Idas y Venidas por la Rue de l'Assomption

Virginia Villaplana Ruiz

This seminal video by the author, which took two years of work and filming (1994-1995) in Paris, is based on the story Idas y venidas por la rue de l'Assomption by the writer Georges Perec. Virginia Villaplana returns to this street and searches for the traces of some of those who once walked along it, specifically the memory of her mother: Teresa Ruiz, who walked along it on countless occasions during her stay in Paris, where she lived and worked when she emigrated in the 1970s. 

The piece combines fragments of a discontinuous visual poem in which the phrases by Georges Perec and the images created by Villaplana dialogue with the interview that the director conducted with her mother recalling those years.

It is difficult to find a piece of such singular beauty and sincerity as Idas y venidas por la rue de l'Assomption (1994-95), which preserves intact the freshness and power of the first works. Virginia's intense journeys to the place where the events took place at the time the documentary was filmed, the bursts of interviews with her mother and the wandering of her "camera-eye" through the ghosts of her past enclosed in the objects of her house in Valencia, where the trace of her father figure also appears.

Virginia's voice, trembling, sincere, far from any conventionalism of the classic documentary, brings us down... the words of her mother, desolate in the black and white of her sequences... the narration of Georges Perec... Virginia achieves a sentimental, partial look at the subject; at the same time she places all the fragments she has used in the light, on the table, so that dismembered, we can make our own puzzle; much more easily than after watching a normal documentary.

This video forms part of a quadrilogy La escritura, los fragmentos, la memoria y las ciudades [Writing, fragments, memory and cities], which is based on the poetic writing in contact with the video narrative of Georges Perec (France), Idea Vilariño (Uruguay), Sylvia Plath (USA) and Lucía Sánchez Saornil (Spain). It consists of the videos Idas y venidas por la rue de L'Assomption (1994-1995),  Daydream Mechanics (2000), Stop-Transit (2001) and Fuera del Paraíso (2004).

The journey is another of the working metaphors in Virginia Villaplana's work, as we see her travel to Paris, to Uruguay... to her memories... the physical or mental journey becomes one of the strategies of her creative research. Other feminist directors have proposed travelling as a model of knowledge. She is interested in the various fabulations of travelling, be it diaspora, exile, mental refuge, exile or migration, all of which form an accumulation of experiences that were already considered by postmodern theorists as means of access to "being"; the way to create new paradigms, what in feminism has been called "critical travelling" and of which Sally Potter or Hélene Cixous are also good examples.


Technical datasheet

  • Title: Idas y Venidas por la Rue de l'Assomption
  • Direction: Virginia Villaplana Ruiz
  • Production: Virginia Villaplana. 1994.
  • Duration: 00:14:00
  • Languages: Spanish
  • Original format: Betacam Digital
  • Formats: Betacam Digital - DVD
  • TV systems: NTSC - PAL
  • License: Copyright