From Mexico to Europe






In 1979 during her first trip as a video artist, Pola obtained support from FONAPAS to represent Mexico at the International Performance Art Festival where she presented Videodanza Viva Videodanza which was of great interest to the public at the Palazzo Grassi. In this presentation Pola carried the camera on her shoulder, recorded the audience at the event and presented the action in real time on a monitor.

Her presentation was written about in newspapers, as can be read in the caption of a photograph in the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper:

"For a week at the Palazzo Grassi, in the art scene in Venice, there was an international meeting of well-known performance artists. During these two weeks there were round tables and in the evening prominent performance artists presented themselves. The Venetian Summer Festival, the University of Art and Education of New York as well as the Centro de Arte y Comunicación de Buenos Aires were invited. Among the German speaking participants were Hermann Nitsch and H.A. Schult. Our image shows a performance by Pola Weiss, who dances before a mirror with a video camera on."

Pola was also trying to make a yearly trip to Italy, France, Holland and Yugoslavia to present her new video art productions, as well as to teach at the Academie von Beeldene Kunsten in Holland and to work as guest lecturer in Yugoslavia.

In Holland, René Coelho -her friend and curator who directed the MonteVideo Museum- used to invite her to present her work. However, financial matters didn’t always allow her to travel for this purpose.

On the other hand, Claude Namer -Director at FAMA (Franco Latin American Association) was her most active curator and was able to organize a retrospective exhibition at Montbéliard, France, the screening of 9 videos at the Pompidou Center in Paris (1979) as well as an exhibition at Saint Gervais (Geneva), Switzerland.

Pola’s videos were attractive for their subject matter but also for their color, as reported in the article published in Cahiers du Cinemá in January 1980, where the author writes the following:

"Her Works were screened for five days at Beaubourg. To begin with, they are abstract compositions, variations of colors and shapes that respond to a well-balanced music. They are very pleasant to look at. We find the use of certain cathode ray alterations. I ask her how she does this and she answers: it’s a secret. She is very proud of having produced them herself, with ordinary means and with similar results to those made through synthesizers (like Pain’s or Paik’s, for example)."

Raphäel Bassan also writes in Canal magazine No. 37 that when analyzing the videos screened at the Pompidou Center, Pola’s work reminds him of underground filmmaker Stan Brahkage who was actually experimenting at the time with the Polavision film camera, a format commercialized by Polaroid (reintroducing Pola´s way of playing with words).

According to Fernando Mangino, her couple, Pola obtained the color by altering the video ranges and taking them to the extreme. This allowed her to express what she felt and visualized before making each of her works.

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Süddeutsche Zeitung, 1979.

Cahiers du Cinéma, 307. January, 1980.

"This project was funded by the Fondo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes"
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