Eugenia Balcells
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A found object, an old postcard album. A book full of visual and written evocations with the voice-over of the author's grandmother rereading fragments of these writings. Through the postcard, Eugènia Balcells shows the epistolary tradition, recomposing the spirit of the woman of the early 20th century.

"I am pleased to take up my pen to send you this postcard, which I hope you will answer."

From memory, the history of the everyday and the essentials of life, such as intimate relationships, Eugènia Balcells pays homage to the personal message, which took several days to arrive and be answered, not only as a communication in the distance but also as a true sign of affection. Eugènia Gorina, the very recipient of the postcards (owner and creator of the album), reads extracts from the collected postcards. A collage of texts describing the etiquette of the time on different images in the album, in which all the postcards are compiled, attached but not glued, so that they can be reviewed and reread at any nostalgic moment. Each new page is a succession of photographs of the places of origin that conceal different messages, brief and concise, reminders of existence and appreciation for the addressee, even to clarify misunderstandings or forgetfulness, topped off with an "affectionately". This reading, sprinkled with social relations and epistolary etiquette, recreates an archetypal portrait of women at the time. The manners and turns of language refer to a way of speaking, based on mutual respect, in which confidences took place between the lines.

Through the reading of the letters, committed over a multitude of photographs and fragments of writings, Eugènia Balcells assembles a portrait of the society of the time. A dissertation on the image and its time through space, calligraphy, ornaments and the beings contained in them. As in many of his works from the 1970s (such as 133, For/Against, Going through languages and Boy meets girl), Album is a great work of cultural archaeology, no longer about the moment in which it was made but about an earlier period. The images (landscapes of Europe, seaside resorts and the streets of Barcelona, groups of people and the handwriting), the piano music, reminiscent of silent films, and the way the author's grandmother spoke, all have an impact on the sensation of a culture that is alien to the present due to the passage of time.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Album
  • Direction: Eugenia Balcells
  • Production: Eugènia Balcells, Joan C. Lorenzo, Juli Nadal. 1976.
  • Team:

    Amb la col·laboració de: Ricard Balcells, Xavier Balcells, Manel Huerga, Nati Lorenzo
    Muntatge: Ernest Blasi
    Càmera: Jaume Peracaula
    Ajudant de càmera: Carles Cabeceran
    Veu: Eugènia Gorina
    Música: “Richard Strauss plays Richard Strauss” (Diresa)

  • Duration: 00:09:32
  • Languages: Catalan - French - Spanish
  • Original format: 16 mm
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Copyright