VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Viejo, Breixo

Breixo Viejo
Spanish videomaker


Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

I have always been interested in the intersection of film and critical theory, first as a film critic and now as an experimental filmmaker and video artist. I obtained a MA in Media at the New School in New York and a PhD in Film at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 2003. I worked at the Spanish Filmoteca for a few years and in 2007 I was visiting fellow at Columbia University. After that, I came to London, where I live now.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

I started filming at the New School because, as a student of cinema aesthetics, I felt that I couldn’t fully understand film unless I knew both its theory and its practice. But I dedicate exclusively to experimental film and video making since 2008.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

Some of my works try to articulate in visual terms a critique of the mechanization of the mind in present-day society. I am interested in those processes in which human beings become objectified and alienated. At the same time, in other pieces, I propose poetical performative actions in favor of emancipated and free work. These actions strongly contrast with the instrumental world of post-fordist production…

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?

It’s always the same process: a powerful image comes to my mind. Usually that image is impossible to recreate with a camera. When it is possible, then I try to do a short film about it. I guess my style is the result of my knowledge of the film medium and my personal convictions.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

I agree with Rossellini, who once said that technical staff is unimportant and only the idea matters -what a beautiful lie!

6. The field of “art and moving images” (one may call it videoart or also differently) is manifesting itself as an important position in contemporary art. Tell me more about your
personal position and how you see the future of this field (your personal future and the future of “art and moving images”)

The variety and richness of the experimental film and video art today is quite fascinating. Many young directors are creating low-budget short films that are much more interesting than most productions made within the so-called independent film industry or the mainstream art world.

7. How do you finance your films?

With funding I get from doing other jobs and, if I’m lucky, with grants.

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team? If you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

I work individually in terms of script and editing. During shooting I work with a very reduced team (one or two more persons). Solitary work is more abstract and analytical; team work is more practical and spontaneous. I like both.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory, Beckett’s short films for television, Deleuze’s film books, some works by Bernhard, Buñuel, Cela, Eisler, Haanstra, Jancsó, Resnais, Xenakis… and a list of paintings too long to include here!

10. What are your plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

Keep shooting and make better films.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on CologneOFF or VideoChannel? Where?
List some links & resources