Proyectos de investigación /

Second hand

Reuse and deviations of Ibero-American cinema

This project focuses on the research and recovery of films that reuse third-party materials and experiment with re-cutting, collage, and sabotage to articulate critical discourses. The project aims to locate and analyse works that were made early on (prior to the appearance of video) in Ibero-America. The research areas will link audiovisual conservation with curating, seeking always to locate, identify, digitise and restore hard-to-access audiovisual works or those that need to be preserved as well as studied from a historical, technical and aesthetic perspective, in order to provide the context required to ensure adequate preservation.

The concept of ‘re-used cinema’ has hitherto been approached in relation to compilation cinema or avant-garde militant films. Based on the work carried out during the first year of the project (2021-2022), we now wish to critically expand our scope to include other forms of film also, specifically home movies. The object of study has been the work of an amateur filmmaker from Galicia, José Ernesto Díaz-Noriega.

As part of this effort to critically expand the concept, during 2022-2023 we will be focusing on Latin America. We will do so through a specific case study in collaboration with the Cuban Film Archives, which is one of the oldest in the region and home to the prolific and avant-garde productions of the Cuban Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry  (ICAIC). The cradle of recycling practices, the films made at the ICAIC from the Sixties onwards were strongly influenced by the lack of technological, material, and economic resources, and were impacted also by the anti-imperialist revolutionary struggle that began in the wake of the revolution of 1959. Santiago Álvarez (Now!, LBJ, 79 Springs) is a key reference figure in the field of Cuban collage film, characterised by his use of an extensive repertoire of archive material, ranging from North American press cuttings and films to Soviet cinema, documentaries, newsreels and scientific films. Álvarez was a key figure in a group of fellow filmmakers engaging in similar practices, including Nicolás Guillén Landrián (Coffee arábiga), Pastor Vega (¡Viva la república!) and Julio García Espinosa (Un año de libertad) during the Sixties and Seventies, and Enrique Colina (Chapucerías), Marisol Trujillo, Miriam Talavera and Pepín Rodríguez (Oración) during the Eighties.

With the aim of carrying out restoration work, while at the same time collaborating with an institution experiencing serious problems in terms of conserving its materials (due to both budgetary and climatological issues), our plan is to digitise and/or restore some of the works in this corpus, using the film elements preserved in its collections and in other archives.

Technical data sheet

Lead investigator:
Carolina Cappa

Students 2022-2023:
Catalina Giordano, Julio César Gonzales Oviedo, Muriel Holguín, Verónica Boggio

Students 2021-2022:
Camila Reyes, Camila Vale, Catalina Altuna, Eloísa Suárez, Rocío Ortega, Rodrigo Sousa, Whitney Conti

Associated institutions:
Spanish Film Archive (2021-2022), Cuban Film Archive (2022-2023)