The Prado projects a “science fiction” film with Goya’s black paintings

Room 64-65 of the Villanueva building of the Prado Museum will house until September 4 the work of Philippe Parreno ‘La Quinta del Sordo’, a 40-minute film in which it is played to recreate the disappeared Goya estate where he created the black paintings.

It is an intriguing visit with a movie that we could describe as science fiction“, has pointed out the art gallery’s deputy director of conservation and research, Andrés Úbeda, who has described the piece as a “total work of art”.

It is invigorating to see how one contemporary artist complements another“, Úbeda pointed out, emphasizing the importance of sound in this film. “You can almost say that you can hear the painting in the film and that is why we have been very careful with it. Furthermore, it is a sound at a time when Goya was deaf”, he remarked.

Between 1819 and 1824 Goya painted a set of 14 paintings –the black paints– on the walls of the two floors of La Quinta del Sordo. This house was demolished in 1909, but the paintings were rescued and are now in the room next to where Parreno’s film is shown.

The film recreates that life in a house with no specific date, although it takes the viewer back to the time when it was still occupied by Goya. Parreno reconstructed the house and the garden in three dimensions to find the original acoustics of the place, and he accompanies camera movements very close to the paintings with the crackling of a fire, generating a peculiar play of light.

Parreno used ultra-fast cameras (500,000 frames per second) to record the paintings. In addition, he accompanies the film with the intervention of a musician in each session, who makes an introduction. In this first one, the cellist Alejandro Marías has spoken of the preludes as “prophecies or time machines to present something that has not yet happened”.

“The question that arises here is, above all, that of image and space, no matter what order we pose them in. Because, between the data, there are these two elements that constitute our realities, it is a game of sleight of hand. In the film, ‘hidden’ and ‘invisible’ beings appear and disappearParreno explained.

To make this film, the artist collaborated with cinematographer Darius Khondji, editor Ael Dallier Vega, and Oscar-winning sound designer Nicolas Becker, with Lexx, a music producer, engineer, and co-inventor and co-founder of Bronze, a new platform and format of generative music and artificial intelligence.

By Editor

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