REALIDAD | SARAH LUCAS Y AMIGOS EN MÉXICO | a film by Julian Simmons
A month in Mexico with British artist Sarah Lucas | contains nudity – actual and suggestive
Feature, 71:30 | Trailer, 1:11
Camera / Editor / Colour / Music / Producer : Julian Simmons
SCREENINGS – FORTHCOMING : [ full details will be announced here + Twitter ]
NEW YORK | TBA |
MEXICO | TBA |
LONDON | TBA |
PREVIOUS SCREENINGS :
BERLIN | 13 June – 31 July 2014 | CONTEMPORARY FINE ARTS GALERIE GMBH, Am Kupfergraben 10, 10117 Berlin Mitte
BRICK-FACTORY EXCERPTS :
NEW YORK | 5 – 29 March 2014 | KARMA, 39 Great Jones Street, New York, NY 10012
LONDON | 15 – 20 October 2013 | Sadie Coles HQ, 62 Kingly Street, London
“SUPER GRRRREEAAATTTTT TIT TEDDY. Love the look of it, and sound of it! Always good to shake a stick at ‘limitations’!”, Gregor Muir, Executive Director of the ICA.
“So sexy – the fleshy close-ups at that party, the cigarettes and glue, the brick-making guys massaging wet mud with their hands, and that guy working a pestle and mortar – so sensual!!”
“For anyone who doesn’t know you Sarah, this is really what you’re like! …and some of that footage – it looked like a painting, so vibrant”, Michael Clark, CBE.
‘I watched Realidad earlier this week and loved it. I really dig all the subtle audio and video manipulations throughout, and those guys making the bricks by hand was amazing’, Sam Dunn, British Film Institute.
“Tit-Teddy is essential – he makes you feel so good, after this everyone will want Tit-Teddy!”, Sarah Lucas.
“If this is art, what was happening before?”
“…Nobody knows. Forget that”
“Forget before. Exercise”
Featuring : Tit-Teddy, Sarah Lucas, Dr Lakra, Raul Pina Perez, Rodolfo Diaz Cervantes, Amelia Hinojosa, Elisa Miller, Julian Simmons, Laureana Toledo, all at the restaurant Casa Oaxaca, and Yatereni ‘The Brick Factory’ Valles Centrales de Oaxaca.
Filming, Mexico : 2012.
Additional spoken audio : Sarah Lucas in conversation with Angus Cook & Gregor Muir, recorded by Julian Simmons 2013.
Additional music : NUMBERSTREAM0 [which we worked to in the Oaxaca house/studio + diffused on the ground-floor of the exhibition in Anahuacalli, Mexico D.F., 20 April – 8 July 2012]
Thanks : everyone in this film and the galleries – Kurimanzutto, Mexico D.F.; Sadie Coles HQ, London.
PRESS RELEASE : REALIDAD
‘Easter 2012, continuous threats of serious aftershocks.
We fly into Mexico-City the day after a massive magnitude-8 earthquake hit Mexico – originating on a fault-line in Oaxaca, our next destination. In fact before we left England we were thinking “shit should we go!!”
The film REALIDAD was taken alongside my photographic documentation of a series of sculptures and cigarette-drawings made by Sarah Lucas, for an exhibition to be installed among the pre-hispanic artefacts of Anahuacalli – the Museo Diego Rivera in Mexico City.
We arrived in Oaxaca a month before the show was to open. We needed to find a place to live and work, gather the raw materials, and make the works – whatever they might be, there was no plan.
In the day I was assisting in making the sculptures, test plinths, and mainly photographing the sculptures as they were completed. This photographic evidence in 2013 became the book TITTIPUSSIDAD.
Oaxaca is where Sarah’s NUD sculptures suddenly became truly anthropomorphic. The first of these, REALIDAD, also became the name for this film.
The meditation for these sculptures were the objects we had seen in Anahuacalli, the active transformative ingredient – was Mezcal. At the start of this film, Tit-Teddy is credited as having a starring role – which he does, at the end of the film the largest credit goes to Mezcal. This distilled agave spirit fuelled many of the works; Mezcal is basically hallucinogenic, certainly psychotropic to an extent, the mysterious ‘cactus intent’ is transferred by it – Mexicans speak of Mezcal as a person. And yes, having imbibed Mezcal – variously – grown on small farms – I was transported by that person – the cactus individual, fulfilled and animated by ‘him’, he’s the relationship of a teacher to a pupil.
Each day our house in which we worked – sometimes naked due to intense heat, would slowly accrue a bunch of friends. In the evenings we would walk with feet black from volcanic dust, down into Oaxaca crazy with fireworks, to a restaurant, a party, or the local Mezcal bar. With the day’s photography done, these were the gritty, low-light, noisy environments in which I captured most of this film.
This is a record of ‘the other side’, of in a way, one of Sarah’s great assets – to speak freely with moments of genius, and so to likewise encourage the spirit of others in her company.
I intentionally took only a few photographs of Sarah making the sculptures – I didn’t want my observation to affect her thought process, or so for the sculptures to look different than they might have otherwise. The same is true of shooting this film, there are only a few instances here of Sarah sculpting. In any-case most of the stimulating evidence of creation is in the formation of ideas through conversations, rather than the silence of thoughts in the head when making.
There is a film within a film here. Not knowing what to expect as we entered a ‘brick factory’ in the Oaxaca valley, there emerged something anthropological in its importance. Men crafting mud into the building blocks of whole houses – floor tiles, wall bricks, ceiling slabs, roof tiles, and more, the scene looked 100’s if not 1000’s of years old. The footage is valuable not only in its instructional impression, but also as a record of a way of practice that possibly may not last another generation.
A few days before our departure the nearby volcano Popocatepetl started chuffing heavily, villages were evacuated, the airport was on high alert, this place from start to finish had been one hell of a weird hub of energy.
REALIDAD along with TITTIPUSSIDAD is a rare combination of film and book that describes an intense period of Sarah Lucas, at work, and at life!’
Julian Simmons; Suffolk, UK, 2014. Salud amigos.
“Conversations about sex, death, presidents and comrades, captured in low-light parties and restaurants… a hot gritty mezcal surreality!”