Association Internationale du Film d’Animation
International Animated Film Association

ASIFA Mexico says thank you to Jan Svankmajer

Author: Tania de León Yong | Date: 7/31/18, 4:36 PM

It was April 30: Arnold Abadie, two friends from Ícaro and me, drove from Mexico City to Pachuca, a small city in the Center of Mexico. We were attending to Jan Svankmajer’s Magisterial Conference, organized by the FINI festival. Arnold, as President of ASIFA Mexico, has invited me to give an acknowledgment to Jan Svankmajer. At the end of the conference, we walked to the stage. There was a lot of people, and in the middle of the attendants I had the opportunity to give him a small heart-shaped sculpture. Its title was “The Visual Alchemist Heart”, and it was made with the Raku technique, by Vio Art Studio. It was an acknowledgment for Svankmajer, a symbolic way to say thank you.

Jan Svankmajer receives “The Visual Alchemist Heart”

For that occasion, I wrote a small text:

For a long time, as animator I’ve asked myself: How is time constructed in animation? Jan Svankmajer has showed me, through his films, that the answer is distant from reality and from Newton’s laws of movement. The time invented by him is far away from mimesis and logical rules.

Svankmajer is able to transform the real objects into his purposeful objects. This is made by an oneiric manipulation of the frames, which creates inevitably an imaginary time. These created movements suggest meanings that go further than those the object itself has.  His animated objects are unexpected and unrealistic; they create links and construct an open meaning that is completed, in a very personal way, by the viewer. But, how is time constructed in his films?  I find it is built through freedom, poetry and obsessions; with magic, dreams, corporal experiences, real imagination, imaginative reality, ambiguity, auto therapy and improvisation.

Thank you very much Jan Svankmajer, for showing us that animation created through inner processes is conceivable, for demonstrating that the animation distant from a standardized thought is possible.

Mexico has a chapter in ASIFA since 2011. Currently, the President is Arnold Abadie and the Director is Diana Hernández. Last year ASIFA Mexico and the festival Locomoción organized  the screenings for International Animation Day 2017, and will do so again for 2018. They are also planning to do animation workshops for children. The official poster for this year will be made by the Mexican animator René Castillo.



Festival Locomoción:

Ícaro (Mexican group for independent animation promotion):

Tania de León: