Re-appropriation of Catalan and Basque Modernist Art through Film under the Franco Dictatorship
This project is part of my ongoing research on peripheral Peninsular film practices under the Franco dictatorship in Spain. I will investigate the Catalan and Basque reappropriation in the 1960s and 70s of their modernist art. This is a time when the dictatorship seeks to capitalize on said art in its projection of imagery suggesting a postautarkical, modernizing Spain. The Franco regime refers to this period as Spain’s “apertura,” the same word in Spanish for the aperture of a camera. Film, especially the Francoist newsreels known as No-Dos, helps spread this imagery within and beyondSpain’s borders. In response, and under the duress of censorship, Catalan and Basque filmmakers re-appropriate the work of such autochthonous artists as Antoni Gaudí i Cornet, Joan Miró i Ferrà, Jorge Oteiza Enbil, and Eduardo Txillida Juantegi. This study focuses on Catalan producer and director Pere Portabella’s series of short films about Miró’s artwork. These include Miró’s painting in Aidez l’Espagne/Help Spain (1969) andMiró l’altre/Miró the Other (1969), sculpture in Miró la forja/Miró’s Forge (1973), andtapestry in Miró tapis/Miró’s Tapestry (1973). I will examine these alongside Basquedirectors Néstor Basterretxea and Fernando Larruquert’s ethnographic documentary AmaLur /Motherland, (1968) featuring Oteiza’s and Txillida’s sculpture.