José Antonio Sistiaga, one of the leading names in Basque Contemporary Art, special guest at Punto de Vista

José Antonio Sistiaga, one of the leading names in Basque Contemporary Art, special guest at Punto de Vista
John Cage, Merce Cunningham. Encuentros de Pamplona, 1972.
SISTIAGA & BRAKHAGE sets out to pay tribute to these two artists, both leading figures in hand-painted filmmaking.

SISTIAGA & BRAKHAGE sets out to pay tribute to these two artists, both leading figures in hand-painted filmmaking. 

José Antonio Sistiaga (Donostia, 1932) is a key figure in Basque avant-garde art. His work walks the line between painting and experimental cinema, and led the way in the art of cameraless filmmaking: hand-painting the celluloid, frame by frame. Also a founder of the epoch-making artistic group Gaur -Jorge Oteiza, Eduardo Chillida and Néstor Basterretxea-, he created what is considered one of the first films ever to be painted directly on celluloid and without a soundtrack: ERE ERERA BALEIBU IZIK SUBUA ARUAREN. Over two years, Sistiaga coloured metres and metres of film to create a stimulating work of light, colour and movement. Meanwhile, on the other side of the pond, another artist also set off along the path of hand-painted film: Stan Brakhage .

As a tribute, Punto de Vista has decided to bring these two artists, who planted the seed of a ground-breaking form of cinema to come, together. SISTIAGA & BRAKHAGE provides us with the opportunity to see two works by the Basque artist - Impresiones en alta atmósfera and Paisaje inquietante nocturno - and nine films that the key American filmmaker made over 40 years. Brakhage started to paint films at the beginning of the 1960s and ended up becoming the leading exponent of the genre. In the 1990s, he created complex painted films by freezing the frames and rewinding the reels. The session will be conducted by the historian and expert on Brakhage’s films P.Adams Sitney and José Antonio Sistiaga in person. 

Paisaje inquietante nocturno, José Antonio Sistiaga. 

In addition to this tour of Sistiaga’s pictorial cinema, Punto de Vista will also be screening another of his works, ENCUENTROS 72, PAMPLONA. In this film, the Basque filmmaker used a 16 mm camera to record the most relevant and comprehensive avant-garde film festival ever to be held in Spain, which took place in Pamplona. An exceptional gift for spectators as this reel has been seen very few times on the big screen and Sistiaga himself will be attending; an extraordinary opportunity to enjoy the film. 

This is the complete programme of  SISTIAGA & BRAKHAGE:

IMPRESIONES EN ALTA ATMÓSFERA José Antonio Sistiaga. Spain. 1988-1989. 7’. 70mm [transfer. Digital]
PAISAJE INQUIETANTE NOCTURNO José Antonio Sistiaga. Spain. 1991. 14’. 35mm [transfer. Digital]
THIGH LINE LYRE TRIANGULAR Stan Brakhage. USA. 1961. 6’. 16mm
DOG STAR MAN: PART THREE Stan Brakhage. USA. 1963. 8’. 16mm
THE WOLD SHADOW Stan Brakhage. USA. 1972. 2’30’’.16mm
GLAZE OF CATHEXIS Stan Brakhage. USA.1990. 3’. 16mm
CHARTRES SERIES Stan Brakhage. USA. 1994. 9’30’’. 16mm
COUPLING Stan Brakhage. USA. 1999. 5’. 16mm
THE LION AND THE ZEBRA MAKE GOD’S RAW JEWELS Stan Brakhage. USA. 1999. 5’ 30’’. 16 mm
DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL Stan Brakhage. USA. 2001. 3’. 16m
ASCENSION Stan Brakhage. USA. 2001. 3’. 16mm


Arce brothers. Encuentros Pamplona 1972 

José Antonio Sistiaga. Spain. 1972. 51’. 16 mm [transfer. Digital]

The ‘Encuentros de Pamplona’, the largest and most significant avant-garde film festival ever held in Spain, took place in the early summer of 1972. Imbued with the idea of dissolving art into life, these encounters accepted their ephemeral nature and were seen as an opportunity to subvert the established order in the last years of the dictatorship. They were funded by Juan Huarte, builder, patron and founder of the experimental film production company X Films. The artist José Antonio Sistiaga filmed the event with a 16 mm camera.

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Promoted by
Gobierno de Navarra
Organized by
With the aid of
Con la financiación del Gobierno de España. Instituto de la Cinematografía y las Artes Audiovisuales Acción Cultural Española Plan de Recuperación, Transformación y Resiliencia Financiado por la Unión Europea. NexGenerationEU

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