COME OUT: FILMS OF NARCISA HIRSCH
Wednesday, November 8 at 7:45pm
The Capitol Theatre, 121 University Ave. W, Windsor
Pay What You Like
Wednesday, November 8 at 7:45pm
Introduced by Tomas Rautenstrauch, grandson of the artist and Director of the Filmoteca Narcisa Hirsch, who attends from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Come Out: Films of Narcisa Hirsch is curated and organized to coincide with the first phase of a major restoration project spearheaded by the newly founded Filmoteca Narcisa Hirsch in Buenos Aires and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, with the aim to preserve the moving image legacy of one of the foremost living figures in the history of South American and international avant-garde cinema.
Currently based in Patagonia, and now in her 96th year, Narcisa Hirsch is a pivotal figure in 20th century art and a legend in her home country of Argentina and beyond. Across the last seven decades—a period marked by two military dictatorships—she has been immersed in a collaborative, multi-disciplinary milieu of filmmaking, happenings, performances, installation, and urban interventions that helped make Buenos Aires one of the most advanced and vibrant centres of the post-war avant-garde.
During her career Hirsch has completed dozens of Super 8 and 16mm films centered on themes including love, the body, death, movement, and the female gaze. She has also produced numerous films and projects in collaboration with other artists such as Werner Nekes, Claudio Caldini, Juan José Mugni, Juan Villola, Horacio Valleregio, and Marie Louise Alemann.
Manzanas, 4.5 min, 1969
A-Dios, 26 min, 1984
Canciones Napolitanas, 10 min 1971
Come Out, 11 min, 1974
Orfeo ed Euridice, 12 min, 1976
Workshop, 11 min, 1974
Over the years Hirsch’s films have often screened in non-institutional settings in Buenos Aires as part of informal and underground gatherings, with infrequent engagements occurring more recently at major institutions such as the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía and Documenta Madrid (2020). Until recently, much of Hirsch’s oeuvre only existed as camera originals, meaning one copy of each film was available anywhere in the world. Her extensive catalogue of originals is now consequently in fragile condition and cannot yet be screened publicly in their original formats. The current restoration process has brought to light the complexity of Hirsch’s practice, unearthing multiple versions of previously known films, entirely new discoveries, as well as works in progress and unfinished films. As this project continues beyond the digitization phase, one important objective is to restore many of her works to circulation as film prints.
This program is co-presented with Filmoteca Narcisa Hirsch and Henry Ford Museum.
Image credits: unless otherwise noted all artworks, portraits and stills courtesy of the artist © Narcisa Hirsch and Filmoteca Narcisa Hirsch.
About Narcisa Hirsch
Narcisa Hirsch (1928) is a pioneering multi-disciplinary artist and filmmaker born in Berlin, Germany. She relocated to Buenos Aires with her family in the 1930s. Hirsch has completed 50+ films since the mid-1960s. Originally working as a painter, printmaker, and sculptor, her interest in film arose during the documentation of collaborative public performances and happenings undertaken in the streets of Buenos Aires and London. One of these early performances, La Marabunta (1967), was shot by Raymundo Gleyzer, famed filmmaker and political opponent of Argentina’s military dictatorship (1976–1984), who disappeared in 1976. The piece featured a giant wire sculpture of a skeleton stuffed with live parrots and pigeons and adorned in fruits, sandwiches, and candies. Around this time, Hirsch travelled to New York where she studied filmmaking and attended screenings at Anthology Film Archives and other institutions, going on to create dozens of works on Super 8, 16mm, and video. Her films have been the subject of major retrospectives at venues including Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (2010), Viennale (2012), and Documenta Athens (2017). She is the author of several books including Philosophy Is a Useless Passion (2015). The Filmoteca Narcisa Hirsch was established in 2019 to preserve her films and provide a cultural space for artists’ film in Buenos Aires. She lives and works in Patagonia.