We’re introducing Night Mode … Try it out with the sun/moon icon at the top left. Or change font settings with the ‘A’ to make the site work for you.
Got it
ICA is closed from the 30 May – 3 June inclusive.
0 / 256
The Films of Narcisa Hirsch
Institute of Contemporary Arts
Seguro que Bach cerraba la puerta cuando quería trabajar (Bach probably closed the door when he wanted to work), dir. Narcisa Hirsch, Argentina 1979.

“On a warm Buenos Aires night in 2015 a friend called to invite me to join him and a few others at Narcisa Hirsch’s home. Around 9pm I knocked on her large wooden door on Cochabamba in the neighbourhood of San Telmo.  

After satisfying our stomachs with a hearty soup, we climbed her spiral staircase into the loft to watch films, one of which was Narcisa’s Pioneros (1976). A film which at first glance seems an anomaly within her expansive experimental oeuvre but contains motifs visible in her other films. The camera begins on a chez lounge and pans the room, detailing a lived space before finding, and zooming into the face of the person we are hearing. This distraction, or reveal reoccurs in Narcisa’s work, most notably in Workshop (1974) where her voice pans in a circular motion across the studio inviting us to imagine its details, all the while our gaze lies fixed on one wall.  

Back in the kitchen we continued talking over ice-cream. At 1am Narcisa, then 87 years of age, announced “bueno chicos, ustedes quédense charlando y a dormir si quieren, pero yo ya estoy para la cama, me despido”. I was privileged to hear this phrase during a few of Narcisa’s infamous gatherings where my love affair with her films began.” (Jessica Sarah Rinland) 

Curated by Jessica Sarah Rinland. Restored films supplied by Filmoteca Narcisa Hirsch. 

Come out 
Narcisa Hirsch / 1974 / Argentina / 11’ / 16mm / sound 
An out of focus image slowly comes into focus and zooms out while a sentence skips on a record until it becomes indistinctive and disappears. The words are from Daniel Hamm’s voice, one of the boys involved in the Harlem Six, from a recording by composer Steve Reich in 1966 also titled Come out. 
Narcisa Hirsch / 1991 / Argentina / 3’ / Digital / silent 
On Saturday, March 16, 1991, building complex Warnes Shelter in Paternal, Buenos Aires was demolished by means of explosions in front of 30,000 spectators. Narcisa Hirsch zooms into the concrete structure in slow motion as it collapses into dust. 

Seguro que Bach cerraba la puerta cuando quería trabajar (Bach probably closed the door when he wanted to work) 
Narcisa Hirsch / 1979 / Argentina / 27’ / Digital / Spanish spoken, English subtitles 
“The faces of the other women, my friends, are so familiar. They are all mine. My face on the other hand, is less familiar”. Narcisa Hirsch films her friends’ faces, including her own. Later, she records their voices as they respond to their own image, as well as her voice reacting to hers. Narcisa repeats this exercise often as she ages, each time reflecting on how she, as a woman is learning to “look at herself from the outside”. 

Potrero (Paddock) 
Narcisa Hirsch / 1973 / Argentina / 10’ / Digital / silent 
Over the course of one year, Narcisa Hirsch left a super 8 camera on a tripod in a paddock near her house in the Patagonia. When she was away, she gave instructions to activate the camera to a local farmer who looked after cows in the area. 

Retrato de Marta Minujin (Portrait of Marta Minujin) 

Narcisa Hirsch / 1974 / Argentina / 15’ / Digital / Spanish spoken, English subtitles 
Renowned Argentine artist, Marta Minujin talks to Narcisa Hirsch about concepts of failure and eroticism explored within her current paintings. While sat next to a masked Henry Kissinger and the Devil who “should sit closer to one another as they have a lot in common”, Minujin describes in enthralling detail prior happenings and performances that took place in Paris, Uruguay, NYC and Buenos Aires. 
Narcisa Hirsch / 1974 / Argentina / 10’ / Digital / English spoken 
Narcisa Hirsch’s voice pans in a circular motion across her studio inviting us to imagine its details, all the while our gaze lies fixed on one wall. Narcisa made Workshop as a response to reading Andrée Hayum’s Film Culture review of Michael Snow’s A Casing Shelved (1970), a film which she had not seen. 
With an introduction by Jessica Sarah Rinland. 
05:45 pm
Sat, 27 Apr 2024
Cinema 1

Red Members gain unlimited access to all exhibitions, films, talks, performances and Cinema 3.
Join today for £20/month.