Highlighted Activities


For an art of vision
Essential writing by Stan Brakhage

Globally considered one of the most important and influential filmmakers of all time, the American Stan Brakhage completed over 350 films, taking in everything from psychodrama in the early 1950s to autobiographical lyricism, mythological epic, a�?documenta�? and metaphorical cinematographic poem before his death at the start of the 21st century. For many of his films he used his own techniques of hand-held camerawork and fast cutting, multiple overprints, collages, photographic abstractions and elaborate direct paintings on the film surface. A deeply personal filmmaker, Brakhagea��s great project was to explore the nature of light and all forms of vision, taking in at the same time an enormous thematic range. He often referred to his work as a�?visual musica�? or as documents of a�?visual thought in movementa�?.

In turn, more than any other filmmaker of his time, Brakhage dedicated much of his work to writing. The monumentality of his film corpus is accompanied by a dozen publications that Brakhage produced along the way as reference points to his practice, and that would end up being of inevitable reference in the study of the possibilities of cinema as a personal, creative act.

Far-removed from the idea of a representative compilation of the thematic range of this bibliographical output, the selection of texts that make up Por un arte de la visiA?n: escritos esenciales de Stan Brakhage a��the first volume of his writing ever published in Spanisha�� has been constructed around the precise idea of film as a completely visual art running throughout his production, most of the time dominantly, and at other times popping up in the least expected contexts. The twenty-one texts that make up this anthology were taken from the books Metaphors on Vision, Brakhage Scrapbook: Collected Writings 1964-1980, Essential Brakhage: Selected Writings on Filmmaking and Telling Time: Essays of a Visionary Filmmaker.

Stan Brakhage

foto Stan Brakhage

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1933, Stan Brakhage moved to Denver, Colorado at theage of six. As a child he was a soprano soloist, dreamed of being a poet, and graduated from South High School in 1951 with a scholarship for the University of Dartmouth. He dropped out after one semester to dedicate himself to art; he returned to Denver and made his first film in 1952.

In his early adult life, Brakhart lived in San Francisco and New York, where he knew other poets, musicians, painters and filmmakers, including Robert Duncan, Kenneth Rexroth, John Cage, Edgard Varese, Joseph Cornell, Maya Deren and Marie Menken. A young a�?poet with a cameraa�?, Brakhage didna��t take long in making his way as a significant film artist, developing an entirely new personal and lyric form of cinema.
Brakhage married Jane Collom in 1957. From the early 1960s they lived in Rollinsville, Colorado, making films and raising their five children. Brakhage continued his journeys around the USA and the world, becoming a central figure in the American avant-garde film movement. From 1986 he lived in Boulder, Colorado, and in 2002 moved to Canada with his second wife Marilyn and their two children.

Brakhage taught classes at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and was a distinguished professor of Film Studies at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Awarded three honorary degrees and numerous prizes, he gave numerous lectures on film and art. He wrote eleven books, including his seminal 1963 volume, Metaphors on Vision.