M&Y&EWM – Chapter 4: Modernity: changes, promises and frustrations

Me and You and Everyone We Meet is a video program (films, short films, documentary) structured in four chapters that explores the main elements that set up subjective production and the working environment taking it as a space on which reflection is needed in order to generate different readings and possibilities imagining new ways of living and organizing ourselves.

Wednesday April 8, 2015, 08,00pm, Zumzeig Cinema
Chapter 4: Modernity: changes, promises and frustrations

Diego Santomé, Apuntes y breve aproximación a Sargadelos, 2014. 14’; Patricia Esquivias, The Future Was When?, 2010. 20’; Tamar Guimarães, Canoas, 2010. 13’25’’

With an introduction by Diego Santomé, the last chapter of the  program works as a proximity framework. From the utopian ideal of Sargadelos and its dissolution in the capitalist economy, through a strange story about Madrid and New York urbanism from subway tiles, or  Brazilian modernist architecture from a party in a Niemeyer house, the chapter proposes different readings of the promises that modernity brought and how they have been trasformed, evolved or truncated over the years.


Diego Santomé, Apuntes y breve aproximación a Sargadelos, 2014. 14´

A film shot in Sargadelos (Cervo), the place where, in 1806, Antonio Raimundo Ibáñez founded a ceramics factory to exploit the area’s natural resources. The images depict the current the ceramic production process, Sargadelos’ so-called ‘fifth stage’ spurred on from 1949 by Isaac Díaz Pardo with the creation of Cerámicas do Castro (Sada) and Porcelanas de Magdalena (Argentina); and completed, in 1970, with the construction in Cervo of the circular plant designed by the architect, Andrés Fernández-Albalat, symbolising the recovery of the original company’s business and the spirit in the municipality. The heyday of this stage was marked by the creation, in 1963, of the Galician Laboratorio de Formas (Laboratory of Forms), a programme aimed at recovering Galicia’s historical memory subsequent to the process of ‘memory loss’ suffered as a result of the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Spearheaded by Díaz Pardo, Luís Seoane and a group of intellectuals who had been in exile since the Spanish Civil War, the Laboratory is an institution which condenses the lines of thought which helped to form the Sargadelos group, Galicia’s great industrial and cultural project, and which would become an example of the regulatory nature of the utopia, the moral ideals that encourage us to construct or transform, a metaphor for creation bound to the transformation of society.

Patricia Esquivias, The Future Was When?, 2010. 20’

In The Future Was When? (2009) Esquivias organizes a complex narrative of urban space around the tiling of subway stations in Madrid and New York. She reads ceramic tiling as a conceit for an individual’s relationship to the fading modernist organization of space, and for tracing the grand and now uncertain legacy of urbanism between two branded and networked metropolises.

Tamar Guimarães, Canoas, 2010 16mm transferred to HD, 13′ 25”

The video Canoas centres upon a cocktail party at Oscar Niemeyer’s Casa das Canoas; a masterpiece of Brazilian modernist architecture bordered by tropical jungle. In these seductive surroundings, we overhear snippets of guests’ conversations, which range from discussions about the quality of the champagne to the questioning of Gilberto Freyre’s observation that “Brazil has an eroticism that transcends race and class.” The collaging of these fractured statements serves to problematise the habits and routines of cultural producers.