Contemporaries - The Quest for Reality

Reality is what every artist searches for, but each artist has a different idea of what reality is. A Renaissance artist did not seek to capture the same reality as an Expressionist; and contemporary creators are just as divided in their quest. This film examines the work of widely differing artists today: men like George Segal, who makes highly detailed plaster casts of the bodies of his own friends, and Antonio Recalcati, who 'prints' real people directly on to canvas. There is Michelangelo Pistoletto, who captures the spectators of his work through mirrors so that they become part of the work of art themselves; Jean-Pierre Reynaud, with his linking of two 'psycho-objects' otherwise quite unrelated; and Gérard Titus-Carmel, who tells an interviewer that the reality of his work is the drawing on the paper - 'right, there is an image somewhere. But ... it's not the image I'm interested in. It's the sort of movement ... the way things get drawn.' Wolf Vostell, who immortalizes a car or a woman in cement, says that he is seeking to understand the current meaning of life for modern humankind. These, of course, are all Europeans; American 'hyper-realists' like Chuck Close, John de Andrea, Richard MacLean, Don Eddy, Malcolm Morley, Ralph Goings, Richard Estes and Robert Cottingham use photography in their work to juxtapose one reality against another in a 'showdown of visions.' In Spain, by contrast, Antonio Lopez Garcia has been setting up his easel every morning for years in Madrid's Gran Vía, believing he must work from life for the sake of 'naturalness.' Hugo Pratt, comics artist and creator of Corto Maltese, tells an interviewer that comics, despised by academia, are a 'modern business' and 'dynamite' for formulating critical and political observation of current events. Jacques Monory works with photography, film and painting 'because if others don't look at me, I'm dead'; while Italian militant artist of the sixties Gianni Spadari has now given up his political struggles because 'in that voluntary commitment, I sacrificed a part of myself.'

The film also features the work of Camille Bombois, Yves Klein, Jean-Olivier Hucleux, Peter Klasen, Vladimir Velickovic, Gérard Schlosser, Domenico Gnoli, Isabel Quintanilla, Claudio Bravo, Gilles Aillaud, Valerio Adami and others.


Director: Carlos Vilardebo
Writers/Narration: André Parinaud: Carlos Vilardebo

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Catalog number #601

53 minutes Color

Age Range: 15 to Adult

Closed Captions and Interactive Transcript

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