On 9 April, video-artists Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine took part in the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture Foros lecture series, in a session held at the Filmoteca de Catalunya. Bêka&Lemoine, whose work is characterised by its use of new audiovisual narratives to analyse contemporary architecture and urban settings, delivered a lecture entitled “The Experience of Space”. Through excerpts from their 24 films, they revisited their vast filmography, recently purchased by the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA).
In the lecture, the video-artists explained how they got their start in the world of cinema and discussed the process of producing their first film, Koolhaas Houselife (2013), which explores the daily routine of the cleaning lady at one of Dutch architect Rem Koolhass’ most iconic houses. “When we finished the film, we didn’t know what to do with it, so we showed it to some of our friends. One of them choose a fixed shot to illustrate the cover of the first edition of the magazine Abitare, and since then we haven’t stopped filming”, they remarked.
The video-artists also referred to the work lines that guide their productions. These include a desire to portray people’s ordinary lives and spontaneity, the need to demonstrate how architecture shapes everyday life and the use of music as a central element of their films. “To us, it is very important to show architecture vividly, and understand human beings. Anyone who watches our films will, to a certain extent, gain a better understanding of humanity”, they concluded.
Following the lecture, attendees were treated to a screening of two of the chapters from one of Bêka&Lemoine’s latest endeavours: Homo Urbanus, a series which takes an in-depth look at urban life in 7 cities around the world. On 10 and 11 April, the Filmoteca de Catalunya also hosted a specific cycle featuring several of video-artists’ works, with two double sessions per day.
This year, Foros, an annual series of lectures about architecture, revolves around the title “Identities”. Its programme looks to contribute to the debate on the concept of identity in contemporary architecture, strongly marked by the present trends in globalisation. For the second straight year, the series has been organised in partnership with BBConstrumat.