This year, the Museo Reina Sofía participates for the first time in Spanish Film Day, an initiative, established in 2021, of Spain’s Ministry of Culture and Sport which brings together screens and programmes from different institutions. In this edition, the Museo retrieves a historical and pioneering work in international experimental film: ...ere erera baleibu izik subua aruaren...(1968–1970), made by artist José Antonio Sistiaga (San Sebastián, 1932). The film screening will be accompanied by live music from ambient group Menhir (Coco Moya and Iván Cebrián).
Painted by hand, frame by frame, onto 35mm celluloid, ...ere erera baleibu izik subua aruaren... is a work framed within so-called “camera-less film”. The work encompasses a synaesthesia between painting and film — that is, it can be understood at once as a painting animated in time and enlarged on-screen and as abstract cinema that is part of the aesthetic qualities of non-representation. Across 70-plus minutes, geometric and lyrical forms materialise, referring to an origin of life — a type of Big Bang — or to microscopic visions of nature, thereby producing a preternatural state of trance in contemplation. The title …ere erera baleibu izik subua aruaren… has no meaning as such, but evokes the phonetics of the Basque language. The film is also one of the first in “expanded cinema”, a term coined by experimental film-maker Stan Vanderbeek in 1966 and used by critic Gene Youngblood in his 1970 book under the same title, in which he highlights how film, expanding its temporal and spatial limits, must trigger an experience in the spectator.
The screening of this work during Spanish Film Day sees the Museo Reina Sofía spotlight its collection of experimental film and invite the audience, to use Sistiaga’s words, on a journey with no set destination.
José Antonio Sistiaga …ere erera baleibu izik subua aruaren…
Spain, 1968–1970, colour, silent, 35mm, hand-painted and transferred to DA, 75'
—With a live musical accompaniment by the group Menhir