London’s Tate Modern hosts an event series on Catalan experimental filmmaker Albert Serra
The Tate Modern launched on Wednesday 'Albert Serra: Divine Visionaries and Holy Fools', an event series on the Catalan maverick filmmaker. The show will be on until 20 March and will include an exclusive preview of his latest project 'Singularity', which he has been shooting the last few months. This project has been commissioned for the Catalan pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia. The Tate Modern-hosted event represents the first major showcase in the UK of Serra's work, a powerful and unique voice in contemporary cinema, as stated in the Tate Modern's presentation at the event. The show begins with the screening of his recent film 'Story of My Death' (2013) but the most awaited event will take place on Friday, when the Catalan director will premiere 'Singularity'.
Barcelona (ACN).- London’s Tate Modern opened on Wednesday 'Albert Serra: Divine Visionaries and Holy Fools', an event series on the Catalan maverick filmmaker. The show will be on until 20 March and will include an exclusive preview of his latest project 'Singularity', which he has been shooting the last few months. This project has been commissioned for the Catalan Pavilion at the 56th International Art Exhibition of the Biennale di Venezia, which will take place between next May and November. The Tate Modern-hosted event represents the first major showcase in the UK of Serra's work, a powerful and unique voice in contemporary cinema, as stated in the Tate Modern's presentation at the event. The show begins with the screening of his recent film 'Story of My Death' (2013) but the most eagerly-awaited event will take place on Friday when the Catalan director will premiere 'Singularity'. During the series of events, Serra’s acclaimed feature films will be screened alongside rare short films from the monumental 'The Three Little Pigs' project, created during the 2012 Kassel-based dOCUMENTA (13) exhibition and which have not been previously shown in the UK.
The Tate Modern-hosted showcase of Serra's works began with the screening of 'Story of My Death' (2013), followed by a discussion session with the director. 'Story of My Death' won the main prize at the Lorcano Film Festival in 2013 (the ‘Golden Leopard’) and represents a baroque and sensual journey exploring the limits of pleasure and pain at the dawn of the age of reason. It describes the encounter between a bejeweled Casanova (played by Vicenç Altaió) and a mystical Count Dracula (Eliseu Huertas), putting the two charismatic outsiders on a collision course. "I wanted to make a film about the night, and what happens in the night, when real desires appear", the director said about this work.
On Friday, the show will continue with the most eagerly-awaited event of the series, a unique preview of Serra's latest in-development project 'Singularity'. This special evening will also feature the performance of Catalan-born musicians Jordi Valls / Vagina Dentata Organ, which takes place prior to the screening of the film. To conclude the show, a session discussion with the director will take place with the additional participation of curator Chus Martínez. During the debate, the two will focus on the various projects developed together in the past - such as those they did for MACBA (Barcelona’s Contemporary Art Museum) and Kassel’s dOCUMENTA (13) - and their upcoming project, the display of 'Singularity' at the 56th Biennale di Venezia.
Indeed, the film has been commissioned for the Catalan participation at the 56th edition of the International Art Exhibition, where it will be hosted in the section "Collateral Events". It was proposed by the art curator Chus Martínez herself and chosen from twenty different projects. In Venice, it will be a big format audiovisual installation, as part of the project ‘Catalonia’, organised by the Ramon Llull Institute, which is the public body working for the promotion and dissemination of Catalan culture and language throughout the world.
'Singularity' is a contrast between old and new images, Serra explained. The story takes place in the 1930s and is focused on industry and mining. “It has a much more elaborate plastic treatment than previous films, with more post-production”, he added. Serra created an artificial world with a really choral production where fifteen actors work, all of them amateurs, as he did in previous projects. “The key to the images is the mixture, you don’t know if they are real or not. It is a really baroque installation with five screens where many things are happening at the same time”, the director explained.
Three other screenings of Serra's feature films to take place
After the preview of 'Singularity' on 13 March, another three screenings of Serra's feature films will take place on different dates. On Saturday 14 March, 'Honour of the Knights' (2005) will be shown and the following day the black-and-white film 'Birdsong' (2008) will be given a screening.
Finally, the season will conclude on Friday 20 March with 'The Lord Worked Wonders in Me' (2011), a film about Serra’s past and future films, drawing together many themes from the director’s work and representing a highly original celebration of freedom and the pleasures of filmmaking. The film was produced as a collaboration between Serra and Argentine director Lisandro Alonso and reunites the cast from 'Honour of the Knights' for an anarchic visit to the legendary landscape of La Mancha in central Spain.
Serra, born in Catalonia in 1975, represents the newest avant-garde of European cinema
Film director and producer Albert Serra was born in 1975 in Banyoles, a town known for its lake and located near Girona. His first film, 'Crespià, the film not the village' (2003) was never commercially distributed. Later, he made 'Honour of the Knights' (2005) and 'Birdsong' (2008). The latter won the 2009 Gaudí Award for best film, which is the top award of the Catalan Film Academy. In 2009, he was selected to be the icon of new avant-garde cinema by the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs of the Festival de Cannes. In 2012, he was one of the artists chosen to participate in dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel (Germany), where he presented his visual project ‘The Three Little Pigs’. In 2013, he won the Golden Leopard Award for best film at the Locarno Festival with his production 'Story of My Death' (2013). Most recently he was invited by two prestigious centres, Pompidou, in Paris, (2013) and Bozar, in Brussels (2014), to participate in the project ‘Carte Blanche’.