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Dan Flavin Nunca Estuvo Aquí

Xoán Anleo


A visit to a centre of contemporary art by two opposite type of characters, the approach, the meetings, the lost gazes that prompt the emergence of a friendship.

Working somewhere between fiction and documentary filmmaking, in Dan Flavin nunca estuvo aquí, Anleo, as in his previous works, presents us with a kind of circle, that is, the circuit of contemporary art. The visit, which at first seems to be just of a testimonial nature, gradually focuses on two men who recurrently coincide in the different video recordings. As is the case with the rest of the centre’s visitors, the two men are closely surveilled by the centre’s security cameras. Each of the two conforms a very different type of regular visitor. On the one hand there is the clean, head shaven, suit wearing man - the executive look of a gallery owner, a curator, a minimalist artist, etc. -, and on the other hand, we have the jean and t-shirt man, with a fringe and horn-rimmed glasses - a pop artists, a designer, a liberal architect, etc. -. They represent two clichés that could very well stand for any of the mentioned just as for any other. Both men, who at first don’t seem to have anything in common, coincide time and again during this visit. Visual contact is inevitable, but their attention goes mainly to the exhibited work of art, before which a reverential silence must be kept. Their only communication takes place as a reflection in the mutual observation of their reaction before the art works. As their search for the piece that each finds personally admirable slowly progresses, both gradually become accustomed to the other’s opposite opinion. This is a physical conversation that, on exiting the centre in the final shot, becomes verbal.

The aseptic and placid functionality of the Art Centre opens up a distance between the objects in it and the visitor, who is inadvertently steered through a programmed tour. This generates a comfortable and liberating sensation that is quickly broken by the cameras, by the relentless surveillance of the omnipresent observer. As Anleo himself has pointed out: “Time is the only variable that can be modified within this territory. The visitor defines her limits in terms of the length and intensity of her visit, but she can do nothing to intervene in the space that accommodates her.” In this piece Anleo transcends the sphere of the presentation of the individual and reflects on art as it relates to the setting that contains it and on the personal relationships that emerge in the latter. The inequalities that a priori could come up are dissolved, by means of an intellectual consensus, as the characters gradually cover the different stages of their itinerary.

Technical datasheet

  • Title: Dan Flavin Nunca Estuvo Aquí
  • Direction: Xoán Anleo
  • Production: Xoán Anleo. 2004.
  • Team:

    Intèrpret: Rober Bass
    Ajudante de direcció: María Esteirán
    Càmera: Rafa Sabugueiro Sánchez
    Edició: María Esteirán, Rafa Sabugueiro Sánchez

  • Duration: 00:11:10
  • Original format: Betacam SP
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Copyright