Oct 30, 2023 | Featured, News

With its programme Mirror to the Elementary Triptych of Spain, (S8) has been invited to take part in the exhibition about José de Val del Omar organised by the Museum of the Moving Image, MOMI, in New York City, bringing it to a close. This exhibition, Cinema of Sensations: The Never-Ending Screen of Val del Omar, was inaugurated last March, and came to a close on 1st October with a string of activities involving the work of the maestro from Granada. 

To help celebrate this transcendental event, (S8) from A Coruña was invited to participate in the closing events with its complete programme. This includes a 35mm screening of the monumental Elementary triptych of Spain (1953–1995) and the Mirror Programme, curated by our head of programming Elena Duque, it includes the work of filmmakers who have taken part in the festival, reflecting the echoes of this visionary artist in their pieces.

This historic exhibition has shown the New York public the transcendence of the Spanish filmmaker, José de Val del Omar, as one of the most innovative and inspiring in the history of cinema. It was able to count on the significant support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), the Programme for the Internationalisation of Spanish Culture (PICE), and the Consulate General of Spain in New York, in addition to collaboration from the Val del Omar Archive, the Reina Sofía National Centre of Art Museum and the Max Estrella Gallery.

It was organised by guest curator Almudena Escobar López with advice from Piluca Baquero and Gonzalo Sáenz de Buruaga, the director and president of the Val del Omar Archive respectively. Cinema of Sensations brought Val del Omar’s immersive film installations to American audiences for the first time in its history. The exhibition included pieces by contemporary artists of international prestige such as Sally Golding (Australia), Matt Spendlove (England) and Tim Cowlishaw (Ireland); Dúo Prismáticas (Pilar Monsell and Aitziber Olaskoaga), Esperanza Collado (Spain); and the Colectivo Los Ingrávidos (Mexico), who interpret his work and are inspired by it.

The first session in our programme Val del Omar: Cinema as an Element gave 35 mm screenings of the films that make up the Elementary Triptych of Spain (José de Val del Omar, 1953–1995) with a presentation about his life and work by Piluca Baquero, the director of the Val del Omar Archive. 

Following on from this, (S8) presented its Mirror Programme, a compilation of films reflecting the structure of the triptych by filmmakers who share Val del Omar’s formal and technical concerns. The session was accompanied by a presentation given by the programme’s curator and the (S8) programmer, Elena Duque, in which she showed Val del Omar’s rightful place in the history of avant-garde international cinema. This programme, organised by the (S8) Mostra Internacional de Cinema Periférico, is arranged into three parts — Earth, Fire and Water — to reflect the formal and aesthetic concerns in the Elementary Triptych of Spain and to stimulate a dialogue with others by contemporary and historically significant filmmakers that are listed below:

In addition to this participation in the Museum of the Moving Image or MOMI in New York, on 8th September (S8) was at the University of New York’s (NYU) King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center (KJCC), which hosted the panel discussion Cinema in and beyond Mid-Century Spain: The Sensational Touch of Filmmaker José Val del Omar, moderated by the director of the KJCC, Jordana Mendelson. The film scholars Jo Labanyi (NYU), Carlos Saldaña (NYU), Andrew Uroskie (NYU) also took part, along with the curator and architect Lluís Alexandre Casanovas (Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid).