Pedro Friedeberg - Socialité Mexicaine

Pedro Friedeberg - Socialité Mexicaine

The young filmmaker Liora Spilk presents the documentary Pedro, in which she narrates the way in which she embarked on a personal search for the figure of Pedro Friedeberg

They bring the human profile of Pedro Friedeberg to the cinema

After playing an intricate detective story, full of snakes, ladders, nymphs and other fantastic beings, the young  filmmaker  Liora Spilk presents the  documentary  Pedro , in which she narrates the way in which she embarked on her personal search for the figure of  Pedro Friedeberg , considered, despite himself, as “the last of the Mexican surrealists.”

“I think we have the idea that the identity of  great artists  must necessarily be an immutable, mythical and totemic thing. But something that is interesting about Pedro is that within his life and his work there are many Pedros, the one in this  film  is mine, the one I have known, the one I have had the opportunity to accompany both in his presentations and in your day to day. That Pedro is my favorite person in the world, someone who is an anomaly in history, who surpasses it, but who is also an eternal child, a great father, a painter by trade and above all a great architect of dreams," says LioraSpilk. , in an interview with  El Sol de México .

The  documentary  tells how the  filmmaker  became aware of  Friedeberg's work when she saw a painting in her grandmother's collection; and how he seeks contact with the  artist  without much success, until one day, after months of insistence, he decides to open not only his workshop, but the doors of his intimate life, to show a different character, the one usually seen in television capsules or short films. biographical documentaries.


The  documentary  represents the opportunity to learn how Friedeberg sees himself as  an artist , although at times the viewer may hesitate when listening to him, since an ironic and irreverent air is always perceived in his accent, to the extent that he defines himself in some moment in the  film , not surreal, but as a unique representative of the “Neokitsh-Baroque”. Unfortunately, although  Friedeberg's work  has had a great impact, mainly abroad, Spilk comments that he is an  artist  who, for a moment, fell into a certain oblivion.

Pedro is unclassifiable, it is not  pop-art , it is not up art, it is not surrealism nor is it fantasy  I think this has also affected the recognition of it, because it is much easier to recognize what we can classify. But, I ask, what is the need to put everything into compartments? Today we are in a time where identity has enormous possibilities, but in which we still pigeonhole ourselves in many things. It is clear that there is still a need for definition, but  Friedeberg  never looked for that,” explains the  artist.

The name of the exhibition comes from Hypnerotomachia Piliphili, the first novel of the stream of consciousness

This indefinite, multiple, polyhedral vision of Friedeberg can be felt in the camera direction of the  film , which focuses, sometimes individually and even conceptually, on elements of the artist's daily life, which are, however, significant in what is being communicated. Regarding this, Spilk comments that it is a deliberate aesthetic intention, in which “the subject of a documentary can be represented by its objects,” and that in the case of Pedro “everything is congruent with him, at the same time that he It is incongruent with everything else.”


Supported by  photographs  and   archival  documents , as well as interviews with friends of Pedro Friedeberg, among them the writer Elena Poniatowska,  the pioneering art critic, Ida Rodríguez Prampolini, and even the late painter Jose Luis Cuevas; The  documentary  is at the same time an  album  of memories, which portrays  Friedeberg  from his birth in Florence, Italy, in 1936, until his arrival in Mexico; from his studies at the Universidad Iberoamericana, to the consolidation of his best-known work, the  Mano-Silla  and other  fundamental works  of his.

In this memorable tour - which happens at the same time that the artist is touring some of his latest  exhibitions  both in Mexico and abroad, with the help of Spilk - he also talks about how he had the opportunity to make friends with great  artists  like Mathias Goeritz, Leonora Carrington, Alicia Rahon, among others.

“Another of the intentions of this  film  is to pay  tribute  to a generation of  artists  who have infinitely marked the modern history of Mexico, but to whom, unfortunately, on many occasions it seems that we do not always have their names present. Ida  Rodríguez Prampolini,  is an example, who was one of the people in charge, to a large extent. to make famous Mathias Goeritz, José Luis Cuevas, Pedro himself and many other characters who are now an integral part of the artistic and urban landscape of Mexico. I believe that as a generation we have a historical obligation to close the gap between old age and youth, to honor our genealogies,” adds the  director.

With screenings at the  Zapata Metro, the Elena Poniatowska Foundation and the Franz Mayer Museum,  the documentary Pedro returns to theaters on October 5, 6 and Tuesday, October 10, respectively.



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