This new edition of the Intervals programme centres on two recent films which explore how to make cinema by experimenting with performance and with the role and purpose of the actor. The programme is made up of Un diálogo circunstancial (A Circumstantial Dialogue, 2019), the second film by artist Isidoro Valcárcel Medina, co-directed with film-maker and historian Luis Deltell, and Derechos del hombre (Rights of Man, 2018), a feature-length film by Juan Rodrigáñez, made in collaboration with a group of artists and performers.
One of the most characteristic features of contemporary film is the crisis of the traditional actor and its multiple manifestations in recent years, for instance the non-professional cast or shooting times that are so drawn out they become immeasurable for a screenplay. This session, therefore, focuses on new methods of film-making through the transformation of performance.
Un diálogo circunstancial is the second film by Valcárcel Medina, whose work, stretching back to the late 1960s, has been based on questioning the art system. His first film La celosía (Jealousy, 1972), on view in the series Film at the Pamplona Encounters (Museo Reina Sofía, 7–12 February, 2010) is a landmark in experimental cinema. Premiered at the historic Pamplona Encounters in 1972, it was conceived with the aim of adapting to film the same-titled novel by Alain Robbe-Grillet (1957) and of evolving into, across the filming process, a type of book-object. This more recent offering, however, represents the artist’s return to the film medium with a project which, similar to La celosia, experiments with time and narration as it alters a group conversation through the saturation and dislocation of the act of relating and performing.
Derechos del hombre, on the other hand, shows a circus troupe in rural Castile debating their next show as life plays out. Behind this extravagant appearance is a film which comes about from applying a unique form of production: it was conceived during filming and based on two wardrobe chests, a circus tent erected on the threshing floors of the town and 35 cans of 16mm film (subsequently, a copy in 35mm was made and is the one screened in this edition of Intervals). In essence, the film constitutes an investigation into performance understood as a free and spontaneous, yet fictitious, exercise.
In addition to a similar ratcheting-up of the concept of performance, both films share affiliations between their respective directors: Derechos del hombre features Rafael Lamata, a member of the performance group Los Torreznos (with Jaime Vallaure), whose scenography is also strongly related to Valcárcel Medina’s.
is a film-maker and film historian. He is a lecturer in the History of Cinema at Madrid’s Complutense University and has published the book Madrid en el cine de la década de los cincuenta
(Ayuntamiento de Madrid; Fundación Caja Madrid, 2006). With musicologist Miguel Álvarez-Fernández, he also directed No escribiré arte con mayúscula
(2014), a documentary on artist Isidoro Valcárcel Medina.
Jorge Dutor is a performer and scenographer whose practice explores fiction in relation to performance and popular culture. He has presented his work at La Casa Encendida, Mercat de les Flors and the Museo Reina Sofía, as well as a wide array of international theatre festivals. He has also acted in the two features by Juan Rodrigáñez: Der Geldkomplex (The Money Complex, 2015) and Derechos del hombre (Rights of Man, 2018).
Rafael Lamata is an artist and performer. He is a member of the art and performance duo Los Torreznos, with Jaime Vallaure, both of whom met at a workshop by Isidoro Valcárcel Medina in the 1990s and, after joining different theatre collectives, such as Zona de Acción Temporal and Circo Interior Bruto, they founded Los Torreznos. Together they explore the limits of language, humour and the creation of meaning and have worked in a number of theatres and art centres. In 2007 they represented Spain at the Venice Biennale.
Juan Rodrigáñez is a film-maker. He has directed two features Der Geldkomplex (The Money Complex, 2015) and Derechos del hombre (Rights of Man, 2018), both of which premiered at the Berlinale-Forum, Berlin, and FID Marseille, in France. His work has always been carried out in collaboration with performers and other artists and is characterised by its quality as open and unpredictable procedural theatre.
Isidoro Valcárcel Medina is an artist with a career that has been both rigorous and constant since the late 1960s. His work is an example of inventiveness and reflection and is forever questioning art. Moreover, he has won Spain’s National Award for Plastic Arts (2007), the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts (2014) and the Velázquez Award for Plastic Arts (2015), and in 2009, he developed a series of interventions at the Museo Reina Sofía as part of his solo show Autumn 2009 (Museo Reina Sofía, 21 September–21 December 2009).
Isidoro Valcárcel Medina and Luis Deltell. Un diálogo circunstancial
Spain, 2019, colour, original version in Spanish, digital archive, 13’
Juan Rodrigáñez. Derechos del hombre
Spain, 2018, colour, in Spanish, English and German with Spanish subtitles, 35mm, 75’
Session 1. Thursday, 9 January 2020 – 7pm
With a presentation and talk by Rafael Lamata and Isidoro Valcárcel Medina
Session 2. Saturday, 11 January 2020 – 7pm
With a presentation and talk by Luis Deltell, Jorge Dutor, Juan Rodrigáñez and Isidoro Valcárcel Medina