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Autumn is a time of nostalgia, new projects, cold mornings and hot stews that invigorate our bodies after long hours of work, a season that inspires us to share a hot drink after going to the cinema or leisure hours indoors. These sensations combine perfectly with the sixth edition of the -Dart Fest which will be held from November 24 to December 11, and which will offer 23 documentaries on contemporary art, 11 of which will be premiered in Spain. This time it will be possible to attend the screenings in person in Barcelona (Cinemes Girona, Social Hub, Sala Phenomena and MACBA), in Chile (In Santiago and Concepción) and online through Filmin.
-Dart conceives of art without borders, combining projections of international and local work that revolve around the visibility of discriminated groups or include a decolonial perspective in the new narratives of the American scene. The subjects of the documentaries range from the autobiographical surrealism of Lucian Freud to the folklore of Letizia Battaglia and Steve McCurry. There is also a place for activism in the projects of Tomás Saraceno and Trevor Paglen, mixing documentary testimony with protest.
To underline the difference with the past year’s edition, the works are more socially referenced, perhaps already aware and proud of the impact the festival has on the Spanish documentary scene. Within the festival, the screening of Lucian Freud: A Self Portrait will see collaborations with Barcelona galleries and the Montreal International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA). In addition, the novelty that there are double features grouped by thematic affinities helps to configure a context and the main themes of this sixth edition.
After the success of last year, -Dart joins MACBA again with a documentary that collects the work of David Hammons, from his beginnings with Body Print to the present day. Both the festival and the artist share the idea of taking art out of galleries and museums in order to invade new spaces. The Melt Goes on Forever: The Art and Times of David Hammons is a kind of chronology that explores the role of the black artist against racial oppression in the United States of the 70’s.
There will be new collaborations with FIFA, including the premier of the documentary City Dreamers, a film about four Canadian architects who dared to challenge the architectural language of their times and who proposed a new vision towards a more humane transformation of the urban environment. This film will be screened together with Women of the Bauhaus, which brings to light the more than five hundred women who worked at the renowned school as an argument that history is just another narrative.
For the opening, the film Correction, about the Spanish Pavilion in the 2022 Venice Biennale made by Ignasi Aballí and curated by Bea Espejo, will be shown. This film is a very important documentary, an elegant story that goes from the initial idea of the artist when analyzing the layout of the pavilion all the way to the completed work. The film questions the immobility of Biennials and, in addition, explains in a very convincing way the relationship between curator and artist.
In Aquí no hay nada que comprender (There is Nothing to Understand Here), the figure of Elena Asins is documented through her work. A member of the avant-garde, Elena was one of the pioneers of cybernetic art in the latter days of Franco, revealed throughout the story in regards to her aesthetics and the meaning of her work. This is a sober documentary about an artist who chose an ascetic path in the last years of her life, a curious contradiction considering the contemporary nature of her artistic production.
-Dart is once again a priority for contemporary art, a perfect refuge from the rain, and a beacon of hope for documentary film. It might be a disappointment for those of us who don’t live in Barcelona, but there’s always Filmin.
"A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world" (John Le Carré)