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Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola is a project school and in each one of them a prefiguration of cinema: a hypothesis

The term, cinema hypothesis, refers to various pedagogical projects based on imagining the cinema of the future. We must specifically refer to the Ipotesi Cinema school founded by Ermanno Olmi and Paolo Valmarana in 1982 in Bassano del Grappa (Italy) and the book, L’Hypothèse cinéma: Petit traité de transmission du cinéma à l’école et ailleurs, by Alain Bergala published in 2002. As a tribute to these two great initiatives, at this School we refer to the pieces of work produced by students, that in themselves are a projection of cinema towards the future, as hypotheses. Students in all specialities must complete a Project or final piece of work during their time at the School. The organisation of the academic calendar into modules, with periods of personal work, is designed so that all the subjects revolve around the personal journey that students have embarked on, expanding its criteria and testing their own ideas.

 

Hypothesis

This concept identifies the event or series of final events in which students precisely exhibit or publicly display their cinema hypotheses; that is, the work they have done throughout the school year: these may be films they have imagined and completed, but may also be utopian creative projects, an imagined impossible kind of cinema, fragments of a film that they have already started shooting or plans for archival work or film archaeology.

As far as turning this into a practical reality is concerned, they may adopt a variety of approaches, depending on the type of Project, either as an ordered presentation in a particular space, such as on open days at the school or as another kind of event. The content of this exhibited work must revolve around imagined cinema: films that they want to make and that perhaps still only exist as first drafts, films that can just about be made out, but cannot be made, utopian visions of a future cinema, cinematic discoveries and finds, research proposals, fragmentary materials, graphic designs, installations, panels… and of course, all the work that they have finished over the course. If the school thinks about cinema, this event is just the way to prolong and make film hypotheses visible.

Projects

Happening 66 – Formas de repetir y ocupar el cine (Happening 66 - Ways of Repeating and Occupying Cinema)

Taking the happening in Buenos Aires as its starting point, the project focuses on the Di Tella Institute and uses the photographic and audiovisual record as a memory/archive of that period (1966). From this premise, we employ re-enactment as a means of revisiting the past and reviewing the gaps in the material memory. This line of research led to the organisation of a lecture and a curatorial programme interrogating the intersection between film and performance art.

Apuntes para João Liberada (Notes for João Liberada)

‘Apuntes para João Liberada’ sets out the essayistic and audiovisual process through which we developed the world of João Liberada - an eighteenth-century heretic and gender dissident who forms the central character in ‘Quatro Vezes João Liberada’, a feature film currently in pre-production.

Cine impreso (Printed cinema)

Project for holding workshops and presenting experimental work. The title ‘Printed Cinema’ alludes to two forms of reproduction — on the one hand, 3D printing and digital manufacturing for making devices for manipulating and viewing small-format cine film, and on the other, laser printing and the use of free software to generate film with alternative mediums, which can be reproduced on analogue projectors.

Apocalipsis Glitch: estéticas del error en las nuevas prácticas cinematográficas (Glitch Apocalypse: aesthetics of error in new cinematographic practices)

The ideology of visual production is governed by notions of clarity, image resolution and the logic of maximum performance. Poor images become invisible. And in this sense, error can be seen as a window, an opportunity to fracture and reveal what the corpus of the cinematographic image is made of. My project addresses the role of the mistake, the glitch, as a critical lens and a generator of new aesthetics. Apocalipsis Glitch is a curatorial work that arose out of academic texts I read and films I saw. The research has taken shape in a hybrid fashion, as a collection of audiovisual and written essays, ultimately leading to a publication accompanying the film season. I will continue to develop the project after the end of the master’s course, but as a farewell I have decided to use the space at the Hypothesis to create a model-cycle and a live performance by musician and sound artist Abel Hernández to explore audio errors.

Amaoria

I have pillaged my family slide collection to make a performative screening of expanded cinema, in which I examine the history of the women in a matriarchal family. The project examines the concept of love from a generational female perspective, together with the power of creation, channelled in the form of silence. Similarities in gestures and ways of acting are perpetuated, reminding us that these individuals are a family; the stories merge and overlap. The liberation of repeating forms of behaviour and being, passed down over the generations, is invoked as a form of ritual. This is a multi-screen projection, consisting of two slide projectors and a 16 mm projector. It is accompanied by sound design, pre-recorded sounds and live sound.

A10K_KARAOKE

A10K_KARAOKE is an orchestration of emptiness, an idea taken directly from the etymology of the word karaoke — kara (empty) and oke (orchestra). It centres on an impossible disaster caused by a multiple eruption in the Andes Mountains, which creates a route towards the concretisation of an artefact or action that contains all these lava flows, allowing us to view the undertow of destruction as one last slap in the face before the coming of the silent fresh air.

Sistema Nervioso (Nervous System)

Sistema Nervioso is a video art and archive installation project that explores mental issues by questioning the conflicts involved in the way they are represented and catalogued. We have appropriated images from Jean-Martin Charcot’s nineteenth-century archive, comparing them and imitating his psychosomatic gestures to create moving pictures of new uncontrolled gestures. I see the nervous system as being a body in a constant state of emergence to which we all belong.

Zeluloidea orain (Celluloid Today)

  • Student: Amaia Badiola
  • Nationality: Basque Country
  • Typology: Research project
  • Year: 2021

Analogue formats can be found today in disciplines such as film, sound recording and photography. The term ‘analogue’ is often associated with concepts such as past, precarious, old, irreparable and headaches. Also, the use of digital formats has become more widespread in our daily lives and, as a result, the use of photochemical film has diminished in three main areas: 1) demand, 2) availability and 3) technical expertise. There is a link and a form of interaction between these three strands: first, there is a smaller stock of film. As a result, industrial laboratories have had to close, reducing the opportunities for work experience. So what are we missing? The aim of this research project is to show how unique celluloid is as a medium, which is the reason why creators continue to use it.

Morir antes de morir (Dying before Death)

‘Morir antes de morir’ is one of the key phrases used in Samurai philosophy. He who is dead in life fears nothing, not even his own death. Tristán is a 16-year-old boy who wants to be a bullfighter. He trains at the bullfighting school in Badajoz where his teacher Richard —himself a former matador— shows him the cruelty and violence that his chosen career entails.

El cuerpo, la copia, la máquina. Gestos de la impresión óptica en el cine experimental hecho por mujeres (The Body, the Copy, the Machine: Gestures of optical printing in experimental cinema by women)

This project examines the capacity of an optical printer to create discourses by involving the bodies of the women working with it. The research is complemented by personal experience with the machine, exploring the relationships between the material conditions of optical printing and the characteristics —and thus the meaning— of films that use this technique. It offers the possibility of an archive of the emotional, bodily process in the preservation of experimental cinema.

Archivo Ningunismo (Ningunismo Archive)

In my preliminary research for a documentary on Ningunismo, I encountered a large volume of different kinds of material. Far from being overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of documents and the lack of a clear order with which to chart a course for an interpretation, I came to the conclusion that rather than making a film, I should create an archive instead. One question links the two manifestations: ‘What is Ningunismo?’ For the time being, the film lets the archive answer the question. ‘What is it?’ ‘It’s all this’ replies the archive.

Las convergencias entre el cine popular y autoría en las colaboraciones entre Antonio Fos y Eloy de la Iglesia (1969 – 1973) (Convergences between popular cinema and authorship in the collaborations between Antonio Fos and Eloy de la Iglesia (1969 - 1973)

Antonio Fos was a prolific writer whose film career stretched from the 1960s to the 1980s, during which time he wrote the screenplays to over thirty films. He began as a commissioned writer and authored several popular novels which were published by Valenciana. At the end of the 1960s he crossed paths with the young Eloy de la Iglesia. They went on to make five films together, comprising the first stage of Eloy de la Iglesia’s oeuvre, at a time of great tension within the film industry and under the heavy hand of the censor.

La biblioteca de Maru. Registro de dos libros (Maru’s Library. A recording of two books)

Study of Maru Rizo’s work cataloguing, conserving and disseminating the book collection of Amable Arias. We feel it is important to vindicate Maru’s thirty-year career as an archivist and have analysed the strategies and protocols of preservation she developed in the process. In addition to this research work, we will also be making audiovisual recordings of two of Amable Arias’ books: El copiador 1000 cartas and Historia de Euskal Herria.

El maldito bastardo (Damned Bastard)

For years, my father filmed us, framing us to invent the family he always longed for. Today I am no longer just a character trapped in his stories and have instead taken on the role of the narrator. I have retrieved those images that we created together and immersed myself in them. I transform and liberate them. I begin with brushstrokes taken from him and use them to rewrite our memory and in this way try to reach him.

Normas ambiguas (Ambiguous Standards)

Seven-monitor video installation with images and sounds created out of the process of copying and transferring VHS tapes from NTSC to PAL. The incompatibility between the two standards creates ‘crises’ in the monitors, which display an ambiguous split signal. The way in which the different concepts of family, politics and tree are structured, interrogates our access to family and political memory using the structure of the family tree — from generation to generation and from tape to tape.

Wandering Women Film Programme

The Wandering Women Film Program would take place in Budapest and consists of films that either show women in urban spaces and on the road or have a production methodology that relies on a female filmmaker’s exploration of a city or travelling. Most importantly, the programme aims to enable and catalyse a critical consideration of women’s place in modern city life, society’s notion of it, and the relationship between walking, intentionality, and feminism through the art of film.

Constelación de voces (Constellation of Voices)

Following an exploration of the historical relationship between feminist art and different feminist movements, the Constelación de voces project has led to a series of gatherings for debate and conversation and the organisation of creative workshops with the women of Huarte. The purpose of these meetings was to enable each of these women and myself to find our own voices, so that later we could express ourselves and vindicate our place in the public space through film, painting, and writing.

It Takes Place on the Screen: Interviews with Alexander Horwath

I began interviewing Alexander Horwath in the autumn of 2017 and immediately realised that because of the vast quantity of knowledge he was capable of conveying even in a single answer, the only sensible course of action was to conduct a truly in-depth interview with him. Since then, I have had a number of sessions with him and we are close to finishing the recording part of the project. In the meantime, I am transcribing the recordings of the interviews and editing them with the intention of publishing the interviews as a book consisting of five larger themes.

La naturaleza de Elohim (The Nature of Elohim)

The aim of this research initiative is to deconstruct a film project in order to open it up to the intermedia and transmedia universe by means of new installation, performative or expanded cinema projects. We have taken the concept of Display as a springboard and a conceptual framework for creating new works. In this way, we want to create a ‘total’ work that will include both the film and the new pieces. To achieve this, we will need to establish a continuous dialogue to allow them to operate as links structuring the general discourse.

Explorando el Comisariado desde la producción, la educación y la programación (Exploring curating from production, education and programming)

  • Student: Paula González
  • Nationality: Spain
  • Typology: Research project
  • Year: 2021

Project born from the impulse to generate spaces for reflection on the processes of film creation from the curatorial point of view. This Hypothesis is an exploration of creative processes through production, audiovisual education and programming.

piel.lícula - un toque inextinguible (piel.lícula - an unquenchable touch)

Still, a scar:

A t r a c e o n t h e s k i n

And the collapse.

The moment in which the encounter with the other spawns an irreparable break and an almost total unfamiliarity. An interpersonal rupture, between people, but also a historical/political rupture, which lays bare a certain structural and structuring order of the world [body].

What I say and write is: let us not forget what is to come:

the constant trembling…

and the collapse

Espectro corazón (Heart Spectre)

The waters of the port at Montevideo are home to strange silver-blooded fish. Silence. After experiencing a sudden loss of touch, Mercedes begins to question her very nature as a human being. This film project examines our carnal and sensory empathy with the living world that sustains us.

Relatos transfronterizos (Cross-Border Stories)

Travelling programme of cross-border and human rights films - Migrant stories from the Paso del Norte border (Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico and El Paso, Texas, USA). This curatorial offering centres on the experiences, journeys, stories and feelings of migrants travelling through this border zone. We analyse different possible venues and contents, starting with the social and cultural context in which it is proposed to screen the films to determine the frequency, content and production processes. We will review some of the many films made on the theme as a springboard for an analysis of their different discourses. At the same time, we will plan different seasons to be presented in different venues, on the basis that the contents, titles and type of screening will change with each new context.

Dos o tres cosas que yo sé de Joseph (Two or Three Things I Know about Joseph)

This project has been carried out in conjunction with filmmaker Joseph Morder, who has made over 1200 films in every imaginable format. We have been in correspondence since November 2020, culminating in my trip to Paris at the end of March 2021. That meeting led to a series of interviews and the digitisation and restoration of Niños, niñas, filmed in 1978 in Madrid. The project involves working with his entire archive and digitising his seven-episode filmed diaries, a hidden work of world cinema.

Irudi korapilotsuak. Euskal animazio esperimental sarearen inguruko gogoeta (Intricate images. Reflection on the Basque experimental animation network)

This research project focuses on experimental animation in the Basque Country, centring on the life and work of Begoña Vicario, Isabel Herguera and Izibene Oñederra. The various branches of this project have enabled me to reflect on the subject of animation. Using animated pictures as a tool, I have been able to reflect on ways of telling stories and suggesting through drawing. After conducting research on different aspects of experimental animation and developing lines of thought on the image and drawing, I have linked the ideas addressed in the project to the work of these three filmmakers, through an analysis of their work and a series of interviews.

Juego de tres (Set of Three)

A historical analysis of the technology of assisted reproduction and its effects on contemporary notions of gender and family structures. The film, which is made up of interviews and performances, reflects on pregnancy, questioning its constructs and exploring our approach to a non-binary future.

Futuro solar (Solar Future)

A mattress salesman loses his way in the desert when he is trying to close a deal. He falls prey to heat stroke and loses consciousness. This delirium turns out to be his baptism into a new life. He awakens in a forest peopled by a community of idealists who appear to live in a bubble, outside the system, where time has stood still. For the first time, he manages to overcome his insomnia and sleeps. Wishing to stay longer, he tells his boss he has been kidnapped, in order to avoid returning to the routine and tedium of his life. During this fake abduction, he becomes involved in a utopian political campaign, an infatuation, a murder, a conversation with God, many nights with mystical dreams and an abandonment. Finally, he comes to imagine that the easiest way of preserving this new life is to plant himself in the earth like a tree.

Pozoantiguo

Agustin is a retired farmer. Mario is thirty years old, unemployed, and has returned to Pozoantiguo to help his uncle out on the small family farm. The two are the last link in a generation of arable and livestock farmers, subsisting in a village of two hundred inhabitants in what has become known as ‘emptied Spain’.

Historia de pastores (Shepherds’ Tale)

Between naps, chases and guided tours, the legend of a farmhouse that does not exist connects Mari, José and Jonás.

Manos (Hands)

An apapacho at the end of the shift. The piece is composed of chapters that investigate the daily routines of Latin-American immigrant workers in the service industry of New York City. The piece Manos reconstructs a space which relies on the fragmentation of bodies through the testimonies of friends, friends of friends as well as strangers and the filmmaker’s own experience. In doing so it creates a collective archive of experiences resisting erasure.

En búsqueda de Beatriz (In Search of Beatrice)

This film essay was born out of my research for a film about the medieval Princess Beatrice of Portugal. Now largely forgotten, Beatrice was nonetheless a pre-eminent figure in the Portuguese dynastic crisis of 1383. Children in Portugal learn about this period of our history in school when they are aged 10 — the same age as Beatrice herself when the conflict first broke out. Starting from this common point, the piece combines interviews with materials developed in workshops with children, where we draw on their imagination to make up stories about Beatrice’s past.

La voz rosa (The Pink Voice)

Natu, a young Ecuadorian woman, is spending time in Donostia-San Sebastián where she has come to undergo training to recover her overstrained voice. This is the first time she has travelled alone. She starts going for walks, noticing things she would not normally see. Along the way, she meets several older people who make creations with their hands. Through her voice exercises and these warm encounters, her voice changes and she is able to tell the truth to an old friend.

Un lago sin nombre (A Lake with No Name)

On the wall hangs a painting of a lake. It is summer and Martin wakes in confusion in a hotel room. He has travelled to the future, where he is a well-known film director preparing his new movie, an autobiographical piece that gradually leads him to investigate the origin of the picture of the lake and the place in which another summer converges in a kind of time warp.

Revuelo (Commotion)

The film is structured as a diptych, with each of the two parts functioning separately. In both stories, the female characters have an intimate connection to some element from the past. Whether by evoking a lost filial bond or a hitherto hidden history, the film examines the bonds that are secretly woven from one generation to the next.

Canalizaciones de la Paz Colonial (Channels of Colonial Peace)

Five years after the death of a mother, a series of invocations and apparitions allow her life story to be told in her absence. A student film, stored away for 30 years, is unearthed through a series of synchronicities, allowing us to view the possible existence of a spectre. Extrasensory perception acts as a decolonial practice. Materials are once more made visible, invoked to construct identity as we rethink our systems of collective representation, the colonisation of our archives and our beliefs. This performance allows me to bring this absence into the present and pass it across my body — the body formed by that same being that is now dust.

Peter

Peter must be in his early sixties. He’s English and I imagine that he is retired. I don’t know for sure, though, because I never found out what he worked in. I don’t know his last name and I don’t have his phone number, but I would know where to find him if I ever want to see him again. Luis is 82 years old. He is Spanish and a pensioner. Daniel, aged 73, speaks Basque. All I have of José Luis is a photo. He didn’t turn up to the precasting. They will all be Peter and this movie will be several movies at the same time.

Vias de Silencio (Paths of Silence)

EXCAVATIONS, REVERIES. The memoirs of the last chronicler and conquistador, Bernal Díaz del Castillo. EVADED GLANCES. A filmmaker who narrates her feelings after an Uber ride. SILENCE. The two roads fork in the same fragile territory, pierced and wounded over time by the stone and iron blade. LANDSCAPES, recording the movements of living beings and ghosts. REVERIES, EXCAVATIONS.

Soñe que era piedra (I dreamed I was stone)

The pink and strange rocks of a beach, caves, stones and foam that blurs, a body dancing among the rocks, another with rage, still water and three women with fragments of their experiences.