28/05 2014

Albert Serra, today’s Salvador Dali

From Don Quixote to the Three Wise Men, from Hitler to bullfighting, the Spanish artist revisits history with fervor, somewhere between utopia and irony.

Right to the Point #4 / Artists’ Soapbox Series: a meeting with Albert Serra

For the fourth part of Right to the Point, Nicola Setari has invited a film director, Albert Serra. This gives this Catalan, born in 1975, an opportunity to show us what influences him when he makes his films, which have been shown at the Centre Pompidou, the Kassel Documenta, and the Quinzaine des réalisateurs at the Cannes Film Festival, in 2006 (Honor de cavallería), winning several awards, in particular the Golden Leopard, at the last Locarno Festival with Historia de la meva mort.

The Golden Age

Albert Serra knows how to make a link between utopia and irony, he who so admires the spirit of exaggeration of Dali, of whom Freud would say, when the Spaniard had told him about his dreams: “What a fanatic!” And like Dali, Serra has had a passionate interest in bullfighting since his childhood: “It represents the quintessence of Spain, all its mystique, its aesthetic, and its character”. As a fervent admirer of Baudelaire and Proust in literature, and the San Francisco Sound of the 1960s, led by groups such as The Charlatans, The Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Airplane, the Spaniard also subscribes to the cult of the Greek myth of The Golden Age, that eternal spring in which the existence of people was more occupied by things festive than by violence and jealousies. In his interpretation of Cervantes’s Don Quixote, his hidalgo, played by a retired tennis coach, also confides to Sancho Panza, among the many subjects which they philosophize over during their journey: “The Golden Age was the best of eras…”.

Go The Three Little Pigs and the Wolf

In The Three Little Pigs, a ‘film fleuve’ of 101 hours screened at the 2012 Documenta, Albert Serra stages Goethe, Hitler and Fassbinder, in order to draw a portrait of Germany today, through its modern age and these three antagonistic characters. The hardest thing, he recounts, was to present Hitler without toppling into clichés. Because, he explains: “He is one of those characters, like Dali and Warhol, who deliberately incorporated their own caricature in their personality. They did the work themselves, before us”.  

Copyright :Albert Serra