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On the second night of our retrospective, Narcisa Hirsch introduces and discusses a diverse selection of her short work.
Programmed by Federico Windhausen
On the second night of our retrospective, Narcisa Hirsch introduces and discusses a diverse selection of her short work. Shot and edited by Raymundo Gleyzer, who would later become a major Latin American documentary filmmaker, Marabunta captures a unique happening staged by Hirsch at the Coliseo cinema in October 1967, after a screening of Antonioni's Blow-Up. Hirsch's interest in performance informs her lively deployment of machine-based technologies in Come Out, a film that has thus far been left out of the history of experimental work influenced by minimalist music and structural cinema. Testamento y vida interior also includes a performance, one in which Hirsch's fellow filmmakers carry a coffin through the streets of Buenos Aires — an action all the more striking for having been accomplished at the outset of Argentina's "Dirty War." In Ama-Zona and A Dios, sparse meditations on female independence, eroticism, violence, and mortality are threaded through lyrical depictions of various spaces — urban and rural, domestic and public — with an eye attuned to the nuances of light, colour, and shadow. The programme ends with a nod to Borges in El Aleph, a lively summing-up, and an affirmation of a life lived through and with the cinema.
Narcisa Hirsch is a guest of the Goethe Institut.
Marabunta (dir. Raymundo Gleyzer \ Argentina 1967 \ 7 min. \ 16mm)
Ama-Zona (dir. Narcisa Hirsch \ Argentina 1983/2001 \ 11 min. Super 8 re-edited on video)
Testamento y vida interior (dir. Narcisa Hirsch \ Argentina 1976 \ 11 min. Super 8 on video)
A Dios (dir. Narcisa Hirsch \ Argentina 1989 \ 22 min. Super 8 on video)
Come Out (dir. Narcisa Hirsch \ Argentina 1970 \ 12 min. 16mm blown up to 35mm)
El Aleph (dir. Narcisa Hirsch \ Argentina 2005 \ 1 min. \ video)
This programme is rated 14A.
- Narcisa Hirsch
Born in Germany in 1928 and a resident in Argentina since her early childhood, Narcisa Hirsch has been a pivotal figure in Latin American experimental cinema since the sixties. She began her career as a painter and performance artist before experimenting with 16mm and Super 8 film, collaborating early on with an informal, loosely knit collective that included such key filmmakers as Claudio Caldini, Marie Louise Alemann, Juan José Mugni and Horacio Vallereggio. Since the late sixties, she has created an enormous body of work largely inspired by her domestic life, the rural landscapes of Patagonia and the urban environments of Buenos Aires. Some of her films include Come Out (71); Taller (71); Testamento y Vida Interior (76); Ama-Zona (83); La Pasión (92); Rumi (99); El Aleph (2005); El Mito de Narciso (10). Apart from purely experimental films, she has also created acclaimed installations such as El silencio (00) and Predicando en el Desierto (10) with the collaboration of Enrique Banfi, among others.
- Federico Windhausen
- Federico Windhausen is a film scholar whose research areas include Latin American cinema and experimental practices in film, video and new media. He is a professor at the California College of the Arts, where he teaches courses on video art, theories of visual media, and experimental film. His recent writing can be found in Millennium Film Journal and the Fundació Joan Miró's Insomnia catalogue. He is currently editing an all-interview issue of the San Francisco Cinematheque's journal Cinematograph, which will include an interview with Narcisa Hirsch.