El despacho or "the office" is based on a series of collaborations as part of a continuous project since 1998.
The different facets of this project have involved collaborations between individuals from diverse regions, both within as well as outside of Mexico City. It has been of importance to involve people who endeavour within different disciplines (writers, filmmakers, photographers, students, etc.) with the purpose of enriching the perspective of the project.
The objective is to generate encounters between the participants and the members of the communities on which the projects are based, and which also enable the development of distribution strategies which seek to modify the creator-spectator relationship (person-to-person distribution, exhibition in public spaces, and televised transmissions).
The work consists of incurring in processes of dislocation and reinsertion, inviting artist and spectator to recognise themselves within the workings of the social machinery, and hence participate in a process of revision.
This website shows some of the activities of el despacho. For more iformation see the website of el despacho.
read » 2012 Website launch 'the ABC of Cinema'during RijksakademieOPEN -2/12
The ABC of Cinema
A sensitive way of looking at reality and sketching with the camera.
Discussion with advisor and film maker Kees Hin,Diego Gutierrez and Gal Kinan.
Sunday, 2 December from 3 pm - 4 pm in the Rijksakademie during RijksakademieOPEN 2012 in the Rabo room, ground floor. For more info see also: http://www.rijksakademie.nl/NL/rijksakademieopen/programma/
read » 2012 Project 'the ABC of Cinema'
Lab-workshop for visual artists, filmmakers, visual anthropologists and communication experts from Mexico and The Netherlands.
Life is a one-off event woven with millions of precious moments… if we don’t want to miss them -for the camera, but also for our hearts and minds to register - we have to be fully aware of the everyday dramaturgy.
The ABC of cinema is a collective project in which the participants will develop a video-alphabet out of the reflection on the everyday training necessary for a sensitive approach in documentary filmmaking.
The laboratory will be coordinated by Dutch filmmaker Kees Hin (Haarlem, 1936), Mexican visual artist and filmmaker Diego Gutiérrez (Mexico city, 1966) and Dutch visual anthropologist Metje Postma (Leiden, 1958).
The project will be carried out in Amsterdam (two-week workshop starting last week of March 2012) and Mexico City (date to be confirmed).
Travel and lodging expenses as well as materials and equipment will be provided by el despacho.
-Being a visual artist, filmmaker, communication expert or visual anthropologist with experience in the audiovisual.
-Reside either in Mexico city or The Netherlands
-Letter of intent: Why are you interested in participating in this project? What can you give to and get from this experience?
-Portfolio (photos, videos, texts showing your activity as a visual artist, communication expert or visual anthropologist interested in video documentary)
DEADLINE MARCH 5th 2012
application via website: www.eldespacho.org
“… I was thinking about the ABC of making films. The foundation movements. The basic elements on views on life.
Filming is done on the instant. At that moment you don’t have too much time to think about many things; like a musician, you have to prepare yourself. Like a sportsman does everyday, you have to exercise. (…)
There are billions of neurons in our brain and millions of them store sort of images. These images are sleeping but you can wake them up. In a way, your brain is full of images and full of colors and the whole day things happen and your brain is hearing things, watching, thinking, and these stimulus wakes up those images I’m talking about.
This is the way we see, the way we become conscious of being here, sitting here, standing there. Making a film is using some of these kinds of moments so that the audience can feel a complete story, feel millions of moments.”
read » 2011 Book presentation 'Lunch,Breakfast,Diner'in Smart Project Space, Amsterdam
read » 2009/2010 Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner is a video-documentary collaborative project between students and professionals of the visual arts and the humanities from Mexico, The Netherlands and Morocco through which a three-in-one feature length documentary around the issues of the three diary meals will be made: Breakfast in Mexico, Lunch in Morocco and Dinner in The Netherlands. Such film will be elaborated through three workshops (each one three to four-weeks long) in Mexico, The Netherlands and Morocco.
The workshops participants will come into contact with diverse individuals and communities of the three involved countries and will put into action and reformulate collectively their knowledge in order to create a series of audio-visual tools that will help to “portray” a series of events, individuals and communities. The workshops will be coordinated by visual artists and filmmakers that have previously collaborated with el despacho. Each workshop will be conformed of 12 participants.
The first workshop was held in Mexico City.
read » 2008 The Carriage
The Carriage. What’s the load on the carriage? Who are the ones that travel in it and where does it go?
Some years ago, my Dutch filmmaker friend Kees Hin came to visit me in Mexico City. Since we started working together more than ten years ago, I have felt his naughty-spicy personality in daily life as well as in his way of making film.
Kees told me once that when he was a child his father taught him to stop believing in the Devil and that the Devil had left, but now he wanted to know more about it. Maybe that’s why during his stay in Mexico, he was so intrigued by the variety of devil figures made by Mexican craftsmen and he asked me to find one to take back home with him to Amsterdam.
Kees’s fascination for the devil and my curiosity triggered in us the need to make a journey and a film. A journey through different cities, towns and landscapes. The Netherlands, Indonesia and Mexico connected through a series of special meetings between Kees and some friends of us, relatives, neighbours, acquaintances and people we met on the road. A passage through people’s thoughts, stories, fantasies, fears and lusts.
108 min. documentary film project in collaboration with TVDCM (Mexico), Forum Lenteng & Belanak (Indonesia)
read » 2007 Everything is Gonna Change
Mexico City, 2007
A homebirth in Mexico City. In a center for natural birth education, leaded by four passionate women, we meet a group of excited and tensed future-parents. Intimate moments are shared in the vast urban landscape of this enormous and crowded city, seen through the eyes of a one year old boy. A just arrived, fresh citizen, who travels through it.
35 min. A documentary directed by Linda Bannink in collaboration with CEPAPAR
read » 2005/2006 Documentary film-workshop Mexico City (TVDCM)
el despacho has always been interested in the collective effort of creation and experimental documentary
based projects. The lack of spaces to generate, discuss, create and spread out documentaries in Mexico
made us think about starting an ongoing documentary film-workshop in Mexico City.
el despacho sees in this workshop the opportunity and the challenge to meet people interested in making
documentaries, and to spread out its philosophy, strongly based on the importance of social contact.
People interested in making documentaries can inscribe to participate and develop a series of collective
documentary-film projects. The workshop is open to people coming from the fields of filmmaking, arts,
journalism, anthropology, social sciences but also anyone interested in making documentaries.
The workshop will last one year (Sep 2005-Sep 2006) and will be divided in different working periods. Each working period will
last between3 and 6 months and will have a theme which the participants will work on.
Mexico City will be seen as the laboratorium and working area.
All the working periods will contain the different facets of documentary making; researching and preparing,
filming, editing, distribution and above all, working together, as well as the participants with each other as
with all the people they will meet while making their films.
read » 2004/2005 Entresures
A project of collaboration and exchange between Latin American writers,
that seeks to foster cooperation and integration, through the rescue of
our living history, and the promotion of our cultural diversity.
ENTRESURES is a project of collaboration and exchange which seeks to explore and stimulate self-knowledge among Latin American countries, via the rescue of our living history, as well as to foster “south-south” dialog in the building of cooperation, through the written word and those that engage in writing.
From March through May, 2006, six collaborations will take place among writers from diverse regions of Latin America (Mexico, Peru, Chile, Cuba, Argentina, Nicaragua) and one sociologist from Bogotá, Colombia. In each case, one writer will host a guest writer foreign to the host writer’s city, for two and a half weeks. The host writer will collaborate with the guest writer as a cultural and contextual translator and enabler, so that the latter may draft a narrative text centered on the discovery of the living memory incarnated in the senior subject previously chosen by the host writer from his/her immediate community, as well as on and on the experiences shared by the three during the two and a half-week visit. Likewise, at a given moment, the host writer will also travel to another city, whereupon said writer will then assume the role of guest in the city foreign to him/her, with the same purpose. The sociologist will travel in an itinerating fashion to each one of these gatherings, in order to carry out and document his own observations, as well as to counsel the guest writers.
The texts generated as a result of the collaborative phase of the project, will be gathered in an anthology which will be launched in August, 2006, in Mexico City.ENTRESURES
Who we are
ENTRESURES is a project headed by Jeannine Diego Medina, in collaboration with Gabriel Restrepo and with 17, Instituto de Estudios Críticos (. It has received the support of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, through RAIN Artist Initiatives Network, for the first meeting which was held in Buenos Aires in October-November, 2004. The development of the ENTRESURES project is made possible by the Ford Foundation and by the Prince Claus Foundation (Prins Claus Fonds, Netherlands).
“17, Institute for Critical Studies” (17, Instituto de Estudios Críticos), an organization created in 2002 and headed by Benjamín Eli Mayer Foulkes, Ph.D., provides teaching in the humanistic area; promotes different types of study programs, among these, university degrees with the authorization or official recognition of the validity of studies; in a complementary fashion, the organization promotes initiatives in the area of research and the dissemination of humanistic knowledge. Likewise, it fosters cultural and social projects based on said knowledge. The organization has carried out courses, seminars, conferences, exhibitions and other related activities (see www.17.edu.mx).
read » 2003-2005 The Valley of the Dog Songs
The lives and stories of six young people from six different cities around the world, between the ages of 19 and 24, are interwoven through Phil, a musician and elementary school teacher of 37, residing in San Diego, who must compose the melody of the lives of each of these young people.
A filmmaking team travels to Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Lima Los Angeles and Jakarta, generating videographic material which is sent to Phil in San Diego. Phil reacts to what he hears, sees, to what he perceives and recognizes in each of the six stories. Phil composes and sings six melodies. Interpreting, telling, composing, asking. Re-interpreting, re-telling, re-composing and asking once again.
Phil doesn’t travel. He remains in San Diego.
In each visit to the different cities, Phil sends a gift which the filmmaking team must hand over to its intended recipient: the young person in question.
Besides filming aspect of the daily lives of these young people, the filmmaking team asks them a series of questions which have been formulated by Phil; an additional tool through which Phil attempts to know and understand.
Over the course of the year during which this experience takes place, the filmmaking team visits Phil on two separate occasions, with the purpose of documenting aspects of his own daily life, as well as of the process of the making of the six melodies.
read » 2001-2003 Six Documentaries and a Film about Mexico City
Six Documentaries and a Film about Mexico City is an effort to draw closer to and share the lives of six individuals and their friends, their relatives, their challenges, disappointments and desires. The aim is to focus on the “ordinary” individual within the tempestuous setting of Mexico City.
The stories that don’t make it to the big screen, or even the little screen; the stories that we live side-by-side with; that we, ourselves, live. Happenings that our attention finds easier to disregard, in an apparent wish to disassociate ourselves from our immediate reality. Chronicles and chroniclers within the video-documentaries invite us to dwell for a moment within the quotidian, to engage in our most proximate surroundings. Six Documentaries and a Film about Mexico City proposes a rethinking of the everyday, the commonplace, as not an (un)avoidable circumstance, but rather as a dynamic axis.
The seven videos (six documentaries and one film) were produced during the course of fifteen months, by a group comprised of nine visual artists, writers and filmmakers from Mexico and abroad. Every two months, a team of two to three people came together in this city, with the purpose of producing one of the documentaries. For a period of three weeks, the group stuck around and filmed one inhabitant of Mexico City, as well as his/her circle of friends, relatives and colleagues. Consequently, a second period of three weeks was devoted to the task of edition and post-production.
A series of copies of the documentaries were distributed hand-to-hand, among those who appeared in the documentaries. These individuals, in turn, distributed the tapes among their own circle of friends, acquaintances and neighbors. In 2003, the project will be presented to the public at large in different venues throughout the city, via a series of projections and talks within different spaces and forums such as schools, public libraries, public squares, cultural centers and neighborhood communities.
read » 2001 Hotel Trinidad
Merida, Yucatan. Mexico. 2001
Documentary about the life and mysterious world of the “stuff collector” and artist promoter Manolo Rivero. With the support of RAIN and Galería Manolo Rivero.
video miniDV 62min.
read » 2000 The Painted House
Through an exhaustive research and adventure, two foreigners try to find an enigmatic “painted house” somewhere in Tijuana and San Diego. With the support of RAIN.
read » 1999-2000 El Oviedo
Seven residencies and collaborations between visual artists and writers in a central building downtown Acapulco City. With the support of Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes.
read » 1997-1998 Torre Latinoamericana
Collaborations and residencies of more than 20 visual artists and writers from an office situated in the Torre Latinoamericana; one of Mexico City’s tallest and most emblematic buildings.