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.

 

 

 

Thirteen years have passed since its beginnings, and in all this time the Video Art Festival PROYECTOR has grown and consolidated its position as an essential event in this discipline. Since its inception, the initiative has tried to give visibility to a discipline that has always been relegated to the background in the usual exhibition circuits. Although video creation is not new, since it emerged by its own in the 60s of last century, the way to get to know it and enjoy it has not always been easy. On many occasions, the exhibitions only included a few isolated pieces within the main route, as if the video was the anecdotal contribution to the whole. However, our daily lives are invaded by moving images, and there is a paradox that video art, despite being a format of artistic expression very much in tune with the habits of today's society, remains a minority discipline

Frame from “Hel City”, by Gregorio Méndez Sáez, 2019

To some extent, PROYECTOR was born to reverse this situation, to value video as a creative format and to offer a wide, itinerant space to host a multitude of proposals, coming from inside and outside our borders. In this time, the growth of the festival has led it to travel the world, but also, to be a benchmark that each year arouses more interest. In the open call to receive proposals, they reach almost half a thousand, and a hundred works selected by the jury are a representative sample of different ways of understanding video creation, with pieces mainly from Europe, Latin America, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

In turn, PROYECTOR wants to be more than a video showcase and offers a large program with talks, workshops, masterclasses, meetings with artists, visits and concerts. A complete experience that always has the moving image as a backdrop.

El Instante Francisco Ruiz de Infante. El bosque que se mueve (errores de medida)

In this evolution, another circumstance stands out: video is a creative format that has its own codes, but it is also one of the disciplines most open to artistic hybridization and the widening of uses. The video may, therefore, be the genuine idea of an author who conceives an autonomous project to be carried out in this format, but it can also be the complementary result of an action or the documentary record of a previous performance being recorded to guarantee its survival. The versatility of the moving image and the potential that it has acquired in recent years allows us today to speak of numerous branches of art that focus on the fusion of languages and the integration of techniques and methodologies from other sectors, and in many of them, the video is still a cornerstone. So it is with technological art, interactive sound art, performance recording, the transformation from big data to image, artificial intelligence, and a long etcetera. Precisely for this reason, PROYECTOR offers a panoramic vision of this reality, with an extremely interesting program that plays with the variety and wealth of proposals.

Frame from “Herdança”, by Thiago Rocha Pitta, 2007

The 2020 edition will run from September 9th to 20th. As usual, the program displays in various venues throughout the city of Madrid, each of which will house a small section of the activities. This year the festival will count with the collaboration of the Casa Árabe, White Lab, Cruce, El Instante Fundación, ¡ésta es una PLAZA!, Extensión AVAM (Matadero Madrid), Institut Français de Madrid, Medialab Prado, Quinta del Sordo, Sala Alcalá 31, Sala El Águila, Secuencia de Inútiles and White Lab, in addition to the collaboration of the INELCOM Collection and the video art collection of Teresa Sapey.

The festival is also the ideal place to articulate the cultural fabric, since it involves numerous professionals in the sector, from curators to creators, from centres managers to critics and teachers. The 2020 program also has the collaboration of the FUSO Festival and the Museo Reina Sofía, which are providing some of their pieces for the exhibition.

In short, an appointment that lovers of contemporary art should not miss and that promises many novelties in this 13th edition.