Directed by Jill Magid
“A thoughtful, elegantly hypnotic exploration of ownership, access and moral responsibility.”—Alan Hunter, Screen International
Known as “the artist among architects,” Luis Barragán is among the world’s most celebrated architects of the 20th century. After his death in 1988, his professional archive was sold to Rolf Fehlbaum, the owner and CEO of the Swiss furniture company Vitra. Fehlbaum purchased the archive as a gift for his fiancé Federica Zanco in lieu of an engagement ring—a more appreciated gesture given her love of Barragán. With Zanco assuming the role of head of the Barrigan Archive, the architect’s work was locked away from the world’s view and Zanco strictly controlled access and copyright.
In an attempt to resurrect Barragán’s life and art, boundary redefining artist Jill Magid starts a correspondence with Zanco to request access to the professional archive. Initially coldly rebuffed, the two women develop a relationship shared by their deep appreciation of the architect, though Magid’s attempts to visit the archive are refused.
On the other hand, Magid is warmly received by Barragán’s family in Mexico and is allowed to stay in his home and studio. The family is supportive of her wishes to open access to the professional archive and ultimately have it returned to Mexico. Magid creates a daring proposition that becomes a fascinating artwork in itself—a high-wire act of negotiation that explores how far an artist will go to democratize access to art. 2019, U.S., DCP, 83 minutes. Recommended for 12+.
Presented in conjunction with the Global Speed series focused on Mexico.
Essential Cinema: New Digital Restoration