A turn towards documentary modes of practice amongst contemporary fine art video and filmmakers towards the end of the 20th Century, led to moving image works that represent current social realities. This drew some comparisons of these forms of art to journalism and industrial documentary.
The practical research is embodied in a single screen film that responds to recent political and ecological realities in Spain. These include the mass demonstrations that led to the occupation of Madrid’s Plaza del Sol and Spain’s in 2011 and largest recorded forest fires that spread through Andalusia in August of the following year. The film, titled Spanish Labyrinth, South from Granada, is a response to these events and also relates to political avant-garde film of the 1930’s by re-tracing a journey undertaken by three revolutionary filmmakers, Yves Allegret, René Naville and Eli Lotar, in 1931.
The theoretical research for this project establishes an historical root of artists’ film that responds to current social realities, in contrast to news media, in the Soviet and European avant-garde movements of the 1920s and 1930s. The main aim of this method is to argue the status of the works that I identify, both avant-garde and contemporary, as a form of art that preceded a Griersonian definition of documentary film.