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Xcèntric 2022

Sometimes, there are things that can only be said in a letter

Tribute to Mekas to mark the centenary of his birth


In her Breve ensayo sobre la carta (2021), Laía Argüelles writes that perhaps the letter consists of “making distance the condition for the most intimate closeness”. This session, a tribute in the form of a particular correspondence between Valentina Alvarado and Jonas Mekas, takes its title from that text, based on fragments of the diaries selected by the filmmaker, in which distances (of geography, time, etc.) are transformed into an unexpected closeness.

Like the flashes of beauty running through the entire work of Jonas Mekas, in this session, Valentina Alvarado’s recordings resonate with the fragments written by Mekas in his diary Ningún lugar adonde ir (Caja Negra, 2008), and Destellos de Belleza (Caja Negra, 2022).

Weaving together images and texts, sounds and silences, in a free correspondence of echoes and cross-references, in this session Valentina Alvarado proposes a personal reading of Mekas’s texts, which she then discusses with the filmmaker and critic Pablo Marín, translator of Mekas’s diaries, and the curator Sergi Álvarez Riosalido.

This session, devised by Sergi Álvarez Riosalido in collaboration with Caja Negra publishers, took place in a similar version on 2 June 2022 at the Matadero Centre for Artists in Residence, Madrid, in the framework of Documenta Madrid.

Participants: Valentina Alvarado Matos, Pablo Marín, Sergi Álvarez Riosalido

Directors: Jonas Mekas

This activity is part of Xcèntric 2022

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