04 march, 2007 - 28 march, 2007
Only on Sunday. A Night at the Museum (or what Betty Boop saw)
Since the night that Betty Boop was locked inside a museum (Betty Boop’s Museum, 1932) and the skeletons came to life and began to dance more violently than their old bones could have imagined - causing night watchman Ben Stiller to dream about them 74 years later (Night at the Museum, 2006), museums have been subject to numerous attempts to reactivate them and involve them in temporary media like film and video. When a video enters a museum - as an exhibition piece or the implement of some spy - the eternity of the space tends to give way to the fast cuts, fugues in real time and alternative chronologies found in audiovisual works, whether they are a product of Hollywood or come from the art world.
24 february, 2007 - 24 february, 2007
Enlace-30. Raoul Ruiz. Klimt
Klimt (2006) looks at the life and work of the Viennese painter and his relationship with women, his rejection of the artistic and moral conventions of the era and the ideals that guided his life. “The film is not a linear biography of Gustav Klimt’s life and times,” according to Raoul Ruiz (Puerto Montt, 1941- Paris, 2011). “It is a fantasy or better a phantasmagoria. Just like one of his paintings, where the material or imaginary figures mix and rotate around a central fulcrum: the painter Klimt. I wanted to outline the unique stylistic features of Klimt’s art, the prevailance of beauty, the excess of colour, the distorted spaces and the complex parts to catch life and clarify one of the richest, most conflicting and mysterious times of modern history.”
22 february, 2007 - 28 march, 2007
The Canvas is the Screen
During the 1970s, artists rebelled against painting and the prevailing formalism, embracing aspects like the theatrical dimension of artworks and the relationship between the public and the object: installations instead of paintings, sites instead of sculptures, performance pieces instead of images. Paradoxically, while reducing painting to its formal specificity ended up eradicating it, the application of the same principles to film endowed it with truly revolutionary potential. In their search for the characteristics intrinsic to the medium, artists like Malcolm Le Grice (Plymouth, 1940) rid themselves of the narrative and causality of traditional film to investigate the specific possibilities of the moving image.
19 january, 2007 - 04 february, 2007
Continuous Movement. German Experimental Film and Video (1994-2004)
Continuous Movement highlights the importance of experimental cinema in the development of film as an independent art form and the evolution of film aesthetics and language, despite the marginal place that this type of film has historically filled with respect to the commercial structures of the audiovisual market. However, experimental film and, later, video have found their place among the visual arts where they share numerous links to the artistic uses of the audiovisual field, particularly with video installation and performance art.
25 september, 2006 - 25 september, 2006
Enlace-29. Marine Hugonnier
Marine Hugonnier (Paris, 1969), a video artist whose work explores the relationship between landscape and history, presents The Three Continents, a film trilogy comprised of Ariana (2001), The Last Tour (2004) and Travelling Amazonia (2005). In these films, geography acts as a starting point to look at topics like colonialism, utopia and globalisation.
20 september, 2006 - 21 october, 2006
Samuel Beckett. Work for Film and Television
The reception given Samuel Beckett’s (Dublin, 1906 - Paris, 1989) work in Spain was characterised by the commonplace concepts of ‘existentialist literature’ and ‘theatre of the absurd’. This reductionist approach not only anchored Beckett to a very specific historical and aesthetic paradigm, but also marginalised other dimensions of his work to the point of making them almost disappear. This series highlights the link (which seemed improbable, since it does not fit any stereotype) between Beckett and film and television, affirming this facet of his work on the centenary of his birth.
27 may, 2006 - 27 may, 2006
Enlace-27. Alfredo Jaar
The film Muxima (2005) arose from the love affair that the artist Alfredo Jaar (Santiago de Chile, 1956) has with contemporary African music. For 20 years, Jaar has been collecting this type of music, especially works produced in former Portuguese colonies such as Angola, Mozambique, Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde. The origins of Muxima (a word that means heart in the Kimbundu language) date back to a day when, trying to organise his extensive collection of Angolan recordings, Jaar discovered that he had six different versions of a song called Muxima.
17 may, 2006 - 24 june, 2006
Contemporary Madness was designed to clear up the hazy boundary separating the reality of perception from the rules of exception, featuring audiovisual creations that present the darker areas of the social order and the human mind using non-fiction and documentary work done in Spain. The works show the invisibility of the limits established by the discourses sanctioned by civil ordinances and medical and political convention.
17 april, 2006 - 28 april, 2006
Susan Sontag. On Cinema
The love that Susan Sontag (New York, 1933-2004) felt for the cinema (and showed with her participation on selection committees for festivals and programmes for film series around the world, as well as the creation of her own films) is especially manifest in her untiring defence of filmmakers like Jean-Luc Godard (Paris, 1930), Chris Marker, Ingmar Bergman and Jack Smith, to name just a few, when their work needed to reach a broader, more appreciative audience (and in the case of Smith, be given legal protection). This series pays tribute to Sontag’s legacy to film culture, establishing a dialogue between films and documentaries by and about Susan Sontag with the works of some of these filmmakers.
09 april, 2006 - 30 april, 2006
Video Creation from Finland
Finland is experiencing an exceptional moment with respect to audiovisual production, both in quality, diversity and distribution. Specific political decisions, school curricula and distribution platforms have specifically contributed to this situation. Video Creation from Finland brings together a set of varied and different approaches to the medium which at the same time share a special relationship with their environment, a fragmented narrative and even a similar approach to images and shots that is disconnected from video tradition and much more akin to film.
02 march, 2006 - 23 march, 2006
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is dedicating a retrospective to the work of Peggy Ahwesh (Pittsburgh, 1954), one of the most groundbreaking and irreverent filmmakers of the American underground. Ahwesh began to make films in the early 1980s, projecting all of the effervescence of punk into her work. According to Eileen Myles, the Kodak Company would return each roll of developed film to her with a patient explanation that that they “had done it wrong”. Like Andy Warhol, Ahwesh gave her actors complete freedom in the field, but did impose some cut-off limits never imagined by the creator of Sleep (1963), to whom Ahwesh paid tribute with The Fragments Project (1985-1995).
27 february, 2006 - 27 february, 2006
Enlace-26. Vasco Araújo
Vasco Araújo (Lisbon, 1975), an artist who uses installation, video and photography to reflect on sexual identity, strategies of representation and reality, is presenting the films Recital (2002), Hipólito (2003), The Girl of the Golden West (2004) and Far de Donna (2005) at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía.
06 february, 2006 - 06 february, 2006
Enlace-25. Valérie Mréjen
Valérie Mréjen, born in Paris in 1969, is a writer, visual artist, photographer, video artist and short filmmaker. Mréjen uses all of these media to explore language, childhood and her memories. Her videos are farcical sketches of daily life that draw attention to the game between words and stories. Fixed shots, actors who do not try to act, neutral backdrops and dialogues in which nothing extraordinary is discussed are the constants in her work.
05 february, 2006 - 26 february, 2006
…but I was only acting!
…but I was only acting! features a series of single-channel screenings that explore the connections between acting (as in performance) and activism from the lens of humour and irony. On this basis, the artists chosen for the programme represent a kind of transcendence with respect to the social framework in which they create, according to the idea established by radical activist and historian Howard Zinn in his book Artists in Times of War. For Zinn, “the artist thinks, acts, performs music, and writes outside the framework that society has created.” He goes on to clarify that “artists can be sly. They
16 january, 2006 - 21 january, 2006
Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film 1893 - 1941
Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film 1893 - 1941 is the first comprehensive retrospective of American avant-garde film before the 1940s. The complete programme includes 160 35 and 16 mm films, between new restorations and preserved copies, of which the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía is presenting a selection of 36 films. Unseen Cinema explores the achievements - unknown to date - of pioneer filmmakers who worked in and outside the United States during the formative period of North American cinema.
21 september, 2005 - 07 october, 2005
The series Animated Sessions, which complements the exhibition of the same name, offers a brief overview of animation today in eight video programmes that feature the work of artists in this field like Manu Arregui (Santander, 1970), Feng Mengbo (Beijing, 1966), Liane Lang (Munich, 1973) and Jordi Moragues (Barcelona, 1970). The selection includes different styles and techniques - from drawing to modelling, 3D animation and digital applications - and considers a variety of narrative structures and themes in order to draw closer attention to the careers of some of the artists who primarily use this medium, thus offering a perspective on animation within the contemporary art scene.
14 september, 2005 - 18 september, 2005
We Are the World
We Are the World is a series that features works by young artists who share the common ground of being multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multinational and are also alike that in none of them live in their home country for more than short periods at a time. Drawing on this pluralistic outlook, these creators tackle a series of common problems arising from the need to confront the past and the present by telling stories (real and/or fictional) that reveal their anxieties, hopes, cultural inheritance, political or social conflicts, and, last but not least, their reaction to the fact that they are part of the first real generation of ‘global youth’. The works by these artists offer deep reflections about youth in the world today, at the same time that they provide some perspective on the new world, one that rises above borders, nationalities and differences.
04 september, 2005 - 18 september, 2005
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía presents an audiovisual series on the relationship between video and music curated by Bob Nickas, a pioneer in experimental video clips during the early years of MTV in the 1980s. At the end of the 70s, the punk, no wave and performance art era, there was a general conviction that video clips had a commercial function only aimed at promoting and selling records. Art never formed part of the original equation. However, at times, music groups from the art world would choose an artist to direct their videos and they would go on to produce something that was much more than a commercial tool, raising the level of the invention and the visual sophistication. One such case is the collaboration between Sonic Youth and the artists Tony Oursler (New York, 1957) and Richard Kern (North Carolina 1954), and with the filmmakers Todd Haynes (Los Angeles, 1961) and Harmony Korine (Bolinas, 1973), to give only one example. In contrast, since the 1990s, the influence of music on young video artists has been considerable. For many of them, music and sound are central elements in their work, when they are not forming the very subject of the piece.
04 september, 2005 - 08 september, 2005
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía has chosen nine films from contemporary cinema as part of the summer film programme presented as an alternative to more commercial circuits. Some of the most emblematic films from contemporary French cinema are represented by directors like Jean-Luc Godard (Paris, 1930), Agnès Varda (Brussels, 1928) and the couple Jean-Marie Straub (Metz, 1933) / Danièle Huillet (Paris, 1936 - Cholet, 2006). Bruce Weber (Greensburg, 1946) and Matthew Barney (San Francisco, 1967) offer alternative poetics from American film, while the acclaimed Jia Zhangke (Fenyang, 1970) comes to the museum’s screens with his tale of a changing China, The World (2004).
05 july, 2005 - 05 july, 2005
Enlace-28. Javier Viver
The work of Javier Viver (Madrid, 1971) takes advantage of a variety of media including sculpture, photography and video. Appropriating resources from industry and show business, he creates interdisciplinary spectacles about exile and the ephemeral nature of things that highlight the desolation and great internal contradictions of modern man.
19 may, 2005 - 05 june, 2005
Remote Control. Art on the TV
Since its earliest days, British television has served as a reference point for creative dialogue between contemporary art and television. As early as 1938, the artist and critic John Piper (Epsom, 1903; - Fawley Bottom, 1992) was appearing in a studio to talk about modern art. Today, the means of broadcast and reception have become decentralised and fragmented. Television as the supreme medium of directed mass culture is in decline and its audience, which was once captive, is dispersed among hundreds of satellite and cable channels, DVDs, videogames and 3G mobile phones. The moment when leisure time was filled with the great cultural television projects that so distinguished the second half of the 20th century will not be repeated. Remote Control features a selection of some of the most historical moments in the history of the relationship between art and television.
February 2 - 6, 2005
El futuro más acá
Mexican science fiction film
El futuro más acá is a film series that brings together a selection of Mexican films that between 1945 and 1980 explored science fiction themes from a point of view very different from that of the discourse dominating the genre in the United States.
31 march, 2005 - 11 june, 2005
Prison of Love. Cultural Narratives about Gender Violence
Prison of Love is an interdisciplinary project that raises the possibility of artistically and culturally representing a complex set of aspects around the topic of domestic/gender violence. The title is not accidental; it is taken from an epistolary novel with a tragic end by Diego de San Pedro (Seville, 1492), whose beliefs and point of view could well symbolise, both literally and figuratively, fear of the patriarchal system in the 21st century. With five interconnected sections (a film and video programme, web project, performance piece, conferences and a publication) and conceived as a space distinguished by its diversity of opinions and points of view, Prison of Love runs the risk of being perceived as lacking rigor, confronting as it does a topic that is both broad and brutal. Far from assuming that ‘anything goes’, this project, which was put together over a period of almost two years, is based on the concept that artistic and cultural codes are collective representations and that their form and content are shaped by and for the social order.
13 march, 2005 - 19 march, 2005
Chip Lord. The Empire of the Image
The Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía presents a retrospective of the work of Chip Lord (Cleveland, 1944) a pioneer in video creation in the United States and co-founder of the art and architecture collective Ant Farm, created to map the American psyche of the 1940s and 50s without losing sight of the rapid technological changes of the post-war period. The works done by Ant Farm, whose members (co-founder Doug Michels and Curtis Schreier and Hudson Marquez, who joined later) came from the field of architecture, treated the media in a way that differed significantly from other video collectives in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Decidedly interdisciplinary, the group produced works that combined performance art, media language, sculpture and graphic and architectural design and usually exhibited the countercultural ideology of the era with a free-and-easy sense of humour.
24 february, 2005 - 24 february, 2005
Enlace-24. Breda Beban
The work of Breda Beban (Serbia) - born in the former Yugoslavia and living in London since 1991 - focuses on photography, film and video. Her films are romantic reports, halfway between fiction and documentary, on the authenticity, intimacy and vulnerability found on the margins of great stories about culture, geopolitics and gender questions.
14 january, 2005 - 22 january, 2005
The work of David Lamelas (Buenos Aires, 1946) is unique in that it unites formal objectivism with the embodiment of the artist’s subjective experience and is marked by his time in different cities like Los Angeles, London, Paris and Berlin. This series, structured into three programmes, offers a tour through these cities as they appear in his work at different significant moments of his life between his break with Buenos Aires and his return there.
11 september, 2004 - 11 september, 2004
This series is dedicated to the audiovisual work done by artists who lived near the events of 9/11 and who documented the before and after of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York on Tuesday 11 September 2001, which the world witnessed on their television screens. Since then, the unrepeatable moment that the airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center has been rebroadcast endlessly, becoming fixed in the collective memory, condensing the innumerable effects of Al Qaeda’s attack against the United States.
10 september, 2004 - 30 september, 2004
Zone of Crossovers
A Zone of Crossovers is a series dedicated to the Belgian film and video scene, a heterogeneous place where extremely different approaches, forms and strategies come together. Without a doubt, this circumstance reflects and is a symptom of the complex historical, political and cultural reality of this small country which, since its founding in 1830, has embodied a commitment to neutralise territorial conflicts between adjacent powers: Germany, England, France and Holland. The setting for historical clashes between the Latin and Germanic worlds, Belgium is also a space characterised by a rich cultural hybridisation in which the appearance of figures like René Magritte, Marcel Broodthaers and Panamarenko cannot be considered a coincidence.
14 june, 2004 - 23 june, 2004
Describing Love (in 7 Fragments)
Describing Love (in 7 Fragments) presents some twenty videos and seven films that, using different moments and contexts, reflect on love and are related to seven ideas taken from the book by Roland Barthes (Cherbourg, 1915 - Paris, 1980), Fragments d’un discourse amoureux. The book is structured around topics (arranged from A to Z) that the author defines both theoretically and personally. As in the book, the programme follows Barthes’ ideas in alphabetical order, as he presents them in the original French, thus questioning the linearity of the narrative of the subject’s experience and his love affair, providing a portrait (which is structural more than biographical) in which the loving subject speaks about himself in a confrontation with the loved object, who does not speak.
12 may, 2004 - 03 june, 2004
This series is dedicated to the work of artist, photographer and director Ulrike Ottinger (Konstanz, 1942), one of the most emblematic figures of the New German Cinema, paradoxically overlooked by official histories. Ottinger began working in film in the 1960s (during which time she studied photography, history and ethnology at the side of teachers including John Friedlaender, Claude Lévi-Strauss and Pierre Bourdieu), although she did not make her first film as a director until 1972, when she directed Laocoon & Sons with Tabea Blumenschein (Konstanz, 1952). The film premiered at the Deutsche Kinemathek in Berlin in 1973. With Madame X - Eine absolute Herrscherin (1977), a film about a female pirate, Ottinger revealed her interest in questions of gender, although in the 1980s she distanced herself from traditional feminist paradigms to interrogate the existence of a ‘female’ aesthetic, an alternative way of seeing the world, and begin to explore new discourses about identity. Her Berlin Trilogy marked a critical moment in this turn, since in it she tackled questions like androgyny and dandyism using a somewhat queer sensibility. From this point of view, Ottinger’s work has the special distinction of re-appropriating the aesthetics of narcissism from a feminist discourse, proposing a renegotiation of subjectivity and going beyond the more traditional debates in feminist theory on gender and sexuality.
22 april, 2004 - 22 april, 2004
Enlace-23. Manuel Olveira
Manuel Olveira (Puerto del Son, 1964), the director de Hangar, talks about the project Procesos abiertos, which was designed to draw attention to the production processes in contemporary art through a series of activities, a documentation centre and a blog. For six months (from January to July 2004) and with the participation of eleven artists, a support framework will be created in and with the public space, intended to be more of a network of relationships within a context than a physical framework.
01 march, 2004 - 01 march, 2004
Enlace-22. Valie Export
Valie Export (Linz, 1940) has, since the 1960s, served as a reference point for conceptual and feminist art with her reflections on identity, the use of the body and sexuality and its relation to the media. Her work, which is formally heterogeneous, spans film, video, performance art, photography, drawing and installations, formats that converge in a point of view that is radically opposed to the roles that the sexist conception inherent in western culture grants women.
27 february, 2004 - 08 march, 2004
Hackers. The Art of Abstraction
Originally, hacker was a word that designated someone who made furniture using an axe. In the cyber world, however, it has acquired numerous meanings related to the world of artificial intelligence and its uses on the Internet, from the positive connotation when referring to a person who enjoys exploring programmable systems in great detail and how to expand their possibilities, to the unfavourable meaning used to refer to people who maliciously try to discover delicate information by manipulating programming systems. Hackers. The Art of Abstraction is a series of documentaries, conferences and performance pieces dedicated to the hacker phenomenon and culture that highlights some key questions that arose alongside the earliest appearances of computer ‘piracy’: Are the security systems guaranteed by large corporations and web servers really stable? To what extent can hacker practices be categorised as meaningless vandalism? What lies in these practices of civil disobedience?
06 february, 2004 - 06 february, 2004
Enlace-21. Cecilia Noriega-Bozovich
What is the tunche? The tunche is a figure that has never been seen but is there. No visual representation of it exists, but it is imagined as a nocturnal bird. Its whistle is sweet and melancholy. When its whistle is short, it is a tormented soul that escorts; when it is long, it is an evil spirit that haunts, an omen of misfortune and death. Part of Peruvian folklore, the tunche is a feared and respected presence in the collective mindset.
19 january, 2004 - 30 january, 2004
Trinh T. Minh-ha. Documentary Is/Not a Name
This film and video programme presents the complete filmography of the Vietnamese filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-ha (Hanoi, 1952), one of the most forceful voices in post-colonial and post-feminist discourse in the 1980s and 90s. Born in Hanoi, she moved to the United States in 1970, where she studied music composition, ethnomusicology and French literature at the University of Illinois. Her film work has been highly recognised in the field of documentary, where she has adopted a critical ethnographic eye with respect to the narrative of the traditional documentary, which she deconstructs in her films. The technique of documentary film often contains the illusion of offering an objective and impartial look at the observed subject. The filmmaker, like the anthropologist, usually enjoys a privileged position, a distance above the observed subject that supposedly guarantees the neutrality of the process and the document. Part of Trinh T. Minh-ha’s work consists of challenging this proposition, revealing the strategies and methods used in the specific relationships between the documentary maker and the exploited or oppressed subjects who are observed in a hieratical power structure with an underlying authoritarian discourse about the ‘other’. In her films, meaning is constructed, not given. Thus she shows that commentary is not impartial, but rather an interpretation open to all its inherent complexity.
30 october, 2003 - 30 october, 2003
Enlace-20. Joan Rabascall
The work of Joan Rabascall (Barcelona, 1935), one of the Spanish artists who founded the Sociological Art movement in Paris in 1974, grapples with the messages contained in the manipulated media images that we are fed every day. Drawing on publicity, the press and television, he reveals the failures in the system through works with minimal decontextualisation and subsequent resignifying.
17 july, 2003 - 27 july, 2003
A Brief History of Video Art in Holland. 30 Years in the Work of 30 artists
A Brief History of Video Art in Holland is a video programme curated by Sebastián López, director of the Gate Foundation. It features the participation of 30 artists who are already prominent in the history of the audiovisual medium because of their important contributions, both to the development of video and to the issues that characterised the visual arts between 1972 and 2002. The exhibition charts the diversity and variety of the artists who have drawn the history of Dutch video art without constrictions in a medium supposedly without borders, opening up numerous cross-cultural connections and providing an open space for discussion where the artistic interrogates the cultural. The exhibition thus contributes to establishing new parameters to better understand the video work of the last three decades and the historical context in which these works were produced.
04 june, 2003 - 22 june, 2003
Adolescents. Films and Videos for/about Girls and Boys
Adolescents. Films and Videos for/about Girls and Boys is a programme of underground films that deal with the problems faced by adolescents and the challenges entailed in reaching the earliest years of adult life. Despite the difficulties involved in this vital phase for most people who experience it, as series curator Susana Blas notes, “we have gone from thinking of youth as an illness that is quickly cured to completely sublimating it. It seems that nobody wants to let go of this young way of living, which for many people has become a way of feeling, from being radical to just adopting their aesthetics and fashions. Today, you can find 40-year-old adolescents.” Drawing on this observation, the series is designed to break with the most perverse aspects involved in the sublimation of adolescence and unearth some of the clichés that have emerged around this difficult and venerated time of life. At the same time, it is introducing audiences to the work of a series of essential artists in the contemporary audiovisual world.