Seeds in the Wind: A Constellation of Films by Sílvia das Fadas
Filmmaker and wanderer Sílvia das Fadas presents a constellation of 16mm films that resist the accelerations of digitization. Das Fadas chooses to travel with film prints in her suitcase from southern Portugal, where she is living, filming, and running a traveling cinema. Together, das Fadas’s films shine light on an old edition of Giambattista della Porta’s treatise on the secrets of nature in Magiae Naturalis (2011), a sun-drenched orchard in California in Picking Oranges (2012) and sites of revolutionary architecture, including an exuberant garden built over Etruscan ruins by Niki de Saint Phalle. In Square Dance, Los Angeles County, California (2013), streams of golden light drift across photographs of people dancing taken in rural America at the tail end of the Depression. Shadows and light dance through still moments from a past era to a soundtrack of labor protest songs. The House If Yet to Be Built (2015-2018) is a travelogue that journeys across five sites of outsider architecture with utopian ambitions: an ideal palace built over the course of thirty-three years by a French postman after his daily rounds; a red house embodying a medieval spirit designed by a socialist artist and poet; a tower inspired by ancient civilizations built by a single man in an isolated valley in Belgium; a tarot sculpture garden by a monumental artist in Tuscany; a cemetery with tombstones painted by a local sculptor to celebrate the lives of the deceased in Transylvania. A double projection, Her* Hands and His Shape (2017), made in collaboration with filmmaker Masha Godovannaya, uses found footage, superimpositions, color and light to conjure the ghosts of women who made films politically. Together, das Fadas’s films offer enchanting reflections on collective ways of being and moving with the world. Curated by Sophie Lynch (CMS) as part of the Graduate Student Curatorial Program. Q&A with das Fadas moderated by Lynch. (16mm, 64 min.)
Sílvia das Fadas is a filmmaker, a convivial researcher, and educator based in southern Portugal. She holds an MFA in Film and Video from CalArts (USA), was a cooperation fellow at the Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2019, and a visiting fellow at the Center for Place Culture and Politics, The Graduate Center, CUNY, in 2020. She is currently a PhD-in-Practice candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna supported by a FCT scholarship, and the curator of CINEMA FULGOR, a traveling cinema through the countryside of Southern Portugal. Her filmography refuses the digitalization of the world and includes “Light, Blaze, Fulgor — Auguries for a Non-Hierarchical Framing and flourishing” (2018 - ongoing), “The House Is Yet to Be Built” (2015-2018), “Square Dance, Los Angeles County, California, 2013” and “Apanhar Laranjas/Picking Oranges” (2012). She is interested in the politics intrinsic to cinematic practices and in cinema as a way of being together in restlessness and brokenness.
Co-sponsored by the Film Studies Center, the Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Studies Section of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, the Open Practice Committee in the Department of Visual Arts, and the Department of Art History.