Filmmaker, inventor, poet, graphic artist and hard-to-classify artist, José Val del Omar (Granada, 1904 - Madrid, 1982) is very closely linked to the medium of film as a cursed creator, an eccentric in the context of Spanish film making which does not favour experimentation; over time he has gradually become a cult figure. Val del Omar largely devotes himself to technological explorations, both in aspects concerning cinema as well as the challenges posed in his time (sound film, embossed, colour, widescreen, etc.), such as electro-acoustics, radio, television and educational applications of audio-visual media. Some of his inventions seek practical solutions in Franco's Spain, others venture into the notion of total spectacle, with an unusual visionary instinct, like the overflow of the screen and the pursuit of an acoustic and visual Cubism through diaphonic sound, all involving, and "tactile-vision", with techniques based on pulsed illumination.
The collection covers the artist’s creations and surroundings through the exhibition of documents, photographs and films related to his activities starting from the years of the Second Republic, it is linked to his experience in Pedagogical Missions, the Civil War or the technological inventions in the fields of image and sound. In the search of a better use for films, both for the wide screen and for television, Val del Omar devises different recording and sound reproduction systems, as well as various film formats. He also develops the necessary machinery for the implementation of their techniques: "crosstalk", "tactile-vision" and perfected or adapted various devices commonly used in audiovisual production and exhibition. The exhibition recreates the original location of the PLAT laboratory, Val del Omar’s workspace, where almost all types of projection devices, lenses, polarizers, filters, gaskets, etc…, have been preserved intact.
Many of the artist's cinematic creations round off the exhibition, especially his Tríptico Elemental de España, which consists of three short films shot between 1953 and the mid-sixties, in Granada, the lands of Castile and Galicia, with symbolic motifs of water, fire and earth, which are the main manifestation of his own particular cinematographic concept on "the edge between reality and mystery" in which Fuego en Castilla (1958-60) stands out.
Centro José Guerrero, Cripta del Palacio de Carlos V, Granada (May 13 - July 4, 2010); Palau de la Virreina, Barcelona (July 13 - October 1, 2011); Centro Atlántico de Arte Moderno, Las Palmas (October 28, 2011 - January 8, 2012)
27 September 2023 - 22 January 2024
Call It Something Else
Something Else Press, Inc. (1963-1974)
10 November 2022 - 2 October 2023
An Act of Seeing that Unfolds
The Susana and Ricardo Steinbruch Collection
23 June - 13 October 2023
Songs of Design
Languages of Republican Exile in MexicoMuestras documentales, Biblioteca y Centro de Documentación