Filmmakers Soda_Jerk, Mónica Savirón, and Luis Parés in person for a post-screening discussion moderated by Jean-Marie Casbarian, artist and educator at ICP/Bard MFA Program.
These works critically interrogate image production and the reproduction of images as materials of thought; they question historical continuities and ideological certainties of representation. The artists tackle the “muscle sense” of fascist history embodied in the life of Spanish filmmakers; a cinematic study on the color film stock made in Nazi Germany; speculative fiction and the personal experience of time, immigration, and the poetics of film deterioration.
HACIENDO MEMORIA/ JOGGING MY MEMORY
Directed by Sandra Ruesga
(2005, 10 min, digital)
A Super8 film about personal remembering that reviews the negative space under the shadow of Spanish dictator Francisco Franco in the domestic images of an average family. It takes a look at the present in a search for keys to the past and an understanding of a world in which the figure of the dictator is still relevant. The film examines the inherited silence about the impact of Spanish dictator Franco and the ‘pact of forgetting’ that underpinned the transition to democracy after his death.
Directed by Mareike Bernien & Kerstin Schroedinger
(2014, 33 min, digital)
A cinematic study on the Agfacolor-Neu colour film stock made in Nazi Germany. Along its three layers of emulsion, the film digs deep into the escapist colorized landscape of this time and asks for the material requirements, retentions and ideological continuities of the Agfacolor palette. The film sequences, projected in the former production line, dismantle not only themselves, but also our view accustomed to historicize. The film tries to realize, not only how it had been – in the darkrooms of the Agfa film factory – but also how it can be possible at all to face this reality today within film, in images and movements without a final or even conciliatory view of the past.
THE TIME THAT REMAINS
Directed by Soda_Jerk
(2012, 12 minutes, 2-channel digital video)
In this gothic melodrama, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis perpetually wake to find themselves haunted by their own apparitions and terrorized by markers of time. Isolated in their own screen space, each woman struggles to reclaim time from the gendered discourses of aging that conflates older women with a sense of expiration and invisibility.
The Time that Remains is the third work in the Dark Matter series, an ongoing cycle of video installations that are concerned with personal and historical experiences of time, and how these relations are mediated by screen technologies. Begun in 2005, each work in this series takes the form of a séance fiction where encounters are staged between the past and future selves of a deceased screen star. The Dark Matter series emerges from ongoing research into cultural theories of hauntology.
Directed by Mónica Savirón
(2016, 5 min, 16mm)
“The fading that devastates color films occurs in the dark. It is accelerated by high temperatures and, to a lesser extent, relative humidity. Dye fading is irreversible. Once the dye images have faded, the information lost cannot be recovered”—Image Permanence Institute
“An answer print is the first film after the original has been timed for every shot with fades and dissolves if any. The question that it answers is ‘what is this going to look like’, and ‘what corrections, if any, are needed’”—Bill Brand
Answer Print is made with deteriorated 16mm color stock, and it is meant to disappear over time. Neither hue nor sound has been manipulated in its analog reassembling. The soundtrack combines audio generated by silent double perforated celluloid, the optical tracks from sound films, and the tones produced by each of the filmmaker’s cuts when read by the projector. The shots are based on a 26-frame length: the distance in 16mm films with optical tracks between an image and its sound.
Directed by Soda_Jerk & The Avalanches
(2016, 14 min, digital)
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THE CADAVER OF TIME
Directed by Luis Parés
(2016, 13 min, digital)
If a dictator is his own imagery and the dictatorship is the whole of images about it, then those images should be destroyed in order to construct our own future’s imagery. If there are ghosts that don’t belong to us but still scare us we should face them and confront the ones who invoke them. This will let us breathe. The best way to solve a problem is by defining it. The name of my problem is Francisco Franco. Believe or not, I spend the whole day thinking about a dead dictator who died forty years ago. But, as in horror films, the wicked never die completely and I think that I live in a country that deviated from its own path eighty years ago and hast to come to terms with it. I feel like the characters in horror films who try to scream in anticipation of danger, but whose voices have been stolen so nobody is able to hear them. If nothing has changed, who can assure me that the times I’m living are mine and not anyone else’s? This film started as a comedy and has ended as a horror film.