New Artist Documentary
In late 2017 I began to work on a project that had been on the back burner for a few years. It always feels so good to tackle something that has been simmering for awhile. I envisioned a short documentary that would illuminate my art process and concepts.
Trailer for the documentary (full version below)
In conversations with my wedding photographer (we got married in February 2018), I found out that Miguel worked primarily with a video team making documentary videos about a wide range of topics including the long distance Tarahumara Indian runners to covering professional Mexican soccer teams in their travels to Canada and France. Miguel Matta’s forté is sound, but he welcomed a chance to produce his own video from start to finish.
We created a storyboard that included the many topics that I wanted to cover: how I produce my work, the team of Mexican women who work with me, my environment including my studio, Lake Chapala and of course, the artwork. Even before our first meeting, Miguel was out recording bird calls from the abundant bird populations here, anticipating that we would use this sound track in the documentary.
Miguel had a clear vision from the start about how to sequence the shoots. He and his camera assistant Luis Enrique Gonzalez De La Torre spent hours shooting studio segments with me talking about the work, making the work and instructing my assistants. He rented special equipment to record interviews with each of the women on the studio team and his soundman, Francisco Ramirez, wired each of us before we started talking.
I wasn’t allowed to be around for the interviews with the studio team so that the women could speak freely about their experiences working with me. It’s interesting and charming to hear their perspectives about working in an art studio, with a foreigner and working in an environment outside of the cooking and cleaning jobs that they are generally limited to.
Miguel worked with my studio assistant Sandra Hernandez to create subtitles, which appear in Spanish when English is spoken and in English when Spanish is spoken so that most viewers can follow the storyline.
We were fortunate to garner interviews with two art professionals.
Rebecca Ritzell is an Art Critic and writer for the Washington Post and American Craft. It was great to weave her comments into the film (Rebecca is also writing a piece about my work that will appear in the October issue of American Craft).
Sergio Unzueta, is the Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of Chapala and he also had some cogent remarks about my work and process. It is his enthusiasm that generated the opportunity to mount my solo exhibition Turbulence: Birds, Beauty, Language and Loss at the Chapala Cultural Center (August 4 – September 15, 2018)
Many art videos are talking heads in front of art. Miguel produced a documentary that not only captures the essence of my work, but he also creates drama in doing so. The music provided by sound designer Odin Acosta is compelling and the backdrop of bird sound is a gentle reminder about all we are losing.
The Finished Product!
I hope you will watch the video and leave comments afterwards. We’d love to know what you think!
(Click ‘watch on YouTube’ in video controls to comment on video)