After a great year for Chilean movies in 2011, cinephiles and culture-lovers of Santiago will be offered a rare treat to kick off the new year in 2012 from artist and director Josef Dabernig. The Austrian artist will present some of his films and lead discussions, in English, at locations in the capital.
Dabernig, a prominent Austrian conceptual artist, turned his hand to cinema in his 40s, winning renown in Europe for his short films, screening at such big-name events as the Locarno, Venice, Rotterdam, Toronto and London film festivals, and curating at some of the epicenters of the art-world, including the Pompidou Center in Paris.
Compatriot Isabella Hollauf is with Dabernig in Chile at the invitation of a local art collective, the vaticano chico, to collaborate on a project called Sportivo: an artistic meditation on soccer, different local sports centers, swimming pools and summer holidays.
Dabernig will bring his trademark style to Sportivo’s cinematic offshoot, Rotativo, which focuses more specifically on one of the director’s passions: soccer. The short films explore a variety of themes, ranging from football for smokers to the reluctant yet graceful decay of modernist buildings. One is set in Italy’s San Nicola Stadium, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano; another features Italian football commentary blended with operatic arias.
In an interview with This is Chile, María Berríos – sociologist, director and one of three founding members of vaticanochico – described the importance of Dabernig’s visit to Chile.
“Josef is a very prominent filmmaker and an expert in the relationship between football, architecture and empty spaces,” Berríos said. “It is a privilege to work with him and to be able to see his films in 16 and 35 millimeter [as opposed to DVD].”
The Rotativo event will take place over two days, beginning on January 6. Four short films will be screened and later discussed by Berríos, along with local artist Cristián Silva and film theorist Catalina Donoso, as well as the director himself. The event will start at 6:30 p.m in the Jorge Müller Auditorium of the Universidad de Chile’s Cineteca, 1045 Av. Ignacio Carrera Pinto.
The second event will be held in the Cineteca Nacional at the cultural center of Chile’s presidential palace, La Moneda, on Monday, January 9, at 6:00 p.m. The evening, which will include a presentation by Dabernig, will mark the Chilean Premiere of Hypercrisis (2011), a short film nominated for the European Film Awards that tells the story of a struggling poet in the post-soviet Southern Caucasus.
Both events are free.
For a guide to some more of Santiago’s independent cinemas, click here.