Shattering Appearances: Films by Teo Hernández
Friday, October 18, 2019
207 King Street
Presented on Super 8 & 16mm film
$5 (no one turned away)
In partnership with PIX FILM & LIFT (Toronto), LOMAA welcomes touring scholar and curator Andrea Ancira García to present a programme of rarely seen works by the late influential Mexican filmmaker Teo Hernández (1939-92), offering free form studies of light, figure and motion abstracted by means of the camera apparatus; luminous visions of reality transmuted to dreamscape.
1979 | colour | Super 8 | sound | 39 minutes
An intimate chronicle of a winter. The days follow one another, the daily gestures, the meals. A reality that passes before our eyes and suddenly turns into an imaginary one. Tables that become carpets or mirrors, where the desired image is placed or reflected. Space and time constantly transformed by vision. In turn reality or dream.
Nuestra señora de Paris
1982 | colour | 16mm | sound | 22 minutes
The camera, as extension of the body, swirls and convulses, abstracting the light cast through the stained glass of Notre Dame into brilliantly luminescent patterns. The dense soundtrack layers and collages noises of tourists and performers in the hectic square outside.
Pas de Ciel
1987 | colour | 16mm | silent | 29 minutes
A rhythmic study of the body in motion, this film is an improvised in-camera collaboration between the filmmaker and French dancer/choreographer Bernardo Montet.
“A body between sea and sky, the silent presence of the wind, a few birds: elements of a fundamental mythology transformed into lyrical abstraction.” — Dominique Noguez
Teo Hernández’s films remind us that the subversive power of the image does not derive from its capacity to reflect or reproduce reality; rather in its power to summon a deeper knowledge or extra-sensory perception, like a ritual or magical experience. Similar to shamanism, Hernández’s cinematographic technique explores other ways of seeing, hearing, and ultimately other bodies that may provoke another way to feel, to re-create and to re-write the world.
From a disobedient lens, Teo triggers auto-reflective and intimate exercises that deconstruct and question our sensibilities to restore the body as an active principle or desire. In that effect, by destabilizing the fundamentals of the camera lens, narrative, among other elements of film language, Teo Hernández questions not only his individual and artistic identity but also the function of cinema itself.
Within a body of work of more than 150 films, this programme emphasizes his radical intention to produce a tactile cinema informed by performing arts and contemporary dance, in order to to invoke future bodies and realities. It offers a glimpse of some of Hernández’s concerns, obsessions, and desires circling identity, ritual, the body and the city. — Andrea Ancira García
Teodoro Hernández was born in 1939 in Ciudad Hidalgo, Mexico. After studying architecture, he co-founded the C.E.C (Centro Experimental de Cinematografia), in Mexico City in the early 1960s. He moved to Paris in 1966 and for the next decade traveled extensively though Europe, Asia and North Africa making Super 8 films. Many of Hernández’s films are marked by strong sweeping camera movements and single-frame shooting of places and spaces near and dear to him. He later flirted with feature-length works, including a queer take on Salomé, which heralded the emergence of a new movement in French experimental filmmaking, dubbed “l’école du corps” (“the School of the Body”).
“Until his death in 1992, Teo continued to create a work that was inextricably linked to his life, and his life and work were carefully recorded in his diary and in the preparatory files for his films. poetic prose where he tells us about his experience and what cinema means to him.” — Xochitl Camblor-Macherel
Andrea Ancira García is a writer, editor and researcher based out of Mexico City, Mexico. She has conducted and coordinated seminars on Critical Theory and Marxism, Sound Ethnographies and Sound Art practices, and Politics of the Archive in academic programs of museums and universities in Mexico. Her line of research focuses on the role of experimental artistic practices in the configuration of identities, sensibilities and social discourses. The perspective from which she explores these phenomena is based on multiple theoretical frameworks such as Marxism, the history of contemporary culture and politics, feminism, decolonial studies, among others. She has collaborated in academic and dissemination publications of social sciences and contemporary art.
LOMAA wishes to thank the London Arts Council’s Community Arts Investment Program for their support of this programme, as well as Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council for their continued backing.