Jul 29, 2018 at 7:30 pm
Mirrored Objects: Beatriz Santiago Muñoz
Screening to be followed by discussion with Beatriz Santiago Muñoz & Ruth Somalo
We’re thrilled to welcome Beatriz Santiago Muñoz to UnionDocs to join us for a program of her recent work. Santiago Muñoz describes her films as coming out of long periods of observation and documentation, in which the camera is present as an object with social implications and as an instrument mediating aesthetic thought. Her films frequently start out through research into specific social structures, individuals, or events, which she transforms into moving image, at times supported by objects and texts. Santiago Muñoz’s recent work has been concerned with post-military land, Haitian poetics, and the sensorial unconscious of anti-colonial movements.
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz’s films are “shot through a kaleidoscope-like series of mirrors”, says Jeanine Olson of Bomb Magazine and with this process she leaves us with lingering questions about how and what she is observing. How are we implicated in what we consume visually? How do we participate as partners in the problems and potential of images?
We’re excited to have her in attendance for this program and joining for a brief conversation with Ruth Somalo following the program.
Big thanks to our co-presenters of this program, the Flaherty Film Seminar!
La Cabeza Mató a Todos
2014, 8 min, digital file
A spell to destroy the military-industrial complex. With Michelle Nonó.
2015, 16 min, digital file
Two young workers at a busy Port-au-Prince open air market have a conversation about the mystical properties of common objects and whether the divine can inhabit any kind of object—mass produced bottles, toxic rivers, beheaded goats.
2017, 26 min, digital file
Oneiromancer is the first of a series of works on the sensorial unconscious of the Puerto Rican anti-colonial movement. It centers on the figures, places, materials, and leftover materials of the members of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional, a clandestine group, who were arrested and sentenced to near-lifetime prison terms for seditious conspiracy, a political crime.
2014, 7 min, digital file
Shot from the old fuel dock, a mile-and-a-half-long structure once used to service battleships and now used by fishermen as a new shore at the decommissioned US Naval Base of Roosevelt Roads in Ceiba, Puerto Rico. The view from the dock is, on one side, the Island of Vieques, and on the other; Vieques Sound–a passage that connects the Caribbean Sea with the Atlantic Ocean. The film is shot through a mirrored object, a formal experiment in order to transform and collapse the monumentality of the view, taking cues from shore fisherman who transform the base”s use and meaning.
Black Beach/Horse/Camp/The Dead/Forces
2016, 8 min, digital file
Black Beach/Horse/Camp/The Dead/Forces was all shot in Vieques, Puerto Rico—an island that was used as a bombing range by the US Navy in Puerto Rico for 60 years, and that for the past 10 has been fighting for its decontamination.
The film weaves together images of a man who cares for horses that roam the old target range; a black magnetite beach that is slowly eroding, an artist who has helped to resurrect a sacred tree which was once within the Navy’s gates and who has herself resurrected from illness more than once, a man who hopes his ritual movements return the island of Vieques to a cosmic balance—all of these are intertwined— land, toxic bomb, political work, celebration and death.
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz lives and works in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her work arises out of long periods of observation and documentation, in which the camera is present as an object with social implications and as an instrument mediating aesthetic thought. Her films frequently start out through research into specific social structures, individuals, or events, which she transforms into moving image, at times supported by objects and texts. Santiago Muñoz’s recent work has been concerned with post-military land, Haitian poetics, and the sensorial unconscious of anti-colonial movements. Recent solo exhibitions include: Song, Strategy, Sign at the New Museum, A Universe of Fragile Mirrors at the Pérez Art Museum of Miami, MATRULLA, Sala de Arte Público Siqueiros, México City; Post-Military Cinema, Glasgow International; The Black Cave, Gasworks, London. Her work is included in public and private collections, such as the Whitney Museum, Solomon Guggenheim, and Kadist.
Ruth Somalo is a Spanish filmmaker, curator and researcher based in New York. Ruth has been working in non fiction for the past 15 years, her work has been shown in theaters, festivals and museums internationally, including the Verdi Cinema Theatre and Contemporary Art Center Matadero de Madrid, San Sebastian International Film Festival, Cinema du Réel (Paris), ADFF (NY), L’Alternativa (Barcelona), Documentamadrid, MOMA PS1 (Expo1) and at the EYE Film Institute in Amsterdam (Spanish Cinema Without Fear). Her new work includes the themes of gendered illness, the economy of death, and the history of tears.
She works as Associate Festival Director and Programmer of the Human Rights Film Festival IIFF DOCS; as Programmer at DocumentaMadrid and DOC NYC and curated 2017’s Flaherty NYC Winter/Spring Series “Broken Senses” at the Anthology Film archives.