The exhibition Filmmakers in Correspondence, which accompanies retrospectives of the oeuvres of Girona-born director Isaki Lacuesta and Japanese auteur Naomi Kawase, opens at the Pompidou Center in Paris tomorrow, Friday, November 23. Lacuesta, whose retrospective kicks off on November 26, has crafted two tailor-made installations for the show.
The opening will be attended by Maria Àngels Ponsa, the Catalan Ministry of Culture’s Director General for Cultural Cooperation; Marta Madrenas, the Mayor of Girona; Iolanda Batallé, the Director of the Institut Ramon Llull; Raül David Martínez, the Director of the Institut Ramon Llull’s Paris office; and Carme Sais, the Director of the Bòlit Contemporary Art Center.
Running until January 6 in association with the Paris Autumn Festival and Japonismes 2018, a celebration of Japanese culture, Filmmakers in Correspondence will feature artistic audiovisual installations from each of the directors, spread across several of the center’s galleries. Lacuesta’s contribution comprises a series of film sequences, while Kawase’s concoctions for the occasion are video-based.
The pair’s presence at the Pompidou Center is complemented by a retrospective devoted to each director. Selected works will be screened every week, including the Girona-born filmmaker’s Cravan vs. Cravan (2002), Microscopies (2003), and Mars on Earth (2007). Lacuesta is participating in this program in collaboration with the Institut Ramon Llull, the Bòlit, and the Barcelona Center for Contemporary Culture (CCCB).
The Catalan director will be in attendance for the opening of his section of the Filmmakers in Correspondence exhibition, on Monday, November 26. He will lead a guided tour of his installations and be present for the screening of Between Two Waters, which garnered him the prestigious Golden Shell prize at this year’s San Sebastian Film Festival and will usher in his retrospective.
In addition to showing no fewer than 30 films by Lacuesta, the Pompidou will exhibit the self-portrait Where Are You, Isaki Lacuesta?, which will become part of the center’s collection. Also on show will be two installations, Double Films and Echoing Images, which were co-produced with the Bòlit, the Catalan Ministry of Culture, and the Institut Ramon Llull.
The Filmmakers in Correspondence program is an offshoot of The Complete Letters. Filmed Correspondence, an exhibition held at Barcelona’s CCCB in 2011. After being invited to take part in the aforementioned project in 2008, Lacuesta selected Kawase as his epistolary partner; the two embarked on a one-year dialogue between August 2008 and July 2009 that yielded six letters and an epilogue. The subsequent exhibition, Filmed Correspondence, brought together the video letters exchanged by six pairs of directors, including several Catalans.
Since 2012, the Pompidou has run a three-pronged program building on the exhibition at the CCCB, which showcases the cinematic creations exchanged by the respective directorial duos, complemented by art installations and screenings of works by the two directors in question. Jonas Mekas and José Luis Guerín got the ball rolling, and were followed in 2013 by Albert Serra and Lisandro Alonso and in 2014 by Jaime Rosales and Wang Bing.
Lacuesta at the Bòlit and Arts Santa Mònica
Girona’s Bòlit will devote an exhibition to Lacuesta in his hometown from January 25 to April 28, 2019. Also entitled Echoing Images, the show will feature a trilogy of works crafted in collaboration with other creators, one for each of the Bòlit’s sites.
Two of the pieces, Double Films and the eponymous Echoing Images, were co‑produced with the Pompidou to tie in with its Lacuesta retrospective, while the third – which is currently in production – will be tailor-made for the Bòlit. The show also enjoys the support of Arts Santa Mònica, where it will set up shop starting in May 2019.
A host of fringe activities have been lined up in conjunction with the exhibition. These will be held over the course of 2019 at venues across Catalonia such as the Auditori, the La Mercè Cultural Center, the Cinema Truffaut, and the Museum of Cinema in Girona, and in Barcelona at the Fabra i Coats Contemporary Art Center, the Filmoteca de Catalunya, and as part of the LOOP Festival.
The Film of Isaki Lacuesta, a book published by Mare & Martin in collaboration with the Pompidou, the Bòlit, and the Fabra i Coats Contemporary Art Center, will be released this week. Similarly, a catalogue of the Echoing Images exhibition – featuring writing by Enrique Vila-Matas, Ingrid Guardiola, Agustín Fernández Mallo, and Sylvie Pras – will be co-published by Arts Santa Mònica and the Bòlit in March 2019.
About Isaki Lacuesta
Described by Cahiers du Cinéma magazine as the “model of a 21st-century filmmaker” due to his ability to continuously push the boundaries of cinema with lucidity and flair, Lacuesta studied Audiovisual Communication at the Autonomous University of Barcelona before being part of the first graduating class of the Pompeu Fabra University’s Master’s in Creative Documentary. His first full-length documentary, Cravan vs. Cravan (2002), was honored at several international festivals and recognized by the Spanish press in that year’s Sant Jordi Film Awards (presented by RNE, the Spanish national radio station), winning the prize for best debut film. He co-curated Aftermath, the Catalan pavilion at the 2016 edition of the Venice Biennale, while his feature Between Two Waters won this year’s Golden Shell, the top award handed out at the San Sebastian Film Festival.
About Naomi Kawase
In 2009, Kawase received the Golden Coach award from the French Directors’ Guild during Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, cementing her status as a filmmaker par excellence whose intimate portraits delve beyond the superficial. This lifetime achievement capped an illustrious career that has yielded countless international accolades since Kawase graduated from the Osaka School of Photography in 1989. Her first documentary, Embracing (1992), chronicled her search for the father who abandoned her as a child, while the second, Katatsumori (Snail, 1994), paid homage to the great-aunt who raised her, depicting her life rituals and aging process.
You can view the full program for the Filmmakers in Correspondence exhibition and the Isaki Lacuesta and Naomi Kawase retrospectives here.
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