Universo Vídeo: The Other Spanish Audiovisual Scene

An exhibition which aims to bring us closer to the different ways of creating contemporary Spanish audiovisual work that is more daring and creative.

Published: Oct 07, 2013
Universo Vídeo: The Other Spanish Audiovisual Scene

Snow, Verónica Ibarra

By Laura Cano (@Via_di_uscita), La Caja Rvuelta

“Life is only a slowed-down explosion, and I try to compress it to turn it into ecstasy: into an eternal instant.” José Val del Omar

Starting on 23 October until 5 January 2014, this year’s third show of Universo Vídeo [Video Universe] will be held at LABoral. Since 2011 LABoral has showed its strong support for this type of artistic discipline, encouraging its reflection, its diffusion, and the analysis of a language which is so close to us (because of its everydayness) yet so useful for experimentation, excitement and communicating ideas and feelings.

In this case, Alfredo Aracil , the project’s curator, has decided to focus on contemporary Spanish audiovisual creation. The exhibition is coproduced by LABoral and Gijón International Film Festival, and this collaboration involves more than the show itself, which is aimed at back-and-forth flows for all those spectators interested in the most experimental expressions of the moving image. Additionally, one of the authors taking part in the exhibition will have the opportunity to complete a two-week production residency at the art centre.  The resulting work from this will be presented in the next edition of FICX [Gijón International Film Festival], number 52, in 2014.

Val del Omar Fuera de sus Casillas, Velasco Broca

And the fact is that Spanish audiovisual creation is rich although, perhaps, relatively unknown. From the beginnings of cinema with Segundo de Chomón, often compared to Méliès, geniuses who are now beginning to be recognised and studied with the care they deserve, like the native of Granada (my fellow inhabitant) José Val del Omar or Basilio Martín Patino, to the young creators of our time with many holding a lot of importance today, such as María Cañas (The Archivist of Seville), the collective “Left Hand Rotation”, or those participating in this show.

It has been a constant feature that audiovisual creation at its most daring, critical and ground breaking (experimental film, video art) has developed on the fringes. It is hardly surprising since being on the margin fosters creative freedom and action. However, it is good to know that authors have found alternative channels to continue producing. This was the case before and still is. Evidence of this are the large number of platforms born out of effort and collaboration which diffuse, promote and bring these creations closer to all those interested. PlaytimeAudiovisualesMárgenesHamacaInMediTerraneum: International Festival of Simultaneous Video Art, L’Alternativa Festival and  A Window in Berlin are some examples. While some may receive institutional support, all of these projects arose from the private sector from the desires of people who believe in and create art which is seen on the screen.

Alfredo Aracil has collaborated with one of these platforms for the production of the show. This was PLAT and seven of the authors they work with have been selected to present us with this glimpse of the contemporary Spanish audiovisual scene.

Louie's Toy Garden, Guillermo G. Peydró

PLAT took its name from the abbreviation of platform and as a tribute to the laboratory where Val del Omar carried out all his visual experiments: “Picto Lumínico Audio Táctil”, of which we could see a recreation in an exhibition on the film-maker held at Madrid’s Reina Sofía last year (the laboratory is now part of the permanent exhibition). It is a website dedicated to the diffusion of the most experimental and independent Spanish audiovisual work. Its standing is very remarkable, since that within only a few months it has become a leading website. Its direct commitment to the authors and support of free access have been the keys to its success.

The platform was formed thanks to Kinora, an association for audiovisual literacy, diffusion and research, which was created by and for film-makers and agents in the sector with the aim of detecting common problem areas, exchanging ideas and implementing possible solutions.

PLAT is a film archive in direct contact with the creators, without intermediaries, that promotes easy access to contents in order to reach a wider public beyond the specialised circles. Its members’ involvement and their interaction with the public is an essential requirement in PLAT.

Kubrick, Chus Domínguez

The authors and works selected by Alfredo Aracil are the following:

-Samuel Alarcón (Madrid, 1980): with his works La Caja de Medea [Medea’s Box] (2013) and Paseos Por La Ciudad De Los Signos [Walks Round the City of Signs] (2009). A director who has produced both short and feature films, ranging from documentary to fiction. Drama, thriller or film essays make up his filmography.

-Albert Alcoz (Barcelona, 1979): with his works 6FT (2011) and Send Me A Copy (2011). He employs various formats including Super 8, 16mm and video, applying techniques such as  found footage (also known as “recycled cinema”, “appropriate cinema” or “cinema without camera”), where montage has a special relevance.

-Velasco Broca (Amurrio- Álava, 1978): Val del Omar Fuera De Sus Casillas [Val del Omar Out of Temper] (2010) and Escritura Digital nº63 [Digital Writing Nº63] (2009) are the works which will be shown. His production is based on short films and video creation, using techniques such as recycled film.

-Chus Domínguez (León, 1967): participates with Kubrick (2012) and La Sortie (2008). Taking images of reality as a starting point, he uses them to construct new poetical, documentary-based and experimental narrations.

-Guillermo G. Peydró (Madrid, 1981): his works Art Of The Actor (2011) and Louie’s Toy Garden (2011) are the chosen works for the show. Her production focuses on the re-reading (recontextualisation) of images from the past and present which are taken from the art world and personal life.

-Verónica Ibarra (Madrid, 1973): Anatidae (2012) and Snow (2011) form part of Universo Vídeo. A film buff since a child, she always knew she would be a film director.  Her works touch upon visual poetry and fiction, aimed at causing emotion.

-Alberte Pagán (Galicia, 1965): Eclipse (2010) and Faustino 1936 (2010) are the two selected works.  Anthropology, the social world, visual poetry, documentary, video creation, are the components parts of the pieces by this Galician film-maker, writer and curator.

Highly trained authors and film enthusiasts who share the same codes.  They know what has been done and bring their vision into play, causing an evolution, mutation of language as they combine the experimental with the specific features of the discipline.  These are great creators – we should support and discover them. Initiatives like this exhibition at LABoral make it easy for us. Let us pay close attention to today’s audiovisual creation. There is a lot to enjoy and discover in from it.

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