding Vivian Maier’, 2013, a documentary directed by Charlie Siskel and John Maloof, that reveals the self-taught photographer´s biography and how her legacy was discovered.

 

 

 

“Finding Vivian Maier”, Charlie Siskel and John Maloof

 

 

 

We travel from photography to urban art, highlighting ‘Writers: 20 ans de Graffiti à Paris’, a documentary from 2004, directed by Marc-Aurèle, essential to understand the world of graffiti. And the older ‘Style wars’, from 1983, directed by Henry Chalfant and Tony Silver, reveals us the graffiti linked to Hip-Hop and artistic urban practises that emerged in the heart of New York.

 

 

 

 “Style Wars”, Henry Chalfant and Tony Silver

 

 


A documentary that relates us to functional diversity and its connection with art is ‘What's under your hat?’ (2006), by Lola Barrera and Iñaki Peñafiel. It describes, through her twin sister, the life and work of the north american sculptor with Down's syndrome and deafness Judith Scott, and about how the artistic practise strengthened her communicative abilities.

 

 

 

‘What's under your hat?’, Lola Barrera and Iñaki Peñafiel

 

 

 

'La Belle Noiseuse’ (1991), by Jacques Rivette, reflects through the relationship between a painter and her model, about reality and its representation, about creative passion and its frustrations. It was inspired by the Balzac´s novel ‘The Unknown Masterpiece’ and obtained the ‘Grand Jury Prize’ in Cannes Festival.

 

 

 

'La Belle Noiseuse’, by Jacques Rivette

 

 

 

Having passed through photography, urban art, sculpture and painting, we reach the Land Art, with ‘Rivers and Tides’ (2001), a beautiful documentary in which the artist Andy Goldsworthy submerges himself into nature to create with her his poetic and ephemeral sculptures.

 

 

 

‘Rivers and Tides’, Thomas Riedelsheimer

 

 

 

We will finally recommend a classic for those that have not seen it yet. It is ‘The Sun of the Quince’ (1992), by Víctor Erice, in which the renowned hyperrealistic artist Antonio López tell us his ideas about artistic creation in general and his particular creative process, through the elaboration of a quince´s painting.

 

 

 

‘The Sun of the Quince’, de Víctor Erice

 

 

 

This brief selection goes through several artistic disciplines, which would allows us to choose the one we prefer in order to learn and enjoy.

 

 

 

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.